Continuing my exploration of this Hammer box set with The Reptile from 1966, directed by John Gilling.
A couple inherit a charming cottage in a village where people are dying from a mysterious black death. With the help of the ever reliable, and ever present, Michael Ripper they investigate and find that a local doctor may be hiding a dark secret about his daughter and a strange curse they have brought back from India.
Jacqueline Pearce who would go on to play the sinister Servalan in Blake's 7 provides some youthful beauty as the daughter before she has to don the rather poor Reptile make up in her were-snake transformation. Apart from that there's a fair bit of digging up bodies to try and find out how they died, before the secret is revealed and the big house goes up in smoke.
It's a brave attempt by Hammer to create their own monster myth but it's all a bit dull and the revealed Reptile is just not very scary. Apart from Michael Ripper the cast are fairly anonymous and it all drags a bit to its 90 minute ending. A mere two out of five Indian sitars and on to the other picture that was shot on the same sets at the same time, Plague of the Zombies.