Kaiju of the Month: REPTILICUS!

REPTILICUS_(3)

Reptilicus is a Danish movie, so I’ve slipped you a fast one, here. I really like the design of the monster, which also goes against the Kaiju norm of big, bulky costumes. Reptilicus is brought to life–if you can call it life–by means of a wired marionette.

The movie was produced by American International Pictures and Saga Studios, and is upon close examination two distinctly different films helmed by two different directors.The original version, which was shot in Danish was directed by Danish director Poul Bang, was 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.

In Reptilicus, miners in the tundras of Lapland discover a frozen chunk of a tail belonging to some unknown prehistoric creature. The specimen is taken to an aquarium in Copenhagen, the resident scientist gets more than he bargained for when the tail regenerates into a giant, acid spitting monster that terrorizes the countryside. Reptilicus, as the monster is dubbed, has nearly impenetrable armored skin,can shoot acid from its mouth, and can fly. The Danish military attempts to hunt down the seemingly unstoppable monster and destroy it. Finally,with the help of ingenious scientists, they kill the creature with poison,but its foot is not destroyed and ends up on the bottom of the sea. Due to the monster’s regenerative abilities,the movie is left open-ended, because of the possibility that the foot could grow into another creature.

reptilicus3

Reptilicus, spindly marionette on a rampage.

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