A missile, launched by the team led by Prof. Quatermass, lands in the English countryside. Of the three members of the crew, two have mysteriously disappeared. The third one, barely alive, ... See full summary »
A missile, launched by the team led by Prof. Quatermass, lands in the English countryside. Of the three members of the crew, two have mysteriously disappeared. The third one, barely alive, undergoes an horrible metamorphosis turning into a monstrous "thing". When he breaks out and, chased in vain by inspector Lomax, starts killing humans and animals to feed his transformation, Quatermass realizes that this is the way chosen by an alien form of life to invade the Earth. Written by
Stefano Cristiani <email@example.com>
The film achieved a degree of notoriety Stateside when in 1956 the parents of Stewart Cohen attempted to sue the Lake Theater and distributors United Artists for negligence after their nine-year-old son died of a ruptured artery in the cinema lobby at a double-bill of this and The Black Sleep. Cohen entered the Guinness Book of Records as the only known case of someone literally dying of fright at a horror film. See more »
Volkswagen Bus en route to the crash site is not the same Volkswagen Bus that arrives through the gate at the crash site. VW badge is larger, chrome trim is missing and license plate is different. See more »
Dashingly good sci-fi film with a strong stench of horror
Well written and terminally fascinating British sci-fi thriller from director Val Guest and writer Nigel Neale. It is a film of big ideas and planet-sized concepts that stares up into the unknown with a combination of wonderment and dread.
Originally a highly popular TV series, it spawned two excellent sequels and decades of creative Hollywood pilfering.
Brian Donlevy is wonderful as Quatermass, a scientist with the bullying manner of a military drill Sargent and a fierce, pragmatic streak. After a rocket that he sent into space crashes back to Earth, Quatermass and unofficial partner-in-crime Inspector Lomax (Jack Warner) uncover a bizarre alien conspiracy in which a surviving astronauts's body has been "borrowed" by extraterrestrials keen on relocating.
Director Guest gives the drama a no-nonsense, almost documentary feel. The special effects are perfectly acceptable for the period and the brooding sense of mid-century paranoia is well conveyed.
The hero is the script, though. The dialogue is fresh and colourful and writers Guest and Neale always keep the scientific jargon interesting. All the characters are believable and the performances are top notch.
Despite the fact that James Bernard's solid score is a little overbearing at times, this is a dashingly good science fiction film with a strong stench of horror.
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