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The Quatermass Xperiment
The Creeping Unknown / Shock / The Quatermass Experiment / Schock

UK 1955
produced by
Anthony Hinds for Hammer
directed by Val Guest
starring Brian Donlevy, Jack Warner, Margia Dean, Thora Hird, Gordon Jackson, David King-Wood, Harold Lang, Lionel Jeffries, Sam Kydd, Richard Wordsworth
screenplay by Richard H. Landau, Val Guest, based on the BBC-tv-serial by Nigel Kneale, music by James Bernard, conduted by John Hollingsworth, special effects by Les Bowie

Quatermass, Hammer's Quatermass, Quatermass (Brian Donlevy)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A spaceship, which professor Quatermass (Brian Donlevy) has launched into space, crashes onto earth, & when Quatermass & company open it, one of the crew, Caroon (Richard Wordsworth) has miraculously survived, while the other 2 crewmembers have miraculously totally disappeared.

Inspector Lomax (Jack Warner) of Scotland Yard thinks it was murder, so he & Quatermass soon investigate, only to learn there's something much bigger behind it. It seems the rocketship has passed through some flare, by which the 2 crewmembers were disintegrated, while Caroon put into a state of shock. Btu it isn't even as simple as that, at first Quatermass & Lomax find out that Caroon's fingerprints do not match anymore, later it turns out his DNA might not be quite human anymore either, but an alien intent on taking over the world ...

But while Quatermass & Lomax are still nvestigating, his wife Judith (Margia Dean) has hired small time crook Christie (Harold Young) to help her husband escape from the hospital he's held at. Christie however does not survive the assignement, before Caroon is out of the hospital, he sucks al the lifeforce out of Christie.

Soon Caroon escapes his wife too, & goes on a murdering spree around the city, /& with each person he murders he turns less & less human. Finally he takes refuge in Westminster Abbey, by now being a giant blob with tentacles ... which is when Quatermass figures the only way to get rid of the alien Caroon has turned out to be is to electrocute him ... & so he, with the help of the army, does.

But while everyone else is celebrating the disposal of probably earth's biggest threat, Quatermass already plans his next mission into space.

 

Quatermass Xperiment, itself the remake of a popular BBC-tv serial (click here), was the film that put Hammer Films - a small independent studio which had been founded in the late 1930's & had since found a niche in producing cheap b-fare - on the map for good & would pave the way for future things to come. The film itself is a tense little sci-fi-thriller, cheaply made but a tad more intelligent & effective than comparable fare from America (even if the monster in the end looks more like a laundrybag & not in the least scary), & Brian Donlevy's performance as the tough-as-nails, ruthless scientist is just priceless.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
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Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD