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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I first saw this film once when I was about five or six years old on TV. Because the film had location shooting at an oil refinery, for years I was always reminded of this film when ever I drove past one, wondering if something sinister was going on inside those tanks. However, soon after I first saw this film, QUATERMASS 2 (or ENEMY FROM SPACE-as it was called here in the USA), was pulled from distribution for various legal reasons, and this film was for years impossible to view. Then the film was released from its legal limbo in the mid eighties and I purchased a video copy as soon as it came out.
Unlike so many hard to view films that have been promoted as "a long lost classic", that often turn out not to live up to their reputations when finally viewed again*, QUATERMASS 2 truly deserves its reputation as a rediscovered lost classic. It is one of the best British science fictions films from the fifties.
The films acting and direction are uniformly good. The black and white photography is excellent and the film has an excellent musical score (although sometimes the music is a bit too loud.) The scene where the giant aliens burst from the domes is one of my favorite scenes in a fantastic film. Its like something out of a nightmare: the dome begins to crack, like a giant egg, and emerging from is not a cute little chick, but a hideous malignancy. The gloomy dark gray lighting enhance this scene. However, the aliens that emerge, while gross and repulsive looking when viewed for the first time, begin to look a tad bit silly after repeated viewings.
Perhaps one of the most interesting thing about this film when viewed today, is the films story has many similarities to the "Area 51" mythology. In the film there is government owned plant where everything is top secret, it gets unlimited tax payer funding, but no one in the government dare asks whats going on. This sounds lot like what we are told about the so-called "Area 51." I'm surprised " psycho/social reductionists" like Curtis "Watch The Skies" Peebles overlooked this film. Then again, maybe we are lucky they have.
QUATERMASS 2 is an excellent fifties science fiction that should be more widely shown. Like the other films in the famous "Quatermass" series, its literate, suspenseful and thrilling.
*Sometimes the films promoted as "long lost classics" aren't even lost!
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