The Reptile (England 1966)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 5/21/05
Cast: Noel Willman, Ray Barrett, Jennifer Daniel, Jacqueline Pearce

Except for the ridiculous horror makeup of the title creature, this is a fun and satisfying horror romp from Hammer Studios. A man and his wife inherit a quaint cottage in Cornwall after the mysterious death of Charles Spalding. Unfortunately, they do not receive a warm welcome and strange things are happening in the household of Dr. Franklyn (Noel Willman) across the moor. When another man dies of the same mysterious causes, Harry Spalding (Roy Barrett) and the town barkeep start an investigation which leads them down a deadly trail of Far East mysticism.

As you would expect from a Hammer production, the colors are vivid and the sets are wonderful to behold. The costumes and period feel also add an element of dignity and grace. All of the actors do a fine job, and the tragically beautiful Jacqueline Pearce is quite captivating. The film looks like it was shot back-to-back with "Plague Of The Zombies" (1966), which features the same sets and locations, as well as the lovely Ms. Pearce. An elegant horror film that serves as a reminder of years long past.