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Danish theatrical poster
Directed by Danish version:
Poul Bang
English version:
Sidney W. Pink
Written by Ib Melchior
Sidney W. Pink
Starring Carl Ottosen
Ann Smyrner
Mimi Heinrich
Music by Sven Gyldmark
Cinematography Aage Wiltrup
Edited by Sven Methling
Edith Nisted Nielsen
Distributed by American International Pictures (USA)
Saga Studios (Denmark)
Release dates
  • February 20, 1961 (1961-02-20)
Running time
81 min.
Country Denmark
United States
Language Danish
Budget $100,000[1]

Reptilicus, a giant monster film about a fictional prehistoric reptile, is a Danish-American co-production, produced by American International Pictures and Saga Studio, and is—upon close examination—two distinctly different films helmed by two different directors.

The original version, which was shot in Danish, was directed by Danish director Poul Bang and released in Denmark on February 25, 1961.

The American version, which was in English with a nearly identical cast, was directed by the film's American producer-director Sidney W. Pink; this version was initially deemed virtually unreleasable by American International Pictures and had to be extensively reworked by the film's Danish-American screenwriter, Ib Melchior, before being finally released in America in 1962. Pink was angry at the changes and wound up in a legal dispute with AIP.[1] After Pink and others viewed the English-language version, the lawsuit was dropped.[2]


Danish miners Svend Viltorft dig up a section of a giant reptile's tail from the frozen grounds in Lapland, where they are drilling. The section is flown to the Danish Aquarium in Copenhagen, where it is preserved in a cold room for scientific study. But due to careless mishandling, the room is left open and the section begins to thaw, only for scientists to find that it is starting to regenerate.

Professor Otto Martens, who is in charge of the Aquarium, dubs the reptilian species "Reptilicus" (upon a reporter's suggestion) and compares its regeneration abilities to that of other animals like earthworms and starfish.

Once fully regenerated from the tail section, Reptilicus goes on an unstoppable rampage from the Danish countryside to the panic-stricken streets of Copenhagen (including one of its famous landmarks, Langebro Bridge), before finally being killed with poison by ingenious scientists and military officers.

However, the monster's foot is not destroyed and sinks to the bottom of the sea. The movie is left open-ended, with the possibility that the foot could regenerate.

there was a second one, a fun little tune from the night watchman, Peterson, played perfectly by the late Dirch Passer Enjoy the "Reptilicus Song" with your kids, you'll have a great time! I'm sure it was all the rage in Denmark in 1961!


American International Pictures theatrical poster for the U.S release of Reptilicus. Artwork by Reynold Brown


Filming took place in several locations in Denmark, including Copenhagen, Sjælland, and Jylland.[3] Several versions were filmed, the original film was filmed using the native Danish language and the second was filmed using the English language. Each version of the film featured the same actors speaking in English with the exception of Bodil Miller who was replaced by actress Marlies Behrens since the Danish actress could not speak English. However the English version of the film was heavily edited and the actors voices dubbed over by American International Pictures for its release in the United States.[4]


As Denmark's first and only giant monster film, this film has a cult following in its home country.[4] Sidney Pink tried to get a sequel/remake made, back in 2001 due to the box office hit of Godzilla in 1998, before his death in 2002.

The film received mostly negative reviews from American critics, it currently has a 29% "Rotten" rating on the film review website Rotten Tomatoes based on 7 critics and a 37% from audience members.[5]

Novel and Comic[edit]

A novelization of the film was released in paperback at the time of its original release (Reptilicus by Dean Owen (Monarch, 1961)).[4]

In 1961, Charlton Comics produced a comic book based on the film. Reptilicus lasted two issues.[6] After the copyright had lapsed, Charlton modified the creatures look and renamed it Reptisaurus. The series was now renamed Reptisaurus the Terrible and would continue from issue #3 before being cancelled with issue #8 in 1962.[7] This was followed by a one-shot called Reptisaurus Special Edition in 1963.[8]

In 2012, Scary Monsters magazine reprinted the Reptisaurus the Terrible series as a black and white collection called Scarysaurus the Scary.[9]


The American version of Reptilicus was released on DVD April 1, 2003 by MGM Home Entertainment under the 'Midnight Movies' banner.[10] The Danish version was released on DVD from Sandrew Metronome (Denmark) in 2002.


  1. ^ a b Mark McGee, Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures, McFarland, 1996 p168-169
  2. ^ Mike White (2013). Cinema Detours. pp. 135–. ISBN 978-1-300-98117-6. 
  3. ^ "Reptilicus (1961) - Filming Locations - IMDb". Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Reptilicus (1961) - Trivia - IMDb". Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  5. ^ "Reptilicus - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Rotten Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "GCD :: Covers :: Reptilicus". 
  7. ^ "GCD :: Covers :: Reptisaurus". 
  8. ^ "GCD :: Covers :: Reptisaurus Special Edition". 
  9. ^ "SCARYSAURUS #1 - Reprint Book". 
  10. ^ "Reptilicus (1961) - Company credits - IMDb". Retrieved 25 August 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]