You'd have to be pretty desperate to enjoy this cheesy Danish monster flick, imported by American International Pictures in 1962 to capitalize on Japan's barely-better Godzilla movies. The titular beastie begins as the fro... more »zen tail of a prehistoric reptile, discovered when a scientific drill hits a bloody mass of monster flesh buried deep in the Lapland tundra. The tail is accidentally thawed (echoes of The Thing) and regenerates into a massive demon-lizard that spits fluorescent green ooze and terrorizes Copenhagen! Padded with archival military footage and stampedes of panicking Danes, the movie's too earnest to be campy (save for some funny hamming by the science lab's handyman) and too cheap to qualify as a guilty pleasure, with special effects that make rubber-suit romps like Godzilla look masterful by comparison. By the time an unwitting army general says, "It's a good thing there are no more like him," you may find yourself wishing he was right. --Jeff Shannon« less
"Imagine what an Ed Wood movie would be like if he had a large budget and government support, including shutting down a major city and the used of the Armed Forces. Yes - THIS is what you'd get! Sid Pink got his ticket punched when he made "Angry Red Planet", which single-handedly saved AIP's bacon. Sid travelled to Europe looking for distributors for "Angry Red Planet", and met Danish film wheeler-dealer Henrik Sandberg, who invited him to Copenhagen, and the rest is history. His AIP bosses gave him the go-ahead for a monster pic that would feature the "beauties of the Danish countryside". Pink also had permission to block off Copengahen's main square whenever he wanted, plus all the unpaid extras he could use. (In one scene, a local bicyle club rides their cycles off of a raising drawbridge for no other reason that it would look neat!) Even the Danish Army and Navy were at Pink's disposal: tanks, cannons, and a cutter throwing live depth charges. Just to keep interest up, a Danish-language version was filmed at the same time as the English. Ann Smyner, a Danish actress, got top billing but SHE looks ridiculous in a jaw-dropping array of "country girl"-style dresses that make Mary Ann look like Ginger. Mimi Heinrich, another Danish ingenue, comes across MUCH better. Carl Ottosen, a Dane whose English was about as good as my Uzbek, plays the American general who takes over the Danish military (obviously HE got dubbed in). The entire cast seems to have learned their lines phonetically, giving them the aspect of having been recently thwacked in their collective heads by a two-by-four. But all this pales when the marionette "Reptilicus" comes into it's own. Only "The Giant Claw" can boast of a sillier-looking monster - this thing is downright pit-i-ful.And yet - how can anyone resist this glorious mess? An entire scene devoted to a local singer belting out "Tivoli Nights" as the monster approaches the city, not as filler, but because Pink was so much in love with Copenhagen! A dirt-dumb janitor who decides to stick his arm in an aquarium just to see if that eel really *is* electric (and yup, it is....). You can catch scenes of this astonishing movie in old episodes of "Beverly Hillbillies" and "The Monkees", among others. In it's way, it came to symbolize the entire zeitgeist of 60s drive-in/cheapo monster movies, but I assure you, it wasn't for lack of money or logistical support. This one must stand as perhaps the purest example of NO TALENT. Riff away!"
IF YOU LOVE CAMPY DINOSAUR MEETS MAJOR EUROPEAN CITY MOVIES
Heather L. Parisi | St. Augustine, FL USA | 09/27/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Well, why not? In 1951, Manhattan and Coney Island in NYC met "THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS", Tokyo met "GODZILLA" in 1955, "THE GIANT BEHEMOTH" and "GORGO" visited London in 1959 and 1961, so why can't Copenhagen and "REPTILICUS" celebrate Tivoli Nights in 1962?
ANSWER: They can and did, but no one seems to want this pairing on their dance card.
Sidney Pink, direct from his astronomical epic adventure hits of the previous 5 years ("The Angry Red Planet" and "The Seventh Planet"), was poised for a meteoric launch into movie-making and the right atmosphere was provided by Denmark, particularly within the city of Copenhagen. It was even filmed in Pathe Color, following Pink's oddball effect of having everything in red for the Martian scenes of "The Angry Red Planet", but something was a bit off.
OK, everything was a bit off. The American General running the show was Danish actor Carl Ottosen who for some reason angrily barked every line he had without any apparent reason. The whole production looked dubbed-in -- because it was. Reptilicus was found in an arctic mountain copper prospecting rig in the lapland, yet the lush vegetation and the prospectors' lack of the usual arctic attire said otherwise.
There was too much of such unbelievable stuff and mindless dialogue, including distracting, over-the-top physical comedy by a maintenance man [Peterson]. Peterson [film name & real name] was in the film while Reptilicus was in an "embryonic incubating state" for the purpose of warning the police when Reptilicus made his inevitable dramatic escape. This midnight escape occurs during a thunderstorm which, according to the scientists, may have "electrically charged the air" leading to an acceleration from Reptilicus's "embryonic incubating state" into his Godzilla state. With all the commotion and build-up, what we finally saw was a Reptilicus that looked like a child's rubber bathtub toy --not a rubber ducky, but a rubber Reptilicus with funny little water wings. It was kind of cute, actually. Until this point, however, we the viewers could forgive the weak plot, dubbed-in actors, and renditions of Tivoli Nights which played like a rejected "I LOVE COPENHAGEN" commercial. But a dinosaur monster movie needs a believable dinosaur to help the viewer suspend his/her disbelief. When I saw the "Rubber Water-Winged Reptilicus", I knew that was not to be.
