I meant to post this earlier but Night of the Lepus is on TCM tonight (4/15) at 11:30 PM EST.
This is one of those movies that I always heard about but never seen.
Of course, part of me wanting to see this is that DeForest Kelley is in it. As a kid, I was usually keen on seeing Star Trek actors in other shows!
What a hare-brained idea!
Those '70s haircuts sure look familiar, though ...
I wonder how many people knew what a "lepus" was?
Guess they couldn't call it Night of the Giant Bunnies!
And why bunnies? If you're going to make a giant radioactive animal movie, why not pick one that isn't associated with cuteness and cuddliness? Sure, by then they'd pretty much exhausted the insect and arachnid kingdoms by then, but there must have been something scarier than bunnies available.
Rats, possums, weasels, foxes, wolves, bears, owls, hawks, bats, etc!
I remember a couple of rat movies from the '70s, Willard and Ben. They weren't giant rats, but they didn't have to be, since there were a lot of them. I don't remember much about either movie, except that in at least one of them, Ernest Borgnine was devoured by rats. Evidently, my younger self thought that was awesome.
Given the stills that I saw looking for these images, there was more than one giant rabbit which makes more sense than a singular bunny!
I saw this as a kid, but I remember thinking later on that the rabbit from Monty Python was more dangerous :)
Harvey and The Rabbit Trap (with Ernest Borgnine!) precede Night of the Lepus and The Hound and the Rabbit follows it. I detect a theme.
Night of the Lepus was based on an Australian novel called The Year of the Angry Rabbit by Russell Braddon. Wikipedia has a synopsis. The page says the book has a comic-horror tone.
Rabbits aren't native to Australia and the result of their importation was a rabbit plague. Their numbers were reduced in the 1950s by the release of a virus. The novel was published in the 1960s, when this was fairly recent.
According to Janet Leigh the script of Night of the Lepus read very well.