Reptilicus is one of the few Kaiju who originate from a nation other than Japan. This serpent-dragon can trace his origins to Denmark, of all places. He’s the one and only Danish monster to star in his own movie. The 1961 release chronicles an attack by Reptilicus on the city of Copenhagen. AIP issued an American version of the movie, but deleted scenes showing the monster flying, supposedly because the special effects looked less than convincing. In place of the flying scenes, AIP added a sequence where the monster spews green acid slime from its mouth.
Reptilicus is a prehistoric beast brought back to life when some miners find a portion of its tail frozen underneath the Arctic tundra. Taken back to Copenhagen for scientific study, the monster promptly regenerates itself and goes on a rampage destroying buildings and terrorizing the public. It not only can fly but also swim. And its scales are impenetrable, so it deflects tank and missile attacks.
Perversely, the movie has built a cult following because it is completely rank, with some of the planet’s worst special effects. Repticilus isn’t a suitmation monster like Gozilla or Mothra, but a wired marionette, whose movements are hideously herky-jerky. As the BadMovies.org review puts it, “The horrid beast is fantastically amusing, its mouth barely moves and most of the effects are easily recreated with a two dollar rubber snake from the toy store filmed in slow motion.”
I won’t reveal how Repticilus is finally laid to rest, but he’s disposed in a way that foretells a possible sequel. Fortunately or not, the hinted sequel never materialized.
Tomorrow’s featured monster: Rodan