The Reptile (1966)

Director: John Gilling

Writer: Anthony Hinds (Screenplay)

Starring: Noel Willman, Jennifer Daniel, Ray Barrett, Jacqueline Pearce, Michael Fipper, John Laurie


Plot: In a Cornish village, various locals die from mysterious snake bites, but the coroner rules the deaths as heart attacks, until a family of newcomers starts an investigation.

Tagline – What strange power made her half woman – half snake?

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Tamer Hammer Horror


Story: The Reptile starts when Harry (Barrett) and Valerie (Daniel) inherit Harry’s cottage after his mysterious death in a small Cornish Village. The couple move down hoping to live down there, only to learn that the location has a collection of deaths which just don’t make sense for the victims.

After another mysterious death, Harry starts investigating just what is happening, which sees him looking at the neighbour Dr Franklyn (Willman) who has a daughter that he is very controlling over.


Thoughts on The Reptile


Characters – Harry Spalding is looking to move into his late brother’s cottage in Cornwell, he sees it as a chance to get away from the city with his wife, but he isn’t convinced his brother died from heart failure, he isn’t welcomed into the village by the locals and once he starts looking into what happened, he starts to learn the disturbing truth about what is going on. Valerie is the wife of Harry, she meets Dr Franklyn first and is the one that get concerned about the well being of his daughter, wanting to help. Dr Franklyn is the neighbour that the town is fearful off, he is controlling of his daughter, with his action being the truth about what is happening in the village. Anna is the daughter of the Doctor, she acts like she is being held hostage by her father, wanting to get free, only she has a secret too.

PerformancesWe have Noel Willman that brings us a creepy character that does seem away from the world that he is part of, holding a secret. Jennifer Daniel, Ray Barrett work well as a couple well being the ones entering into the world like the audience. We get the typical cast you would see in this type of film.

StoryThe story follows a couple that move to a Cornish cottage after one of the relatives dies suddenly only to discovery a mystery about the local area. Like most of the Hammer horror this is how we bring a new character into a horror going on, when it comes to being new to the area, we also generally get the unwelcoming locals with just one filling in the information. Watching the story unfold it does go in the direction you would expect without being anything that we haven’t seen from the genre before. The story does a good job hiding what the big reveal which is a pleasure to see the truth.

HorrorWhen it comes to horror we wait to see just what is going on, we get the creepy build and most happening in the dark, this could work for horror, though we don’t get enough shock early on.

SettingsThe film is set in the location of a small Cornish village which has a tight community that doesn’t want to let new people in, where people can have secrets.

Special EffectsThe effects here are practical and they do add to the horror once you get to see what the creature is.

Scene of the Movie –
The creature is seen.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is slightly too slow for the horror moments to make an impact.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the typical styled Hammer Horrors, it doesn’t offer much new and follows the formula without slipping into the bad selection.


Overall: Simple Hammer Horror.




The Evil of Frankenstein (1964)

Director: Freddie Francis

Writer: Anthony Hinds (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Cushing, Kiwi Kingston, Peter Woodthorpe, Sandor Eles


Plot: Upon returning to his home village to continue his experimental research, the destitute Dr. Frankenstein revives his old creature, but a hypnotist wants the monster to control for himself.

Tagline – The monster bred from a dozen corpses.

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Hammer Horror 101


Story: The Evil of Frankenstein starts when Baron Frankenstein (Cushing) returns home with Hans (Eles) to create his next monster, he finds a carnival in town which makes it easier for him to get around and see what has changed in his time away from the village.

While in hiding from the locals that learn of his return, Baron discover the body of the original creature (Kingston) frozen, he takes it back to his castle to bring it back to life once again, turning to hypnotist Zoltan (Woodthorpe) to help command him, only he has his own ideas on what to use the creature for.


Thoughts on The Evil of Frankenstein


Characters – Baron Frankenstein is tired of his work being interrupted, he needs equipment which takes him home to use his old castle, he isn’t happy with how the village is operating now, but will continue his work even if the person he turns to for help only makes his life more difficult. Zoltan is the hypnotist that is being run out of the village, he gets recruited by Baron to help control the creature, he soon starts using his own motives to control the creature to eliminate the people that got in his way. Hans is the loyal partner of Baron who helps him through his experiments without questioning him. The Creature has been frozen for years and now it is free again to follow instruction not from Baron, but from Zoltan.

PerformancesPeter Cushing is the icon of Hammer Horror and this shows why, he can make himself the strongest member of nearly any cast, this is no different. Kiwi Kingston as the creature is an imposing presence on the camera, while Peter Woodthorpe shows strength as the hypnotist with his own agenda.

StoryThe story fits into the Hammer Horror style of film making, lets just keep making sequels to our strongest movies, this is the third of seven which shows that we still us events of the first films and try to build around it with what to do with the creature that is different from before and we get a nice enough spin on where to go. This time we focus more on the battle between Baron and Zoltan for control of the creation while it goes on to scary the people of the village. This doesn’t however give enough time to the creature which is one of the main drawing points.

HorrorThe horror in this film comes from the creature which shows us just how it terrified the local village, though it doesn’t feel as scary as it should be.

SettingsThe film returns to the main village setting which shows us just how the people will never forget what they once saw.

Scene of the Movie –
The creature attack.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough of the creature.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid sequel that showed us just how the hammer horror system worked, just cash in on the names that work well.


Overall: Hammer horror system working well.