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Night of the Lepus [DVD] [1972] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Stuart Whitman , Janet Leigh , William F. Claxton    DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 8.20
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

Note: you may purchase only one copy of this product. New Region 1 DVDs are dispatched from the USA or Canada and you may be required to pay import duties and taxes on them (click here for details). Please expect a delivery time of 5-7 days.


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Product details

  • Actors: Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, Rory Calhoun, DeForest Kelley, Paul Fix
  • Directors: William F. Claxton
  • Writers: Don Holliday, Gene R. Kearney, Russell Braddon
  • Producers: A.C. Lyles
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Colour, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested) (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Oct 2005
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A0GOGE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,950 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best bunny boiler ever 14 May 2010
By Linda
This has to be the best/worst sci-fi movie (about rabbits) ever. I saw it on the TV years ago when I was impoverished and had bare boards on the floor. I rolled around laughing so much I had splinters in my bum. I really hope someone releases it in a UK DVD format so I can enjoy it all over again now I've got a carpet.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rabbit transit goes amuck 1 Jun 2010
By bernie VINE VOICE
Cute furry bunnies are overrunning a rancher's land. He enlists the help of a researcher to keep the bunnies from multiplying like rabbits. To save a test rabbit from its demise the researcher's young, already blond, daughter Amanda (Melanie Fullerton) exchanges the rabbit with a control group rabbit. You guessed it , now we have giant mutant fuzballs. What is worse is that they come from the wrong side of the railroad tracks and cannot be allowed to mingle with the people on the other side of the tracks. I will not say what becomes of them but it is a shocking ending.

This 1972 quasi-sci-fi film based on a book by Russell Brandon "The Year of the Angry Rabbit", has all the skill and pathos of a 50's sci-fi. They even throw in a flamethrower; you know the kind they use to fry giant ants and overgrown mantises. They took the time to put it on DVD but no effort to remaster or at least clean it up a bit for the large screens.

The film contains some pretty big names for the time; this includes DeForest Kelley; you may remember him as Bones in the original Star Trek series, Janet Leigh from the "Psycho"- shower scene, and Stuart Whitman from "When Worlds Collide" - as man by bank during riot instigation. Did I forget to mention Rory Calhoun; he needs no introduction.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Awful, but 29 Mar 2013
Isn't "Run for your lives! There's a horde of killer rabbits coming this way!"- hoping I've not misquoted too badly-the best line in cinema ?

That earns two stars, where I'm afraid the rest of the movie deserves none.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 5 July 2009
I so enjoyed this film once again. It arrived safely and is in very good condition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  67 reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rabbits on the Rampage 1 Nov 2005
By Joshua Koppel - Published on
Rabbits are destroying a rancher's land. He doesn't want to have to resort to poison so a friend (DeForrest Kelley) brings in a researcher who decides to try hormones. He gets a hold of a "serum" but does not know what the effects will be. Add a little daughter who loves one of the test rabbits and a few unlikely occurrences and a test rabbit winds up in the general population.

All too quickly rabbits the size of wolves (that's what they keep saying in the movie but they are quite a bit larger) begin to overrun the area. The researcher comes up with a way to stem the tide of fur but not before many people die.

