The Reptile

The Reptile ★★½

Languid Hammer potboiler in which a retired army captain and his wife move out to Cornwall to the cottage left behind by his brother when he died mysteriously... In fact, something is killing off a fair few of the locals and, if the title and the poster art didn't tell you exactly what, then you might be in for a better time than most non-lobotomised people.

It's a real shame with a few of these Hammer movies that the solution to the mystery (what is killing the village folk?) is often revealed in the title. It just leaves you watching a bunch of stuffy old suits babbling on while you wait for the reptile to appear.

Still, that's not to say it's completely without merit. Jacqueline Pearce provides top class "Hammer Glamour" and gives a good turn as the daughter of the sinister local doctor. And the reptile make-up, when it finally arrives, is awesome. There may well be a message in here somewhere about colonialism but any progressive tendencies are lessened somewhat by the nameless Malay character, who lurks in the background looking evil and making it very obvious that he's in a mystical eastern snake cult...

I dunno. It's perfectly watchable but if you've seen any of these second-tier Hammer creature features, you've seen 'em all.