Reptilicus is a snake-like creature with wings and legs, which make him resemble some medieval north European depictions of dragons as serpentine, winged creatures. He has light grey skin and prominent fangs. Most of his body is covered by large scales which provide protection from tank and artillery fire.
A group of miners dug up Reptilicus' tail when they were drilling in Lapland. It was flown to the Danish aquarium in Copenhagen, where it was put in a cold room for study. Due to careless mishandling, the door was left open and the section began to thaw, only for scientists to find that it was beginning to regenerate. The creature was dubbed "Reptilicus" and its regenerating ability was compared to other animals like earthworms and starfish. Once fully regenerated, it went on a rampage across the Danish countryside and into wider Europe, raiding the neighboring cities of Hamburg, Germany and Stockholm, Sweden, before landing in the panic-stricken streets of Copenhagen, the Danish capital.
Reptilicus was eventually hit with a tranquilizer inside his mouth, with the implication that the military could now safely kill and dispose of the creature; but the film ends with a Reptilicus foot severed in a previous military attack was shown twitching on the bottom of the sea, leaving the possibility that the foot could regenerate.
In the American version of his film, Reptilicus can spit neon green acid. Since the decision to add this effect was made in post-production, the acid does not interact with any object or person, making its potency impossible to determine.
In the Danish version of his film, Reptilicus is capable of low-altitude flight. This ability is also demonstrated in Charlton's comic book series.
Reptilicus is able to secrete an oily substance from its body that minimizes the effects of damage from fire. This ability is only mentioned in the film's screenplay and the Danish version, and not directly shown.
Reptilicus possesses incredible regeneration, similar to that of earthworms and starfish, being able to regenerate from a single body part in only a few hours when provided a nutrient bath.
General Mark Grayson, using an M2 flamethrower, was able to easily set Reptilicus ablaze. Had the monster not immediately retreated to the sea, it would likely have perished.
- Reptilicus (1961)
- Gorgo #12 (1961-1965)
- Reptilicus #1-2 and Reptisaurus the Terrible #3-8 (1961-1962)
- Main article: Reptilicus/Gallery.
- Reptilicus was portrayed by a wired marionette.
- In the episode of The Monkees, "I Was a Teenage Monster", Michael flips a switch in the evil Dr. Mendoza's laboratory and inadvertently summons Reptilicus. The monster is portrayed entirely through stock footage, with the addition of steam shooting out of his nostrils. He makes further stock footage cameos in the episodes "Fine a Monster", "Monkee Chow Mein", "Monkees Marooned", and "Monkees Mind Their Manor".
- Producer Sidney Pink tried to get a sequel off the ground 40 years after the original film. The project got as far as a demo created by Gary Dohanish, showing the new CGI Reptilicus flying in the air, but the project was ultimately scrapped when Pink died in 2002. No story details are known.
- The film Reptilicus was the first film to be featured in the 2017 revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return also featured an original villain, a giant robotic dragon named Reptilicus Metallicus, in honor of the premiere episode's movie.
- In the 2012 horror movie Cabin in the Woods, one of the monsters in the Facility is named Reptilicus, although it is supposed to be a generic reptilian humanoid.
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