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31 Monstrous Failures #15: Reptilicus

October 15th, 2011 No comments

While Japan’s kaiju output is unparalleled, other countries have suffered their own giant monster attacks over the years. England withstood Gorgo, South Korea survived Yongary, and Hong Kong fended off The Mighty Peking Man. But, I can hear you ask, “What of the Danes?”

Denmark was by no means untouched by the goliaths. In 1961, it faced the slithering horror known as…

Reptilicus!

There were actually one or two neat ideas that went into the conception of this Danish beastie. A bloody hunk of reptilian flesh was brought to the surface by a drilling operation. Unchecked, the meat regenerated into a colossal, prehistoric serpent with relatively smallish talons and seemingly decorative wings. (Actually, the latter did work, but we’ll come to that in a moment.) While resistant to conventional firepower, Reptilicus boasted the ultimate defensive mechanism: blowing it to bits would result in each chunk growing into a complete new creature.

The creature also had a signature offensive weapon in the form of green, acidic mucus that it could spit at long distances. Many a Dane was dissolved that day.

All of this was undercut by some truly appalling special effects work. The puppet snake itself was unconvincing. Humans gobbled up by Reptilicus were obvious cartoon drawings. And then there were the flying sequences, which were so bad (even by the production’s low standards) that the American distributor cut them entirely.

The final shot of the film was of a blown-off limb twitching with life at the bottom of the ocean, awaiting a sequel that would never come.