Night of the Lepus (1972) (part 3 of 10)

Down at Cole’s ranch, Roy examines a caged rabbit and notes this isn’t a breed that’s indigenous to the area. Cole explains that another rancher in the area used to raise domesticated rabbits, but there was a fire and about “a couple o’ hundred of them got away!”

That’s right: Domesticated rabbits. The rabbits that we’ll soon be seeing grow to giant size aren’t even wild rabbits, which might have at least stood a chance of looking scary. In fact, the giant rabbits will look no different from bunnies that you might buy at the pet store. Ultimately, this one tiny detail will account for almost all of the movie’s unintentional hilarity.

Night of the Lepus (1972) (part 3 of 10)

I’ll just assume that, somewhere between the director and the animal wranglers, there was a serious breakdown in communication, and by the time they realized they were about to make a movie about killer Easter bunnies, it was too late to turn back. And so, they tossed in a line after the fact about domesticated rabbits escaping, and in the process, helpfully contradicted Cole’s earlier statement about the rabbit plague being caused by a dearth of coyotes. That was a nice touch.

Gerry says that these rabbits must be “mongrels”. Ouch! I think you just hurt the rabbits’ feelings, Gerry. Don’t be surprised when this comes back to bite you in the ass later. Literally.

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Multi-Part Article: Night of the Lepus (1972)

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  • Guest

    Wikipedia is indeed your friend, and so is a Latin dictionary. One of the things I always found funny was calling a movie about killer rabbits “Night of the Hare”, since that is what lepus means. But I suppose “Night of the Lepus” sounds more scary than “Night of the Cuniculus”. And since the bunnies are domesticated we may take an imaginary leap and correcting the scientific name of the creature which is oryctolagus cuniculus – admittedly that’s the European rabbit. But (thank you Wikipedia!), since there are about 20 species of rabbits spread over 8 genera, we are on somewhat shaky ground here, except for the fact, that every genus name ends in -lagus.

  • Jeff

    I want to thank you for this most wonderful review. Every once in a while, for the last several years, when I get into a bit of a “blah” mood, all I have to do is read this article and I’ll laugh hysterically throughout. Well done in making a review that’s infinitely better than the film it lambasted.

  • Bun Bun

    “Dig that hole..” I love Albert. Really. And second Jeff’s comments, below.

  • drdvdplayerhandbook

    “My fashion sense is dead, Jim.”
    A missed opportunity to go with the more classic “Dammit, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a fashion designer!”