A small village is plagued by a black death that is brought on by a mysterious creature that strikes in the night, and it is up to a newcomer and the town's barkeep to drive out the poison that is quickly diminishing the town's population. This tale is one of two films (PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES being the second) that served as a critical response to British colonialism in to India, with the creature's attacks serving as a form of retribution for the social and political influence that was forced upon the eastern world. While it is much smaller in scope to many of Hammer's other productions, the dimly lit sets, atmospheric exteriors, and brooding score make for a sinister mood. The creature design is impressive for the time outside of a pair of googly eyes, but it is made all the more frightening by Pearce's serpentine figure and movements. THE REPTILE also lacks the star power of the other Hammer greats, but this actually acts in its advantage, with the small cast offering believable low-profile performances that suit the cramped village setting. This entry is an atypical creature feature with unusually high production values for the B-Movie plot.
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