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Monday, February 17, 2014

Review: REPTILICUS (1961)

Reptilicus (1961).

I'll go first:
A Danish-American co-production, this movie is pretty standard for standalone monster movies of that era.  Someone accidentally finds monster, scientists get involved, monster goes nuts, military kills monster.  The end. 
In this case, drillers find a prehistoric animal tail deep underground and scientists take it to an aquarium to study it.   
Shortly thereafter, an inexplicably angry general is assigned to guard the aquarium and lead the detail.  His anger is briefly tempered thanks to a seven-minute-long tour of Copenhagen and song from some Danish woman. 
Also, the scientists hired a moron in overalls to be a night watchman.  Even after the general takes over the aquarium duties, the guy is still there.   
It ends up being a great piece of misdirection because we're sure that this dope is going to somehow free the monster, right?  No.  He doesn't. 
In the Danish version, he does have this musical number, though: 
The monster with the oddly vague name is a marionette.  It's reminiscent of Manda, but with wings.  And tiny, tiny, useless arms.  The presentation of the puppet varies wildly.  I would guess that it was filmed one way, but the footage was slowed down or somehow altered for many shots.  This makes some of the monster scenes feel really strange and cheap.  In other places, the marionette looks pretty cool.  I particularly like it when it's drooling all over the place. 
Not spitting.  No.  The spitting stuff was added later, obviously, and looks horrible.
In fact, other than about a third of the Reptilicus stuff, all of the special effects look bad. 
The characters are terribly forgettable, except for the angry general and moron watchman.  And the movie drags and drags for a long while before anything happens.  The titular beast doesn't show up until forty-one minutes in.  Ugh. 
Reptilicus ... it could've been cooler than it is.  2 out of five atomic breath blasts.
My son's turn:
Well, this one had Cheesy for lunch, Cheesy monster power effects, cheesy actors with cheesy jokes, so, cheesy everything!!! 
So, rating wise, i'll say 1.779 out of 5,000 Atomic Breaths of Awesomeness!!!
Here's the trailer:

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