The Reptile (1965)

Article #1777 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-25-2006
Posting Date: 6-24-2006
Directed by John Gilling
Featuring Noel Willman, Jennifer Daniel, Ray Barrett

After the death of his brother, an army man and his new bride move into the home formerly inhabited by his sibling, only to discover a that a series of strange deaths are occurring in the vicinity.

Long before I ever got a chance to actually see this movie, I remember running across stills of the snake woman from it and thinking how hokey the makeup looked. Therefore, when I finally got a chance to see the movie, I didn’t expect a very convincing monster. I found myself very surprised at how good the makeup looked in the actual movie, and I’ve always felt a rather warm feeling about the movie since.

As a result, I still like this movie. The atmosphere is quite strong, and it does generate a fair amount of suspense; in fact, it even had one of those rare moments that made me jump when I watched it. The plot isn’t the strongest; I’m never quite sure why the snake woman attacks people at the time she does, nor am I sure what the Malaysian is trying to accomplish at this point in the proceedings, and having the snake woman speak in English towards the end was a miscalculation. Nonetheless, I like many of the touches of the movie, and it was nice to see Michael Ripper in a more extensive role than he was usually given. I wouldn’t say it was one of the best Hammer horrors, but, for some reason, it remains one of my favorites.


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