The Quatermass Xperiment (alternately titled The Creeping Unknown) is a 1955 Hammer science fiction film that had one major production handicap—it was made in 1955. The story has potential—three astronauts go out in space (a whole 1600 miles out), their spacecraft returns, but there’s only one astronaut aboard, and he’s in pretty bad shape (perhaps this inspired 1977’s incredibly awful The Incredible Melting Man). In trying to discover what happened to the other astronauts and what is happening to the survivor, scientists and the London Metropolitan Police encounter what may very well be an alien life-form intent on invading Earth.
In 1955, Hammer Films did not have the budget or the technology that would allow The Quatermass Xperiment to fulfill its potential. Instead, it is a slow-moving vehicle that revolves around a man who mutates into a cactus that mutates into a blob-like entity. Brian Donlevy stars as the insufferably arrogant Professor Bernard Quatermass, a man so out-of-touch he declares the space mission a success (after all, the ship went out, and the ship came back). Although technically a rocket scientist, Quatermass is just about useless when the disaster he created is about to strike. Thank goodness there’s Inspector Lomax (Jack Warner), a cop who may not be a rocket scientist but who can see when London—and the world—is in peril.
Showing absolutely no sign of intelligence, the blobby alien oozes around London, leaving a snail-trail behind him. Being an equal opportunity monster, he doesn’t just eat people, but snacks on antelopes and lions as well. When he meets his demise, it is disappointingly anticlimactic. Unlike Dr. Frankenstein and others who are responsible for horrible happenings, Quatermass gets to walk off into the sunset unscathed, presumably to pick up where he left off in the sequel, Quatermass II: Enemy from Space (1957).
The Quatermass Xperiment is available (as of October 12, 2011) on DVD, manufactured on demand, and can be purchased through on-line retailers.
Read more: http://technorati.com/entertainment/film/article/the-quatermass-xperiment-1955-creeps-onto/#ixzz1bw9SCLIY
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