Professor Quatermass, trying to gather support for Moon colonisation his project to colonize the Moon, is intrigued by the mysterious traces that have been showing up on his radar - meteorites crashing down?. Following them to the place where they should be landing he finds a destroyed village, a mysterious factory too close to his designs for the Moon colony for comfort, and some strange, aerodynamic objects containing a mysterious, ammonia-based gas that infects one of his assistants. Officially, the factory is producing synthetic food; but despite the veil of secrecy surrounding it Quatermass succeeds in finding out it harbours aliens with deadly designs on the Earth... Second in Hammer Films' trio of screen versions for Nigel Kneale's classic 1950s BBC serials, with the same director and star as 1955's "The Quatermass Experiment". Written by
Jorge Mourinha <email@example.com>
The asteroid could not orbit as said. Short distance orbit implies several revolutions per day, while staying in Earth's shadow implies to revolve once per year, thus orbit about as far as the sun. See more »
The second of the Quatermass films (the first was THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT, the "X" used to emphasise the adult X-rating the film received on its initial release) was allowed a slightly larger budget and benefited enormously from Nigel Kneale's participation in the screenplay. In this film, at least Brian Donlevy behaves a little more like Quatermass ought to, though I still don't think he was right for the part.
For my money, Quatermass should be a pipe-smoking English boffin with leather patches sewn on the elbows of his jacket. The original character was conceived as a kind of Barnes Wallis type, as portrayed by Michael Redgrave in THE DAM BUSTERS.
The movie is set in a post-war Britain that was a little panicked by the idea of nuclear weapons and even more unsettled by the knowledge that our former allies, The Soviets, had the same weapons and they were pointed at us. This was the climate that gave us Orwell's 1984 and Don Siegel's INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. Paranoia was out to get us ...
This same atmosphere lasted well into the 1960s and can also be glimpsed in TV shows like THE AVENGERS. This was the era I grew up in, so I speak from personal experience :-)
This movie is one of Hammer's better offerings of the period. Released the same year as CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, it more than holds its own against the other, better-known Hammer colour offerings. Indeed, it benefits from its monochrome photography, which brilliantly communicates the austerity of the years immediately following WWII.
Thoroughly recommended, this film will appeal to anyone who can get beyond the admittedly primitive 1950s special effects to be rewarded by the rich and clever story that lies beneath the slightly dodgy veneer ...
11 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?