Hammer Chooseday #7:The Reptile

The Reptile (1966) 5/5

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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.

"Get your claws off me, I'm not that kind of girl."

“Get your claws off me, I’m not that kind of girl.”

A favourite scene is the sudden, hissing, appearance of the reptilian Anna, behind an unsuspecting Harry, which is startling.

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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.

"I thought you was going to show me around the kitchen?"

“I thought you was going to show me around the kitchen? Where’s all the, erm, food?”

Poor Pearce was claustrophobic, and hated wearing the monster make-up, vowing never to do so in any future role again.

"I've..got to..wear..what?"

“I’ve..got to..wear..what?”

"THATH IT!  THITH ITH DEFINETLY THE LATH TIME!!!"

“THATH IT! THITH ITH DEFINITELY THE LATH TIME!!!”

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?

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There must be something in the Cornish water.

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4 thoughts on “Hammer Chooseday #7:The Reptile

  1. Well, I’ll be! I just saw one of the stills from that movie (the first one you used) this morning, in a book on the history of horror films.

    Ever since “The Uninvited,” I’ve liked scary movies set in Cornwall.

    Liked by 1 person

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