Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

REPTILICUS


REPTILICUS (1961). Director: Sidney Pink.

In Lapland a mining engineer, Svend (Bent Mejding), discovers the remains of some animal on his drill bit. It turns out to be the tail of a prehistoric creature, which is taken to a lab in Copenhagen. It develops that the creature can regenerate itself, like a starfish, and it isn't long before the city has itself a 90 foot long problem. Not only is Reptilicus huge and carnivorous (popping a poor farmer into its mouth at one point) but it spits corrosive acid-slime and has scales that resist bullets and missiles. The script for Reptilicus isn't bad, the early sequences are creepy and suspenseful, but the movie is nearly done in by fairly wretched special effects work. The mostly Danish actors are more than competent with Carl Ottosen making a suitably gruff and grim general in charge of destroying the monster. [Though why he would take Svend the mining engineer with him in his jeep is a little inexplicable.] Singer Birthe Wilke sings "Tivoli Nights" in a nightclub sequence. The monster's front arms are so small that most people think Reptilicus has no limbs at all! The beast is a little nastier-looking than The Giant Claw but almost as silly.

Verdict: Watch out for that acid! **1/2.

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