[[caption-width-right:300:[[NeverTrustATrailer The movie is nowhere near as scary]] as [[ComingAttractions this poster]]... [[CoversAlwaysLie but you knew that, right?]]]]

->''"How often have you seen an awful movie and said to yourself, 'What were they thinking?!' Well, after watching ''Night of the Lepus'', the question you'll be asking instead is'', [='=]''Were''' ''they thinking?![='=]"''
-->-- ''Website/TheAgonyBooth''

Another legendary bad movie. This 1972 effort, directed by William F. Claxton, is the story of how [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Doctor McCoy]] (OK, OK, Creator/DeForestKelley, but in a ''really'' orange turtleneck) helped Stuart Whitman, Creator/JanetLeigh and Rory Calhoun save the world from a herd of '''Giant Killer Bunny Rabbits'''.

No, really. The idea is that experimental hormone injections, intended to stop the rabbits breeding as an environmentally-friendly form of pest control, actually cause them to become Giant Killer Bunny Rabbits. One dosed-up bunny escapes into the wild and starts breeding with the local population. Suddenly there are hordes of Giant Killer Bunny Rabbits running around, and it's all very ironic. Or something.

In the interests of total fairness, wild rabbits ''can'' be surprisingly vicious when pushed to it (ask anyone who's ever read ''Literature/WatershipDown''). But trying to cast them as menacing monsters with a lust for human flesh is... proof that when this idea was greenlit the studio execs had just emerged from a decade spent under a rock, being whacked with a stupid stick. The clearly miniscule SFX budget doesn't help.

Eventually, Our Heroes drive the 'shambling hordes' over some electrified train tracks, and the viewer is left to imagine them spending the rest of their lives trying to convince people of how brave they were, saving the world from Thumper.

Interestingly, this movie was famously ''not'' featured on ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'', despite the show having mentioned it a couple of times, indicating that its creators were aware of it. One can only assume they could not resolve the licensing issues (with a much more prominent studio than is usual among their targets)... or else they thought it would be just ''too'' easy. Although it did get the ''Podcast/RiffTrax'' treatment.


* AcCENTUponTheWrongSylLABle: The trailer narration pronounces "mutant" as "Mute-Ant".
* AdaptationDistillation: Albeit chances are you've [[AdaptationDisplacement never heard of the novel]].
* AscendedToCarnivorism: The formerly strictly-herbivorous bunnies lust for flesh after becoming giant-sized, and though they do attack some horses and cattle, man is the main dish on their menu.
* AttackOfThe50FootWhatever
* BMovie: It's hard to believe a major studio (Creator/{{MGM}}) paid for this movie, let alone ponied up for a decent cast... but they did.
* ChromaKey: ''Very'' badly done.
* CoversAlwaysLie: Or at least misdirect.
** Likewise for the title. The studio was obviously counting on moviegoers not knowing what "Lepus" means.
* DisasterMovie: Explicitly falls into the ecological 'My God what have we done' subsection.
* FilmOfTheBook: According to the credits anyway, this is an adaptation of ''Year of the Angry Rabbit'', by Russell Braddon. The book was actually a satire on corrupt politicians, with the addition of killer rabbits. Since they used a different title and completely different plot it isn't clear why they bothered.
* HairRaisingHare. Well. It's what they were gunning for.
* HollywoodScience: Hey, let's see what this totally unknown serum does to rabbits! Meanwhile, we can leave a young child alone with them!
* HotScientist: It ''is'' Creator/JanetLeigh, after all...
* IdiotHoudini: The little girl who switches out the bunnies in the first place, aided and abetted by the little boy who subsequently allows the dosed-up one to escape. Her father, who's running the experiment, is similarly never punished or so much as scolded for the clearly lax security measures that allowed this to happen.
* KentBrockmanNews: The movie begins with a report delivered by Jerry Dunphy, who was ''[[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed the]]'' [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed inspiration]] for the TropeNamer.
* '''[[KillerRabbit Giant Killer Bunny Rabbits]]'''
* KillItWithFire
* LabPet: The movie's set-up. The scientist's daughter has grown attached to one of the test rabbits, so when told she can have one from the control group for a pet, she swaps it out for the test bunny. When said test rabbit escapes, it leads directly to the invasion of giant rabbits.
* MonochromeCasting: There's only one black (minor) character in the entire movie, Dr. Leopold.
* NeverTrustATrailer: The trailer goes out of its way to avoid showing any Giant Killer Bunny Rabbits, which of course raises the question: if you realize your monsters aren't scary, why would you still make a movie about them?
* NoPronunciationGuide: Throughout the movie Lepus is pronounced as alternately "Leap-Us" or "Leh-Pus".
** And ''both'' are wrong (it's pronounced the same as 'leper').
* OurMonstersAreDifferent: Which in this case mostly means 'amazingly stupid'.
* {{Overcrank}}: The film tries to make the rabbits scary by shooting them in slow-motion. It doesn't work.
* PeopleInRubberSuits: The monster rabbits actually required to attack? Those are guys in bunny suits.
* TheProfessor
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Played straight to FridgeLogic levels. Really now -- if you told a local sheriff that there are Giant Killer Bunny Rabbits heading towards town, they'd automatically assume you're either drunk or hiding a candid camera. The authorities in the movie, by contrast, seem perfectly OK with this concept.
** Leading to the famous followup scene where one police officer interrupts a showing at a DriveInTheater to ask for assistance in dealing with a herd of Giant Killer Bunny Rabbits. Literally, all he says is "There is a herd of giant killer bunnies coming this way, and we need your help!" Not ONE person in the entire drive-in so much as raises an eyebrow at this before fully complying (and they all bring their kids along!)
* ScreamsLikeALittleGirl: Lampshaded in the Podcast/RiffTrax. "Now THAT'S how you scream like a little girl!"
* TheSeventies: Ooh yeah.
* ShoutOut: If you look carefully, you can see a few seconds of this movie on the TV in ''Film/TheMatrix'' when Neo walks into the Oracle's apartment. Bits of footage also appear in the movie ''Film/NaturalBornKillers''.
** Also appears in a flashback in an episode of ''Series/EverybodyHatesChris'', explaining Julius' rabbit phobia.
** Amazingly, the plan used to kill the rabbits is almost ''exactly'' the same as the title characters final ploy in Creator/MarkTwain's ''Literature/AConnecticutYankeeInKingArthursCourt.''
* SlowMotion: Used to make bunnies on miniature sets look menacing. This fails spectacularly.
* {{Slurpasaur}}: A non-reptilian example when the giant bunnies are played by actual bunnies.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: See IdiotHoudini.
* TheWatson: The actual reason Amanda, Roy and Gerry's daughter, is allowed to hang around the lab asking questions while the experiments are ongoing is clearly to give her parents a chance to lay out the scientific exposition for the viewer.