The Reptile (1966) 5/5
Harry (Ray Barrett) and Valerie (Jennifer Daniel) move to a Cornish village after inheriting a cottage from Harry’s recently deceased brother. They soon discover that the brother’s death was one of several attributed by the locals to the ‘Black Death.’
In their dealings with sinister neighbour Dr.Franklyn, whose attitude towards his own daughter, Anna (Jacqueline Pearce), is contemptuous, it soon transpires that the root of the epidemic is actually Anna herself, who is cursed to transform into a snake-like creature.
Surely the local folk should have thought of that first? Yokels.
A favourite scene is the sudden, hissing, appearance of the reptilian Anna, behind an unsuspecting Harry, which is startling.
Hammer favourite, the splendidly named Michael Ripper, is on hand to help the good guys out. Speaking of splendid names, there is a character in the film called Mad Peter, who ends up foaming at the mouth, his face blackened and swollen, which made him madder than ever.
Oh yeah-he dies.
Poor Pearce was claustrophobic, and hated wearing the monster make-up, vowing never to do so in any future role again.
I enjoyed this film: it is atmospheric and has a climatic ending, despite the death of Anna being somewhat unsatisfactory. It was shot back to back with The Plague Of The Zombies, also set in a Cornish village, and so shared many of its sets.
Cornwall:you just wouldn’t move there, would you?