The Reptile Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 29, 2012
This is what happens when you move to Cornwall. A couple move into a cottage left to them by the man's deceased brother. But when they arrive they find that mysterious deaths plague the quiet countryside. This film was fantastic fun, and looked stunning on Blu-ray. There are a series of interesting characters, especially the Dr. Franklyn, who is very abrasive and cold, but all for good reason. You get a real sense, thanks to Willman's performance, that there is a kind and considerate man trying to get out. The make-up is amazing and the monster is very unsettling to look at. I believe this may be my first real Hammer film that I've seen and I can't wait to watch some more. Chilling, fun, and also a bit camp around the edges.
Super Reviewer
October 9, 2010
more strange goings on in the cornish countryside. the reptile builds good suspense with plenty of spooky atmosphere but the creature itself is a bit of a letdown. cheers to hammer for featuring a female monster tho :)
Super Reviewer
½ April 16, 2009
As with most Hammer horror, it's dated but still an enjoyable watch. If you can forgive the bad make up effects, they were on a budget after all.
Super Reviewer
½ April 1, 2012
Made back to back with 'Plague of the Zombies' this uses many of the same sets and a couple of the actors. Like Zombies both Lee and Cushing are sadly missing from this Hammer film but there isn't really a decent part for them to get their teeth into. The monster is only really seen in short bursts but the repurcussions of her bite are some nasty looking corpses. It'd good to see Ripper getting a decent amount of time in the limelight and most of the acting here is pretty solid. Laurie steals the honours as Mad Peter but is killed off too quickly. The make-up for Pearce is pretty good but she isn't as effective here as she is in Zombies. The one thing that struck me was that the film was nowhere near horrific enough and I found myself getting a little bored.
Super Reviewer
½ November 7, 2007
This is one of Hammer's better films, albeit quiet unknown in the world of horror. I can see why though. Not because it is a bad film, but it does not come with any Hammer star power or scream-queens, the film is a tad similar to A Plague of Zombies and the creature in this film may be typical Hammer material but arguably the most obscure and therefore quite laughable in parts.

However, the rest of the film stands in the tradition of fines British old school Horror film making, a remote village in the countryside (Although Cornwall has never been that puny as it is portrayed in the film), distrusting villagers, an old manor, a murky moor, lots of lush, grave-digging and lovely costumes.

The story is simple but supported by the basic human interest of a man questioning the circumstances of his brother's death, works fine. The film is less spectacular and action oriented than some other Hammer films and crawls along with a slow but entertaining pace, throwing titbits of information to the protagonist and his wife.

Towards the climax, the scope and the weirdness factor goes a bit out of hand and it is all rather formulaic, that is, if you know other Hammer Horror films and it lost me there but the spooky and creepy atmosphere is enough to make this one entertaining.

Another thing that annoyed me quite a bit is the character of Dr. Franklyn's manservant, a mysterious man from India - which probably was enough in the sixties to make a proper English Gentleman scared but I think it feels goody and outdated to include a foreigner to explain the nightmarish ongoings. Maybe it fits into the historic context of the film, but I did not like that.

The cast is solid, no big leaps of talent here, Noel Willma gives a steady performance until the film calls for him to step it up and he is clearly more of a subtle actor, if anything.

A hidden gem for fans of the genre, British horror and of course Hammer Horror films. All others might be irritated by the slow pace and lack of hands-on gore.

½ February 12, 2012
Great under-utlized title creature with a lame origin story. Plus the creepy snake handler Malay clearly has a more Egyptian/Indian feel than any south Asian Borneo jerk. Still. He makes a good shadow creeper, even if her goes out like a punk. A lot of insulted townsfolk streaming out of pubs, MOORS, and the same sets and grave disturbing as in PLAGUE OF ZOMBIES (which was filmed back to back with this one). Jacqueline Pearce shines while playing the sitar, seeing that alone was worth the awful mewing of the black kitten. Stay for the pub keeper's navy beard and the scenes of domestic intrigue during a terribly awkward dinner party!
December 20, 2011
Pure Hammer formula flick about a girl cursed to turn into a snake and bite people on the neck. If you like non-Dracula Hammer Gothic horror, you'll be entertained by this, too. Bonus points for some of the cheeziest creature make-up in history. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll hiss and get a hankering for live rabbit. Nom nom nom.
½ November 29, 2013
A slightly above average attempt from Hammer and a good watch for fans, but with a few less tricks up its sleeve than some of of its similar aged relatives making it by far from one of the best.
February 7, 2014
Another mid-60s entry from Hammer Films (one of a series of movies, including Plague of the Zombies, that was filmed back-to-back using some of the same sets, cast, and crew). You can expect the usual creepy atmosphere and attentive art direction. After a mysterious death before the opening credits, the suspense builds and builds - in fact, pretty much the whole film is just about the central characters trying to figure out what is going on in this desolated Cornish town. Michael Ripper is very charismatic as the helpful publican. The final act wherein we discover what Dr Franklin has brought back with him from India (or further east?) is actually pretty weird, which raises my rating (naturally!). I won't spoil it for you.
October 18, 2012
While not as effective as Hammer's other horror films, it more or less works. An average flick.
½ April 15, 2012
definitely one of my favourites.haunting score great location and super monster.great late night viewing
½ July 27, 2009
Good fun.

Shot at the same time using the same sets as The Plague Of The Zombies.
July 2, 2008
I never could get into Hammer films. This one was fair. I thought the production looked cheap, the acting was sub-par and the story far-fetched and rather lame.
½ October 4, 2005
?The Reptile?
Starring: David Baron, Jennifer Daniel, Noel Williams, and Michael Ripper
Director: John Gilling

Another Victorian-styled horror movie from Hammer Films, this one revolves around a retired military officer and his wife (David Baron and Jennifer Daniel) who inherits his brother?s cottage in a small Cornish village after the brother dies under mysterious circumstances. When he moves there with his wife, he discovers that there has been a rash of deaths and that all of them can be attributed to a rare poisonous animal found only in remote India. The obvious purpetrator behind these dastardly deeds to the reclusive doctor of theology (Noel Williams) who has made a career out of studying obscure religions in the Far East and who keeps his daughter a virtual prisoner in their manor house. But throw in a mysterious swarthy fellow, the daughter?s strangely hypnotic effect on her father when she plays the sitar, and things are a little less clear. Will the newly arrived couple?s only ally in the area (Michael Ripper) help them stop the spreading evil before it consumes them all?

?The Reptile? is the most strongly gothic in genre of all the Hammer horror flicks. There?s the ogre-like father and the oppressed daughter; there?s the mysterious Outsiders who are bringing a corrupting influence to wholesome British society, and there are curses and victims and victimizers who may not be what they seem. It?s a well-mounted film that contains several moments of genuine chills.

?The Reptile? would have gotten an 8-Tomato rating if not for the inexplicable over-acting displayed by all the principles in the first half of the movie; inexplicable because the leads in the film director John Gilling helmed immediately prior to this one (?Plague of the Zombies", which even used many of the same sets) was blessed with beautifully restrained performances that made the film even creepier and more believable. It?s even odder because Michael Ripper gives the same type of understated performance he did in ?Plague.?)

As the film evolves, the over-blown performances start to fit with the tenor of the going-ons, but they seem so out of place early in the film that it?s an irritant. The movie?s resolution is also a bit weak, with the title creature going down without much of a fight. The combination of the overacting in the first reel and the shaky climax were enough to knock off a Tomato. Still, it?s an entertaining film if you enjoy Hammer-style movies or gothic tales.
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