I originally saw this many, many years ago on late night TV. This DVD was gorier than I remember and really quite well done even if the writing was weak. One really gets the sense that they rabbits are huge and deadly. Some of the plot weaknesses are worse than others but my personal favorite is that the researcher who created the beasts is not held responsible and is treated as a hero. One of the best giant animal films in terms of the animals really looking like giants. Check it out.
34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed 9 Feb 2007
By Patrick Michael - Published on
I am very disappointed in this release. They deleted the best WORST parts of the movie. For instance, there was a scene when the rancher was being attacked. He and a guy in a rabbit suit crash through the window. They wrestle around on the floor and bed, basically fist-fighting each other. Then, the large rabbit is back outside next to the toy models again. It was one of the many reasons I couldn't wait to see this movie again on DVD! I can't believe MGM said, "Wait! Before we release this, let's clean up the really bad parts first!" Very disappointed, indeed. Otherwise, it's a 5 star C movie from the 70s. Did I mention, I was very dissapointed???
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic bad movie! 6 July 2005
By Claudia McGill - Published on
I first saw this movie at a drive-in in the 1970's, as a teenager. It's really not a five star movie in the sense of being a great movie artistically (far from it--), but it's just the thing for its genre - the drive-in movie. If you were seeing it at $5 a carload, even better. You'll enjoy it for its sheer audacity. I can only imagine what the giant rabbits would be like in today's technology - but the unsophisticated effects are part of this movie's appeal - at least for me. Entertaining.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where Is Elmer Fudd When You Need Him? 3 Sep 2010
By Gary F. Taylor - Published on
Loosely based on a 1962 novel THE YEAR OF THE ANGRY RABBIT by Russell Braddon, this very silly movie finds Stuart Whitman and Janet Leigh starring as a couple of zoologists who run afoul of giant killer rabbits in the American southwest. Although described as "a young couple," Whitman and Leigh were in their mid-forties at the time and they don't try to hide it. Whitman phones in his performance; Leigh, who looks like she got hit by a Tammy Wynette truck, doesn't even try. The cast is rounded out by Roy Calhoun as an irate rancher, DeForest Kelley as a unlikely university professor, and two remarkably untalented child actors named Melanie Fullerton and Chris Morell.

The story gets underway when Whitman and Leigh are called upon to figure out how to get rid of an overpopulation of wild rabbits that look supiciously like domesticated rabbits--a problem the script tries to account for by noting a recent and local mass escape of domestic rabbits that have enter the population. Whatever the case, Whitman and Leigh try a few experiments, including some genetic modifications. Unfortunately, their obnoxious child switches rabbits on them and then accidentally releases one of the modified ones into the wild. By nightfall the rabbits have become great big things and are nibbling folks to death all over the place.

It would be difficult to count the follies included in this film, but the most notorious one is the rabbits. Most of the time they are just regular bunny rabbits filmed hopping around on miniture sets. There are a lot of close ups of rabbit eyes. Very often rabbit faces are smeared with the same red syrup we find poured all over the so-called corpses. This is obviously intended to be scary, but the rabbits seem more disgruntled than dangerous--and whenever the movie has to show a giant rabbit actually attacking a human this guy in a really bad rabbit suit suddenly jumps out. The whole thing is rabbit-ridiculous, and along the way the rabbits are herded, burned, blown up and generally so harrassed that I began to side with them and wanted to call the ASPCA. "It's alright," Janet Leigh tells a rescued ranch hand after an attack. "The rabbit is gone!" So is all possiblity of the viewer's suspension of disbelief.

Most bad movies are simply bad, but now and then you encounter one that is accidentally funny. NIGHT OF THE LEPUS falls into this category, but it lacks the endearing quality of such so-bad-they're-good movies as PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE. Maybe it's because you don't want to see the rabbits get hurt. Whatever the case, when watching NIGHT OF THE LEPUS, remember that illicit substances make many things seem a lot funnier than they actually are.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "The bite of the Lepus, that's the Latin word for rabbit, can be dangerous." 9 Oct 2005
By cookieman108 - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw a peanut stand, heard a rubber band, I saw a needle that winked its eye. But I think I will have seen everything, when I see a...herd of giant killer rabbits?! Directed by William F. Claxton ("Bonanza", "Love, American Style"), Night of the Lepus (1972) stars Stuart Whitman (Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, Shatter), Rory Calhoun (Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood, Revenge of Bigfoot), and Janet Leigh (Psycho, The Manchurian Candidate), in what probably isn't considered by most to be a highpoint in her cinematic career that spanned 50 years before she passed away in October of far as Whitman is concerned, he was perfectly suited for this film. It's not that I hate the guy or anything, but I have been subjected to a number of stinkaroo projects in which he was prominently featured. Also appearing is DeForest "Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor!" Kelley (Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan), Paul Fix ("The Rifleman"), and Melanie Fullerton ("The Gun and the Pulpit").

