Professor Quatermass is trying to perfect a dangerously unstable nuclear-powered rocket engine. After a disastrous test firing in Australia, his soon-to-be son-in-law, Captain John Dillon, ... See full summary »
Professor Bernard Quatermass, Director General of the British Experimental Rocket Group, launches the first manned space flight from Australia. A malfunction sends the rocket and its three ... See full summary »
In the near future, civilization has broken down to the barest fragment of recognizable life. Young people are forming gangs and dominating the wrecks of cities like London. But the ... See full summary »
A separate screenplay by Nigel Kneale for theaters, parallel to the 1979 Quatermass four part mini-series. The story set in the near future involves influences from outer space that are possessing people. Professor Quatermass must save his granddaughter from the clutches of a popular and sinister cult "Planet People" that "performs raptures".
Young workers are dying because of a mysterious epidemic in a little village in Cornwall. Doctor Thompson is helpless and asks professor James Forbes for help. The professor and his ... See full summary »
In the countryside of London, a rocket crashes on a farm and Professor Bernard Quatermass and Scotland Yard Inspector Lomax arrive in the spot. The rocket was launched by Prof. Quatermass with the astronauts Victor Carroon, Greene and Reichebheim; however only Carroon is found very sick in the cabin. He is transported to a private clinic to stay under observation despite the protests of his wife Mrs. Judith Carroon. She bribes a nurse to bring Carroon to her and she finds that he is transforming into a monster. Carroon escapes, killing people and animals during his metamorphosis while the Scotland Yard is hunting him down and Dr. Quatermass discovers that his process is an alien invasion.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The original onscreen title of this film was The Quatermass Experiment, as it should have been, of course. Only contemporary posters advertising the film gave it as .....Xperiment, undoubtedly only to emphasise the fact that it had been granted an X certificate by the BBFC. The BBFC's website confirms this fact. The onscreen title was probably changed for the film's reissue or its issue on VHS and DVD, for some obscure reason. See more »
At the crash site, in the engine compartment of the VW micro bus , there is radio equipment instead of an engine. See more »
The original 1955 "Quatermass Xperiment" print has the closing caption "The End"; the reissued version (with a still bearing the new title "The Quatermass Experiment" inserted into the opening credits) replaces this with "A Hammer Production Produced at Bray Studios". See more »
After the enormous success of the BBC mini-series of the same name, Hammer Studios, which at the time were specialising in supporting features, swooped in to action a feature film adaptation. This being the first horror film they produced, The Quatermass Xperiment can be labelled as the birth of Hammer horror, and for that we are truly thankful. The surprising thing is, for all it's B-movie clunkiness and 1950's science-babble, Quatermass has stood the test of time. It's a serious, occasionally thrilling, and undeniably entertaining little picture.
After a rocket ship holding three astronauts crash-lands in the English countryside, Professor Quatermass (Brian Donlevy) arrives with his troupe of investigators and fellow scientists. After they open the hatch, they find two of the pilots vanished, and only one - Victor Carroon (Richard Wordsworth) - barely survived. He is taken in for treatment, and watched over by Dr. Briscoe (David King-Wood), who notices his skin taking an oily form. But Carroon's wife wants her husband back and smuggles him out of the hospital, where he escapes into London, absorbing any lifeforms he comes across.
Writer Nigel Kneale apparently disapproved of Donlevy's rather prickly performance as Quatermass, but I feel Donlevy (who was apparently sozzled throughout the entire shoot) is the reason Quatermass works so well. Rather than simply being your average scientist, Quatermass is a subtle madman, waving away procedure and safety in the name of science, playing God because he has the brains to do so. The film also works thanks to some impressive special-effects work, and a stoic Wordsworth in a performance and role that surely became the framework for Christopher Lee's Monster in Hammer's The Curse of Frankenstein (1957).
It's a short, snappy piece that moves along nicely, never getting too caught up in the science and wholeheartedly embracing the fiction. There's also a fine humour that prevails throughout the film, especially in the scenes involving Jack Warner's brilliantly sarcastic Inspector Lomax. It seems silly now to think that the film received the dreaded 'X' certificate back in 1955, but Hammer deliberately aimed the have the film stamped with this rating (as reflected in the 'Xperiment' of the title). This willingness to dare the audience to be scared had them flocking to see it, and, of course, the rest is history.
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