‘Reptilicus’ (1961): The Only Danish-American Giant Monster Movie

Not only is Reptilicus an early 1960’s Danish-American giant monster movie, it’s apparently the only Danish giant monster movie. How does it hold up?

To start with, my first exposure to Reptilicus was through the Mystery Science Theater 3000 revival of April 2017. As one might expect, the new guys at MST3K made fun of the movie (which is sort of their job). This being the case, any critique of Reptilicus may be a bit biased in their direction thematically. Nevertheless, I sort of enjoyed the movie, as it harks back to my days as a young lad watching Godzilla, and other such fare.

So, what the hell is Reptilicus? What potentially sets it apart from other giant monsters? The answer lies in its regenerative abilities. When miner Svend Viltorft (Bent Mejding) discovers the creature, it isn’t a full-sized giant at all. Rather, it’s a severed section of its tail, and it produces gross blood and flesh.

As one might expect, this well-preserved specimen is brought to a lab for scientific study. Initially, they had the tail frozen, but the lead scientist, Professor Otto Martens (Asbjørn Andersen) royally screws up and unthaws it. Before long, it’s determined that the creature has incredible regenerative abilities, and is compared to earthworms and starfish. Well, Reptilicus continues to grow and grow, and without much provocation, it decides to go on a rampage (way to debunk giant creature stereotypes, Rep!).

Reptilicus, looking fabulous.

In the process, Reptilicus delivers plenty of standard monster movie elements, such as the prevalence of military officers, and how they team up to save the day. Also, the special effects are certainly laughable, such as the green slime that is obviously some dumb animation technique. Still, it’s not vastly inferior to the lovable rubber suit Godzilla, or the splendid tiny twins doing Mothra incantation chants. Oh, and who could forget about Godzilla’s son, Minya (AKA Minilla)?

Image result for minya animated gif
Anyone saying Minya’s scary is just blowing smoke up your ass.

The final verdict? Reptilicus is an enjoyable film, but for all of the wrong reasons. While I would advise watching this with the MST3K commentary, it could probably stand on its own for those who are into that sort of thing.

And so, if you have a giant movie monster marathon, you may want to give a nod to Reptilicus. (As a side note: Why aren’t there any movies about giant, killer earthworms and starfish? Oh well…)


About wadewainio

Wade is a wannabe artist and musician (operating under the moniker Grandpa Helicopter), and an occasional radio DJ for WMTU 91.9 FM Houghton. He is an occasional writer for Undead Walking, and also makes up various blogs of his own. He even has a few books in the works. Then again, doesn't everyone?

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