Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Reptile (1966)

Director: John Gilling

Starring: Noel Willman, Jennifer Daniel, Ray Barrett, Jacqueline Pearce, Michael Ripper, John Laurie

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Half woman - half snake!

Plot: When his brother Charles Spalding mysteriously dies, Harry Spalding and his wife Valerie decide to move to the inherited cottage in a small village in the country. They are coldly received by the locals, with the exception of the bartender and owner of a pub Tom Bailey, who welcome them. His weird neighbor Dr. Franklyn, who lives with his beautiful daughter Anna, tries to persuade them to sell the house and leave the place, but the couple decides to stay. Harry and Valerie find that the locals are being killed by some snake and they feel threatened. When Anna asks for help and they trespass Dr. Franklyn's house, they find the horrible truth hidden in the place.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? Probably. Maybe. I'm not sure. Yeah. Wait.

#30 on Hammer Horror (1957-1976)

What's to like? The cast, particularly the always enjoyable Michael Ripper, the music (James Bernard), and the rich Gothic atmosphere. What hurts it? The somewhat slow second half and the feeling that you've seen this story told by Hammer before on more than one occasion. I liked the film but you've really got to be in the mood for this one, one of the lesser Gothic Hammer horrors of the 60s.

I've become a real big fan of character actor Michael Ripper after seeing him do great things in this picture and with THE MUMMY'S SHROUD (1967). He's not just a familiar face anymore. I now recognize him as the damn fine actor he was.

When Mad Peter showed up (played by John Laurie) it was killing me that I knew this guy from somewhere. Then it hit me. He was in the great, classic British TV comedy, DAD'S ARMY (1968-1977). He was fantastic in this picture. Between he and Ripper, this movie is certainly worth seeing...that is unless you think the Hammer horror pictures are boring as hell. If that's the case, stay away from this one.

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