horror: The Reptile

The Reptile

Before she became Sevalan in Blake’s Seven, Jacqueline Pearce appeared in a couple of Hammer movies. In The Reptile she played Anna Franklyn who transformed into the titular monster.

The makeup

The makeup was not one of Roy Ashton’s better efforts though apparently he apparently had more pre-production time than was normal with Hammer. In some of the publicity stills but not in the movie the Reptile featured a forked tongue

Roy Ashton was quoted on the makeup in Greasepaint and Gore which confirmed my suspicions on the mask’s construction:

I made the basic mask from laminated paper to be built around the head of the artist … To suggest the scales I took a discarded Boa Constrictor’s skin and made a female cast of this in plaster and upon curing it gave me a perfect skin material with all the marvellous patterning intact … The makeup for The Reptile took, I should say, one hour to apply from start to finish. I made the eye pieces with lenses built in. They were separate so that I could fit them just before each take so there wasn’t too much discomfort for the artist while she was waiting about.

When Jacqueline Pearce was interviewed some years later she did not have fond memories of the makeup:

It took a long time … I remember mostly how restricting the makeup for ‘The Reptile’ was to work in … It was not fun. It was very painful and claustrophobic.