Reptilicus is 1961 Danish-American giant monster film about a prehistoric reptile. The film was produced by American International Pictures and Saga Studio, and separate versions were released in Denmark and in the United States.
The original Danish-language version was directed by Danish director Poul Bang and released in Denmark on February 25, 1961.
The American version, which was in English with a nearly identical cast, was directed by the film's American producer-director Sidney W. Pink; this version was initially deemed virtually unreleasable by American International Pictures and had to be extensively reworked by the film's Danish-American screenwriter, Ib Melchior, before being finally released in America in 1962. Pink was angry at the changes and wound up in a legal dispute with AIP. After Pink and others viewed the English-language version, the lawsuit was dropped.
Danish miners Svend Viltorft dig up a section of a giant reptile's tail from the frozen grounds in Lapland, where they are drilling. The section is flown to the Danish Aquarium in Copenhagen, where it is preserved in a cold room for scientific study. But due to careless mishandling, the room is left open and the section begins to thaw, only for scientists to find that it is starting to regenerate.
Professor Otto Martens, who is in charge of the Aquarium, dubs the reptilian species "Reptilicus" (upon a reporter's suggestion) and compares its regeneration abilities to that of other animals like earthworms and starfish.
Once fully regenerated from the tail section, Reptilicus goes on an unstoppable rampage from the Danish countryside to the panic-stricken streets of Copenhagen (including one of its famous landmarks, Langebro Bridge), before finally being killed with poison by ingenious scientists and military officers.
However, the monster's foot is not destroyed and sinks to the bottom of the sea. The movie is left open-ended, with the possibility that the foot could regenerate.
- Carl Ottosen as General Mark Grayson
- Ann Smyrner as Lise Martens
- Mimi Heinrich as Karen Martens
- Asbjørn Andersen as Professor Otto Martens
- Bodil Miller as Connie Miller (Danish version)
- Marla Behrens as Connie Miller (American version)
- Bent Mejding as Svend Viltorft
- Povl Wøldike as Dr. Peter Dalby
- Dirch Passer as Peterson
- Ole Wisborg as Captain Brandt
List of deaths Edit
List of deaths in Reptilicus.
|Name||Cause of Death||Killer||On Screen||[Collapse] Notes|
|Dr. Peter Dalby||Eaten||Reptilicus||Partially||Suicide|
|Professor Otto Martens||Heart Attack||N/A||Yes|
|Police Chief Hassing||Acid||Reptilicus||Yes|
|Reptilicus||Shot||General Mark Grayson||Yes|
American theatrical release poster by Reynold Brown.
Filming took place in several locations in Denmark, including Copenhagen, Sjælland, and Jylland. Several versions were filmed, the original film was filmed using the native Danish language and the second was filmed using the English language. Each version of the film featured the same actors speaking in English with the exception of Bodil Miller who was replaced by actress Marlies Behrens since the Danish actress could not speak English. However the English version of the film was heavily edited and the actors voices dubbed over by American International Pictures for its release in the United States.
Release and reception Edit
As Denmark's first and only giant monster film, this film has a cult following in its home country. Sidney Pink attempted to produce a remake of the film in 2001, due to the box office hit of Godzilla in 1998, before his death in 2002.
The film received mostly negative reviews from American critics, it currently has a 29% "Rotten" rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 7 critical reviews and a score of 37% from users.
Home media Edit
The American version of Reptilicus was released on DVD on April 1, 2003 by MGM Home Entertainment under the 'Midnight Movies' banner. The Danish version was released on DVD from Sandrew Metronome (Denmark) in 2002. On June 16, 2015, the film was released in the Blu-ray format by Scream Factory as a double feature with the 1977 film Tentacles.
Novelization and comic Edit
A novelization of the film was released in paperback at the time of its original release (Reptilicus by Dean Owen (Monarch, 1961).
In 1961, Charlton Comics produced a comic book based on the film. Reptilicus lasted two issues. After the copyright had lapsed, Charlton modified the creatures look and renamed it Reptisaurus. The series was now renamed Reptisaurus the Terrible and would continue from issue #3 before being cancelled with issue #8 in 1962. This was followed by a one-shot called Reptisaurus Special Edition in 1963.
In 2012, Scary Monsters Magazine reprinted the Reptisaurus the Terrible series as a black and white collection called Scarysaurus the Scary.
Further reading Edit
- Dean Owen: Reptilicus (Monarch Books, 1961)
- Sidney W. Pink: So You Want to Make Movies (Pineapple Press, 1989)
- Robert Skotak: Ib Melchior - Man of Imagination (Midnight Marquee Press, 2000)
- Nicolas Barbano: Twice Told Tails - The Two Versions of Reptilicus, in Video Watchdog #96 (2003)