6.2/10
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46 user 55 critic

The Reptile (1966)

Unrated | | Horror | 6 April 1966 (USA)
In a Cornish village, various locals die from mysterious snake bites, but the coroner rules the deaths as heart attacks, until a family of newcomers starts an investigation.

Director:

John Gilling

Writer:

Anthony Hinds (screenplay) (as John Elder)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Noel Willman ... Dr. Franklyn
Jennifer Daniel Jennifer Daniel ... Valerie Spalding
Ray Barrett ... Harry George Spalding
Jacqueline Pearce ... Anna Franklyn
Michael Ripper ... Tom Bailey
John Laurie ... Mad Peter
Marne Maitland ... The Malay
David Baron David Baron ... Charles Edward Spalding
Charles Lloyd Pack Charles Lloyd Pack ... The Vicar
Harold Goldblatt Harold Goldblatt ... The Solicitor
George Woodbridge ... Old Garnsey
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Storyline

Harry Spalding and his wife Valerie inherit a cottage in a small country village after his brother mysteriously dies. The locals are unfriendly and his neighbor Dr. Franklyn (a doctor of theology) suggests they leave. They decide to stay only to find that a mysterious evil plagues the community. Written by H P Holley

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Half woman - half snake! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 April 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El reptil See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£100,599 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite playing the title role, Jacqueline Pearce only speaks 38 minutes into the film. See more »

Alternate Versions

When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure a 'X' rating. It is believed all cuts were waived in 1994 when the film was granted a '15' certificate for home video. However Hammer have put out a call trying to locate lost or censored footage from the following scene: An extended knife in neck/snake bite scene (this is thought to exist, but no known evidence). This rather suggests that this is the footage censored from the 1966 cinema release and that it is still missing from home video releases. The BBFC cut was described in The DarkSide magazine as: A gloating close-up during the lancing of a snake bite. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Sitar Music
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Philip Martell
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User Reviews

 
Rather troubling and disjointed if slightly enjoyable effort

Following a relative's death, a man and his wife head off to the remote village to inherit a new house unknowing of the bizarre experiments a neighbor conducted that has unleashed a terrifying monster, forcing them to kill the creature before more are harmed.

This turned out to be an utterly disappointing effort overall. Among the main problem here is the rather wretched and atrocious pacing featured since the film is just an utter bore as nothing really happens at all. While this one manages to get a lot out of the straightforward and consistent story, for the most part it's just basically a repetition of one of three different scenes and it really drags the film out to a lurching halt not only with the lack of action but also the general continuation of these same specific scenes and set-ups recurring throughout the film. We either have the villagers giving them the cold shoulder, the local doctor getting upset at them for no reason or everyone is sitting around talking about the death of the first person, and none of it really comes off in any way enjoyable. The villagers' hostility towards the new couple arriving into town reeks of nothing more than cliché now and manages to feel totally unwarranted with the continued usage of the tactic being so completely expected as well as feeling so unnecessary to the events that it feels like excess padding when they continually get run out of town. The party scenes with the doctor at his house are quite dull and really don't serve any kind of solid purpose other than to bring about the storyline ruse about their past endeavors traveling the world yet go on for so long that his company seems hardly that interesting in the case where it's presented here, and there's so long into the film before they even decide to investigate the first murder that it seems like an afterthought despite being the main clue that zeros them in on what's going on. That overwhelming sense of boredom afflicts the film to the point where it's monster attacks don't even start until the fifty- five minute mark, the creature isn't revealed until ten minutes into the finale, and we break up the action to get the full back-story revealed to us before it starts up the action again which makes all of this really troubling. Along with the somewhat cheesy-looking creature effects that aren't imposing at all, these here hold this one back. There's still some rather fun parts here, most of which coming from the fact that the Gothic flavors are still in full effect and it really works those to full effect with the small- town village on the outskirts of town which manages to generate that famous Hammer atmosphere so often utilized in their films, most notably in a graveyard excavation sequence in the pouring rain. Coupled with the engrossing storyline where brings out some rather novel ideas with the concept of the creature's cult origins and overall backstory that's on display here. Also, as expected in this kind of the film it manages to get some good action towards the end where it gets the prototypical burning-down-the-house finale which starts off in the basement pit before making it's way through the rest of the house giving this a great finish, but it's just so deathly dull you'll fall asleep before it gets to the good stuff.

Today's Rating/PG: Violence.


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