Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Quatermass 2 (1957)

Director: Val Guest

Starring: Brian Donlevy, John Longden, Sid James & Bryan Forbes

More Info: IMDB

Tagline: A horrible enemy from the unknown strikes terror across the earth!

Plot: Dr. Quatermass is the director of an important scientific base, where he builds nuclear rockets for the colonization of the Moon. A strange fall of meteorites in a nearby village leads to the discovery of a huge base under a strict military control, officially a factory of artificial food. The shrewdness of Quatermass reveals that the factory is the place chosen by the aliens to conquer the Earth: they come in the form of an alive gas hidden in the meteors and to live in our atmosphere they use the human body taking the control of the brain. The courage of Quatermass and the launch of of his nuclear rocket against the asteroid of the aliens save the Earth.

My Rating: 7/10

Would I watch it again? yup

#2 on Hammer Horror (1957-1976)

After a long line of popular sci-fi/horror films from the USA that featured alien invaders and giant radioactive monsters, the Hammer Studio in the UK followed up their successful THE QUATERMASS XPERIMENT (1955) with this one, aka ENEMY FROM SPACE.

Donlevy returns as the titular character; why, I don't know. I didn't care for his stint in the first film and he's just as out of place here. He does OK, sure, but he seems to have one mode and that is urgency. He does a great job at conveying "DAMN IT, PEOPLE, THERE'S NOT TIME!" almost to a fault. Maybe it's because he's one of the few Yanks surrounded by Brits...you know, the ones who invented acting. He didn't stand a chance.

And boy, does he not know how to treat a lady. It's either telling them to get him some coffee or to get out of the way.

"She was in my way so I sent her off to get me some coffee!"

The real star is the rapid fire pacing, following close behind with the excellent creepy score by James Bernard (man, I just dig this cat's sound!), neat models and sets (they made great use out of a Shell oil refinery) and story. It's never really dull.

Slap in someone a little less goofy in the Quatermass roll and you've got yourself a better flick. Together, with the original film, you've two of the better sci-fi/horror pictures to come out of the 1950s. The best part about it is I've been hearing the third film in the series, QUATERMASS AND THE PIT (1967) is the best of the bunch. Can't wait.

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