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Quatermass 2 (1957)

Cast: Brian Donlevy, John Longden, Sidney James, more...
Director: Val Guest
    see all cast/crew...
Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction , UK
Running Time: 85 min.

Considered by many critics to be the finest in the series, Hammer's second Quatermass feature (adapted from the television serial by Nigel Kneale) is a subversive alien invasion story. Professor Quatermass (Brian Donlevy) stumbles onto a top-secret government base near a rural location that has been inundated by a steady stream of meteors. His investigations, which are met with distrust by suspicious townspeople and outright hostility by the base guards, uncover a conspiracy originating in the highest reaches of government. With few he can trust and fewer he can convince of his suspicions, Quatermass decides to meet the menace head-on. Director Val Guest, who cowrote the screenplay with Kneale, loads his film with fascinating detail (the whiz of the falling meteors--actually space pods--recalls the buzz bombs of the London blitz, and the antipathy of the high-strung locals adds a curious element of class conflict), but really brings the picture to life with its stark black-and-white look and overpowering mood of paranoia. The base, the very picture of industrial modernity in the midst of rural nothingness, is given a creepy emptiness as Quatermass wanders through, dwarfed in the giant maze of pipes and towers centered by enormous spherical containers and huge domes. You'll likely never forget the image of a government investigator covered in a smoking black substance, stumbling down the steps of the stark white container. ~Sean Axmaker

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