The Reptile



It is the turn of the 20th century. In the village of Clagmoor Heath, Cornwall, the locals are dying of what is thought to be the “Black Death”. A new arrival in the village, Harry Spalding, arrives with his new bride, Valerie. He has inherited the cottage from his brother Charles after his mysterious death.

They receive a cold reception from the locals with the exception of pub owner Tom Bailey. Bailey explains that the locals’ show of hostility is due to the number of weird deaths occurring in the community.

Dr. Franklyn, the owner of Well House, is the only resident nearby. He lives with his daughter, Anna, who is attended by a Malay servant. The doctor treats his daughter with cold indifference.

Harry invites “Mad Peter”, a local eccentric, for dinner, hoping to learn something about the strange deaths that have been occurring. Peter warns them that their lives are in danger and then quickly departs. He returns later, his face black and swollen, foaming at the mouth. He then dies. The Spaldings alert Dr. Franklyn, but he tells them that it is not any of his concern. Just what is causing the deaths and does the sinister Dr. Franklyn have anything to do with them?

Tom bailey disinters Mad Peter’s corpse to help Harry clear up the mystery; a strange snake bite wound is found on the neck. Tom and Harry unearth the coffin of Harry’s brother. The same snakebite wound is found.

Harry receives an urgent call from Well House. While there he is bitten by a reptilian creature. He manages to make it home and recovers from the horrific bite.

Meanwhile, at Well House, Valerie witnesses Dr. Franklyn attempt to kill his own daughter. She also sees a struggle between Anna’s Malay servant and Dr. Franklyn. During the struggle, a lantern is overturned and Dr. Franklyn is bitten by his reptilian daughter. Dr. Franklyn dies and Valerie and Harry flee the now burning Well House.




Timeout: Slower and moodier than its companion, The Plague of the Zombies.

Mondo-Esoterica: The Reptile has a strong cast even though none of Hammer’s big names are present.

BritishHorrorFilms: If you ever needed to watch a film to remind yourself why you love this shite, then this is the one to watch. Its superb.



From the Trailer: A new experience in terror! A new dimension in suspense!..Meet in..The Reptile



  • Directed by John Gilling
  • Produced by Anthony Nelson Keys
  • Music by Don Banks
  • Cinematography Arthur Grant
  • Production company Hammer Film Productions



  • The Reptile (1966) was filmed back to back with The Plague of the Zombies (1966) and used many of the same sets.



Noel Willman — Dr. Franklyn | Jennifer Daniel — Valerie Spalding | Ray Barrett — Harry George Spalding | Jacqueline Pearce — Anna Franklyn | Michael Ripper — Tom Bailey | John Laurie — Mad Peter | Marne Maitland — The Malay | David Baron — Charles Edward Spalding | Charles Lloyd Pack — The Vicar | Harold Goldblatt — The Solicitor | George Woodbridge — Old Garnsey