Watched: September 24 2017
Director: Val Guest
Starring: Brian Donlevy, Jack Warner, Margia Dean, David King-Wood, Thora Hird, Richard Wordsworth
Runtime: 1h 18min
As a young couple laugh randomly in a field, a rocket comes crashing down from the sky. Emergency services arrive shortly after but are unable to do anything with the space craft other than wait for it to cool down.
Enter Professor Quatermass (Donlevy) – a scientist with little patience, no respect for so-called authorities, and no time for nonsense. He is the brains behind the semi-successful space launch, and he is worried about the crew after they lost radio contact for 57 hours. And rightly so – when they finally open up the ship, two of the three astronauts have vanished, and the only remaining crew member is in a state of shock.
The survivor, Victor Carroon (Wordsworth) is transferred to a hospital after he fails to make any progress, but his wife Judith (Dean) has the brilliant idea to kidnap her non-responsive, traumatized and possibly infectious husband and get him out of there.
With their subject missing, Quatermass and Dr Gordon Briscoe (King-Wood) find out some ugly truths about his condition, and they must hunt Carroon down before he manages to kill and/or infect too many others. The future of the planet is at stake!
We’ve never seen this one before, although we have seen the two surviving episodes of the 1953 BBC show on which is was based. It was good to finally get some closure and find out how this all developed.
This is a great sci-fi horror, which obviously inspired shows like Doctor Who, although the effects are now a little bit dated (not that we care about that stuff – we are masters at suspending our disbelief!). The stages of Carroon’s transformation are still very good, and also very sad.
We can’t wait for the other two Quatermass films – we loved the shows they’re based on and can’t imagine the films being anything less than amazing.
What we learned: Outer space is scary.
Next time: Bigger Than Life (1956)