The Reptile (1966)   3/53/53/53/53/5


Jacqueline Pearce and Jennifer Daniel in The Reptile (1966)

In Need of Fangs

Following his brother's mysterious death, Harry Spalding (Ray Barrett) and his wife Valerie (Jennifer Daniel) decide to relocate to the cottage which they have been left in a small Cornish village. But they meet with a cold reception from the locals, except for Tom Bailey (Michael Ripper) who as pub landlord is happy to see them unlike the others who including their neighbour Dr. Franklyn (Noel Willman) try to persuade them to leave. But refusing to be scared off they stay only to discover that the locals are dying thanks to a snake which makes them feel ill at ease. But things take a turn for the sinister when Dr. Franklyn's daughter Anna (Jacqueline Pearce) invites them in to her father's home.

"The Reptile" is two things first of which is a Hammer production and as such has a certain look and style which I would say will appeal to those who love Hammer movies and grew up on them. For those who are not overly fussed by Hammer movies then the stiffness of this and a feeling of being rushed might be off putting especially the jarring delivery of the dialogue. It is worth knowing that "The Reptile" was filmed back to back with "The Plague of the Zombies" using the same sets which probably contributed to that feeling of being a quickly made movie.

But the second thing which "The Reptile" is is a mystery and the sort of movie which when you watch the less you know the better. If you watch this having learned one too many details then it becomes a movie where you start to anticipate what may happen and you begin to wait for the reveal to come especially when you combine that with the DVD artwork for the movie. What I will say is that whilst you can think certain things you are never entirely sure as to whether your guesses will be right as a few possibilities are presented.

What this all boils down to is that "The Reptile" is an adequate Hammer movie with a reasonable story but a feeling that this was one of their movies made quickly rather than because they felt the script was good.


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