You know giant monster movies are getting to be back in vogue when an obscure 40-year old monster comic is getting dusted off as the basis for a brand new creature feature. Don’t feel bad if you’ve never before heard of Reptisaurus because the monster was the subject of a short-lived Silver Age comic published by the long defunct Charlton Comics back in the hay day of giant Japanese monster movies. The comic only ran for seven issues from 1962-1963. I’d say that’s pretty darn obscure. Only reason I even know of it is because I actually bought a really beat-up old issue of “Reptisaurus The Terrible” at a garage sale when I was a kid.
In the comic, Reptisaurus was a giant, winged, reptilian, island-dwelling, havoc-reeking monster that was worshipped by the ancient Aztecs who believed it to be the embodiment of their god Quetzalcoatl. It’s kind of hard to read a Reptisaurus comic, at least the issue I own, and not find yourself wondering if it in some way inspired Larry Cohen when he crafted Q, The Winged Serpent. The movie version of Reptisaurus will be your basic tale of soldiers on an island being terrorized by a giant monster, nothing more fancy that that. Look for Gil Gerard (TV’s Buck Rogers) in a guest starring role.
The low budget production marks the directorial debut of Chris Ray, the son of legendary B-movie maestro Fred Olen Ray. The proud papa broke news of Reptisaurus on the message board of his Retromedia website, including posting the accompanying still of the computer generated monster. I must confess I am a tad disappointed that the movie’s Reptisaurus won’t be a blood red color like the Reptisaurus of the comics.
Reptisaurus is actually being produced, not by Fred Olen Ray, but by David Sterling, producer of many Z-grade fright flicks such as Pirates of Ghost Island, Tower of Blood, The Curse of Lizzie Borden, Studio 666, Alien 3000, and several others I’ve seen, reviewed, and will try not to hold against him.
In what can only be considered a fitting example of the B-movie cycle of life, Reptisaurus initially started out as a Charlton Comics adaptation of the 1961 Danish giant monster flick Reptilicus, but after two issues the tie-in aspect was scrapped and from its ashes Reptisaurus The Terrible was born, which now, 40+ years later, is being adapted into a new feature film.
Hopefully, this Reptisaurus will be anything but terrible.
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