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February 20, 1961

Reptilicus is a 1961 Danish-American giant monster film about a prehistoric reptile. The film was produced by American International Pictures and Saga Studio and separate versions were released in Denmark and in the United States.

The original Danish-language version 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.After Pink and others viewed the English-language version, however, the lawsuit was dropped.

Storyline

Danish miner Svend Viltorft digs up a section of a giant reptile's tail from the frozen grounds in Lapland, where he and other miners are drilling. The section is flown to the Denmark's 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 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). The monster is finally rendered unconscious by a sedative developed by ingenious scientists and shot into its mouth from a bazooka fired by Gen. Grayson.

However, the film is left open-ended. A final shot shows one of Reptilicus' legs, which had been blown off earlier by the Danish Navy's depth charges, sitting on the sea floor, raising the possibility that it could regenerate into a new Reptilicus.

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