BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

The Reptile (1966) - Blu-ray Review

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Reptile (1966)

Something is amiss in Cornwall.  When the dark settles in, so too does a dangerous epidemic that has its victims foaming at the mouths and left with strange markings on their necks.  Is it a bite?  Or something worse?  Whatever it is, the remote Cornish village of Clagmoor Heath will never be the same and it has everything to do with the dark and demented family secret of the sinister Dr. Franklyn (Noel Willman, The Vengeance Of She).

" the set design is superb, proving to be a rich example of Hammer’s strengths in production."


The Reptile, directed by John Gilling (Plague of the Zombies) is the fourth in a series of horror films that made up Hammer’s original first experiment: film four movies using the same cast, same locations, and same crew.  As all the other films had gone over budget, it was important – no, imperative – that The Reptile come in on budget and on time.  It did just that and, while maybe not as successful as the other Hammer productions, The Reptile and its lead performance from actress Jacqueline Pearce (in crazed creature make-up noless) is unforgettable.

Harry Spalding (Ray Barrett, Terror From Under The House) wants to know the truth in his brother’s death.  He travels with his new wife (Jennifer Daniel, The Kiss Of The Vampire) to Clagmoor in order to learn what happened and discovers that, while mostly unwelcome by the town, some curses are self-fulfilling.  He doesn’t for a second believe that his brother died from some sort of black death (as the townspeople call it), but he soon discovers that, yes, there is something out there affecting the people of the town. 

The disease is gross. And it creeps on suddenly, leaving them with ashen faces, greenish slime on their foreheads, lots of gurgling noises, and with a strange substance pouring out from their mouths.  Poor Mad Peter (John Laurie); he’s the first to fall victim in front of Harry’s eyes. But, upon witnessing it, Harry can’t deny that something is happening to the townspeople.  Can he save them from whatever Evil that this is, though? Reptile (1966)

With the town in a panic and being most unfriendly to Harry and his wife, The Reptile documents what happens when decent people go snooping about into one family’s secret.  The acting throughout the movie is serviceable (except when it concerns Pearce as she knocks it out of the park with a madness that is as fierce as it is dedicated), but the set design is superb, proving to be a rich example of Hammer’s strengths in production.

Earth to earth. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. The Reptile is back to bury us all in the crust.

4/5 beers

Reptile (1966)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- July 30, 2019
Screen Formats: Aspect ratio: 1.66:1, 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The new 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack, is a beauty of color photography.  The grain level is perfect.  The details are crisp and there’s no flaw in the 1080p picture.  It. Is. Golden.  The film is shadow-heavy and the transfer holds thick lines in place.  Nothing bleeds.  It is surprisingly clean given the age of the film, without any over-processing lending the picture an artificial appearance.  The film is still allowed to breathe and retains a level of grain that ensures an authentic and credible appearance.  Even the darkest of scenes are rarely problematic, with the blacks proving extremely solid and lighter colors visually stunning.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There is a fascinating commentary from Film Historians Steve Haberman, Constantine Nasr And Ted Newsom that fans are certainly sure to enjoy.

Special Features:

This release is loaded with bonus material and it begins with two different presentations of the movie., one in 1.66:1 and the other in 1.85:1.  Fans also get a NEW interview with the film’s assistant director and a NEW commentary. 

  • NEW Interview With 1st Assistant Director William P. Cartlidge
  • The Serpent's Tale – The Making Of The Reptile
  • World Of Hammer – Wicked Women
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spot
  • Still Galleries

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3.5/5 stars

Reptile (1966)

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
90 mins
Director
: John Gilling
Writer:
Anthony Hinds
Cast:
Noel Willman, Jennifer Daniel, Ray Barrett
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
Half woman - half snake!
Memorable Movie Quote: "This is an evil place."
Theatrical Distributor:
Twentieth Century Fox
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 6, 1966
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 30, 2019
Synopsis: A deadly epidemic is spreading through the remote Cornish village of Clagmoor Heath. As darkness falls, its victims are found foaming at the mouth with savage wounds on their necks. After his brother falls prey to the "black death," Harry Spalding (Ray Barrett, Terror From Under The House) travels with his new wife (Jennifer Daniel, The Kiss Of The Vampire) to Clagmoor to investigate his sibling's mysterious death. With little help from the unfriendly locals, Harry follows a trail of clues that leads him to the sinister Dr. Franklyn (Noel Willman, The Vengeance Of She), the doctor's strange, but beautiful daughter (Jacqueline Pearce, Doctor Who) ... and a horrific family secret.

Reptile (1966)

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