The film starts off with a special news report talking about population issues, specifically focusing on the dangers of introducing non-native wildlife to an unprepared ecosystem, to which we see footage of Australians battling a populous lepus aka rabbit scourge, initially brought in as a possible food source, but since have run amok due to their enthusiastic breeding and an insufficient predatory balance. We also learn a similar occurrence is happening in the American southwest...Cole Hillman (Calhoun) runs a cattle ranch, threatened by an ever increasing hare population, devouring his cattle's grazing lands (apparently he had a coyote problem prior, and the solution worked too well, leaving the rabbits without a natural balance). He turns to an acquaintance Elgin Clark (Kelley), who's president of a nearby university, for help, and Elgin hooks Cole up with the Bennett's, Roy (Whitman) and Gerry (Leigh), who are visiting researchers focused on safe (no poisons) and viable means to control pest populations. The husband and wife team are in the area, along with their annoying daughter Amanda (Fullerton), studying bats and how they might be used to control mosquito populations. The Bennett's agree to help, hoping to utilize an experimental hormone therapy serum, given to them by a colleague, to interrupt the rabbit's breeding cycle and halt their prodigiousness. But what happens when Amanda accidentally lets one of the test subjects loose? Well, it breeds with others, creating a ginormous, vociferous, ravenous army of nocturnal, floppy-eared varmints that eats everything (including people) in its path...oh the there anything it can't (or won't) do? Say, what the hell was in that serum anyway?

I have to say, this was about the goofiest damn horror movie I've seen in awhile...I mean giant, killer rabbits? I will say the makers of this film stuck to their guns and really tried to make this a viable vehicle, but there is absolutely nothing horrifying about cute, cuddly, nose wrinkling bunny rabbits. Period. The construction of the film was solid, and had they inserted a different type of creature (roaches, spiders, dogs, marmosets, vernicious kanids, etc.), it probably would have worked, but they saddled themselves with rabbits, for better or's my favorite line from the film...near the end, a deputy heads to the drive-in to get the assistance of the patrons in some master plan to stop the impending invasion, and this is what he says on the bullhorn..." Attention! Attention! Ladies and gentlemen, attention! There is a herd of killer rabbits headed this way and we desperately need your help!" And everyone believed him! Oh bruther...I've never been a big fan of Whitman, even though he was a relatively solid actor who's career peaked in the 60s (he was nominated for a Oscar for his role in the 1961 film The Mark), as he generally brought so little to his later roles, here being no exception...and that girl that played his daughter...ugh! I wanted to throttle her for her crimes against the profession. She certainly wasn't the worst child actor I've ever seen, but her annoyance factor was very high. And I love how she was never held accountable or felt even the slightest pang of guilt for her actions within the story, especially since she was the one responsible for the tainted rabbit getting loose. In a perfect world, cinematically speaking, she would have been one of the first victims beset by the plague she introduced into the environment, one that claimed the lives of many. As far as Janet Leigh, I just felt sorry for's a woman who has appeared in one of the most memorable and influential shockers of all time (Psycho), now reduced to playing a bit part in one of the most laughable horror films ever made. And another thing, both Whitman and Leigh seemed a bit long in the tooth to have a daughter as young as she was...anyway, like I said, there was some misguided effort put forth by the makers of this film to really try and make it scary, in terms of visual trickery. Miniature sets were constructed to make it appear the rabbits where huge, along with close ups, quick edits, and chroma key shots. There were a couple of scenes where the rabbits did indeed appear as large as they were meant to be, but hardly made them frightening, instead making them even more cuddly and lovable. My favorite shots involved the guys dressed in rabbit suits, attacking the various townspeople. The shots were very short, but it was still obvious they were men dressed up in bad rabbit suits, especially the one sequence where one hare gets hit in the head with an object by the person it's attacking, and the man in the suit instinctively raises his costumed hands to protect his costumed head.

The widescreen (1.85:1) anamorphic picture on this DVD looks very sharp and clean, and the Dolby Digital mono audio comes through very well. The only extra available is a theatrical trailer. The extras certainly are slight, but fans of bad movies will definitely rejoice at this film finally finding an official DVD release.


By the way, if you ever wanted to see DeForest Kelley in really bad polyester, here's your chance...also, if I learned anything from this film, its that people are not likely to stop and pick you up if you're hitchhiking down the road carrying a rifle...go figure...
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