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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

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 being the main villain, Marne Maitland only speaks 12 times. 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

Featured in Truly, Madly, Cheaply!: British B Movies (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Sitar Music
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Philip Martell
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fine entry in the Hammer Horror cycle.
10 October 2009 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Upon the mysterious death of his brother, Harry Spalding (Ray Barrett) and his wife Valerie (Jennifer Daniel) decide to move to the inherited cottage in a small village in the Cornish countryside. On arrival in the village they are received coldly by the locals, with one exception, bartender and owner of the village pub, Tom Bailey (Michael Ripper). The couple are further mystified when their odd neighbours, Dr. Franklyn (Noel Willman) and daughter Anna (Jacqueline Pearce), try to persuade them to sell the house and leave the place as soon as possible. Deciding to stay, Harry and Valerie come to learn that their brothers' death was not the only one to have happened mysteriously. Is there any truth in the Black Death rumours? And does the strange Franklyn family hold the key?

Quality Hammer production that belies it's problematic shoot. As common knowledge now dictates, The Reptile was filmed back to back with Plague Of The Zombies and thus used the same, and excellent, sets. However, with a tight budget, make up problems and constant rewrites of the script, it was a far from a happy production. So somewhat surprising then that it's actually a real tight and effective picture. There is a lovely sense of mystery dripping throughout the piece, and it's real nice to see a Hammer film being driven by its characters. Yes we are all desperate to see the "creature" of the title, but this is astutely kept from us by director John Gilling. So when the last quarter arrives and the story unravels its mystery, the impact is doubled, while make up problems be damned, the "creature" is excellent and a nice addition to the Horror genre. The performances from the cast are uniformly strong, particularly from the stoic Ripper, while Don Banks' music is right on the money. Released as the support feature to Rasputin The Mad Monk, The Reptile is a little Hammer gem waiting to be discovered by more people outside of Britain. 8/10


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