What followed was actually what one would expect. They chased the dinosaur around until American General Grayson [Carl Ottosen] scared Reptilicus back into the sea by donning a hand- held flamethrower after artillery and tanks had failed. Then we waited while they went to Tivoli for some very boring entertainment and renditions of "Tivoli Nights".
Again, this Godzilla wanna-be did have some new and improved dino-monster tricks. He regenerated himself after he was hurt so you could not just whistle up a squadron of R.A.F. bombers and turn him into a Tivoli Fish-Fry because you would have lots of Giant Rubber Water-Winged Reptilicuses in just two weeks. Also, he had an "acid-slime" which he vomited at people who were shooting at him. Then they were simply covered with animated slime and run out of the picture.
It was after his second return and regeneration that I noticed our "Rubber Reptilicus" had yet to be in a frame with any people. The animation and puppet-scale monster really made this effect quite difficult and certainly would have looked ridiculous. Still, it really hurts the movie when the monster and the people are not in the same shots.
Once again, they have some useful ideas like destroying the monster by first putting him to sleep and then worrying about destroying him in one piece later. Ottosen again helped out, this time toting a bazooka with the sleepy-time stuff inside the warhead. We even watched the General make it himself! A shot in the mouth is what this overtired lizard needed, for apparently that is the only place the bazooka would penetrate Reptilicus. I guess they saw "THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS" but it was a wound in the neck made by a Bazooka in that monster flick that did the trick, paving the way for a rifle grenade loaded with radium. Probably if the Danes had the neat subtitle- or language-option feature that their DVD now has they might have gotten that one right.
Anyway, you'll have to see this epic to see how it all ends and whether there are ever any scenes where Reptilicus and people are in the same shot.
ABOUT THE DVD: The cover is pinkish so that you won't lose it and you won't forget Sid Pink who directed, produced and wrote the story and screenplay. The transfer is actually excellent and they give you the usual "Scene Selector" feature and a decent "Reptilicus" Trailer. The disk plays in English or French and you can add French or Spanish subtitles. This is a Region 1 DVD [made for U.S. machines] with a Dual Layer transfer and it does look and sound very sharp.
I have watched this movie since it came out in 1962 probably fifty times, although I can't recall having seen it in the theatre. It is for me, a die-hard monster movie fan, a must-have rather than a must-see. The other dino-monster movies I mentioned earlier are all much better than this one in almost every way, but if you have not seen this one it won't hurt and it will only take 82 minutes. There is no profanity or gore. Simply put, if you like the old creature features, then this is a great DVD transfer of a sub-average film of this rather petite genre."
pleisget2net | Copenhagen/Denmark | 06/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Oh well.Living in the ruins of once was a frosty, nordic version of Plesentwille, I may be quite inhabil to give a truthfully review about the dokosoap of CPHdestruktion.The sad facts is, this film is the very reason why danish films forever after is doomed to dwell among the chruel shaddows of realism!Cant understand why Reptillicus failed to hit blockbusterlevel: Exellent acting ( If you could understand the exact dialog and level of voices your feet would crumble), super special effects ( if you blink very fast you almost can't see that the monster is manuvered around the streets on top of a constructionvagon!) and even SINGALONG-SONGS!!! Whoa! This was a strict demand from Scala studio ( a former major danish moviestudio who amazeing enough produced the movie ) cause in 1940-70 there had to be songs in EVERY danish film.
The "funny-carakter" in the movie is, belive it or not, the most fameos danish comedian at that time, and they had to put him in the movie, horrorfilm og not!
The film flopped totally, and at Scalastudio you litterelly speaking got fired to mention this film! True!But anyway, patriot or not, I love this silly film. Just the scene from "Langebro" ( name of the bridge that goes up ) is a masterpice. Lots of totally unpripered ekstras ( not stuntmen, mind you!) is going faceforward down the icy wather, no safty just do it. Yep, welcome to the nonexisting stuntschool of Denmark!So dont mind my lousy spelling, just run to get it, your view of monsterfilms will never be the same again!
I saw it on the big screen when I was 10 . . .
Chris Senske | Kennewick, WA USA | 08/10/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The 3 stars is for sentimental reasons. It scared the daylights out of me when I was a kid. Yes, it was in the day when you could ride your bicycle on a 10 mile ride as a 10 year old with your mother not knowing about it, end up at the State theater in the middle of the city and see a matinee for four bits. When done with the 10 cent Dots, 25 cent soda and popcorn, you and your buds could speculate about the mysterious and terifying ending for hours on end. Even though it is a horrible movie by today's standards, it was on the big screen and as I recall the theater was full. It was a great way to spend a summer afternoon in air conditioned splender. Sure this would be a good candidate for Mystery Science Theater 3000, but it still is one of those Movies that reminds one about a purer and simpler time and famous freinds no longer seen. "EEEEH! REPTILICUS!""
Jmark2001 | Florida | 07/21/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I didn't even know that Denmark had a film industry! If you like cheesy sci-fi films (and I do, especially when I am on summer vacation), this will be right up your alley. The fact that almost everyone in it looks Nordic and speaks with a heavy Danish accent and that you get a mini-travelogue of Copenhagen in the middle of the movie, only adds to its uniqueness. The Danish janitor does a scandinavian equivalent of stepin fetchit, complete with bug eyes. There are actually a few impressive scenes, such as thousands of Danes running throught the streets from the monster. As movies go, it stinks. As bad movies go, it is fun. Check it out."