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The Quatermass Xperiment

The Quatermass Xperiment

Genders: Sci-Fi, Horror

Director: Val Guest

Writer: Richard H. Landau (screenplay), Val Guest (screenp

Actors: Brian Donlevy, Jack Warner, Margia Dean, Thora Hird

Year: 1956
Run time: 78min
IMDB score: 6.8
Updated: 3 years ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: The Quatermass Xperiment

Genders: Sci-Fi, Horror

Imdb Score: 6.8

Runtime: 78min

Released: 01 Jun 1956

Director: Val Guest

Writer: Richard H. Landau (screenplay), Val Guest (screenp

Actors: Brian Donlevy, Jack Warner, Margia Dean, Thora Hird

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The Quatermass Xperiment Available Subtitles

Spanish subtitles The Quatermass Xperiment3 years ago
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Greek subtitles The Quatermass Xperiment3 years ago



Richard Wordsworth is extraordinary

8/10 Horror/science fiction films have rarely been singled out for the quality of the acting in them. Over the decades, a couple of "monsters" have been tapped for praise: Fredric March won an Oscar for his turn at Jekyll and Hyde, & Jeff Goldblum was rightly seen as an example of "inspired casting" in David Cronenberg's remake of _The Fly_.

But I think Richard Wordsworth has them both beat.

I enjoy _The Creeping Unknown_ overall, but it is Wordsworth's performance as Victor Caroon that lifts it into the stratosphere for me. I mean, sheesh, _look_ at him! This is an incredibly painful and, yes, passionate portrait of a man whose _body_ is being taken over and is changing into something else, even as he fights to retain possession of it. What might such a battle _feel_ like? Wordsworth lets you know, and in doing so anchors an almost cliche science-fiction "what if ...?" in raw human nerve endings. Watch him battle the frightening desires that overcome him; watch him try to stay ... human. He's first class, and why his career never really took off ...

I am probably all alone on a windswept plain in this, but I think Wordsworth's acting here is as frenzied and solid as that of Klaus Kinski in any of the great movies he did with Werner Herzog. So shoot me! :)

3 years ago

Xcellent! Xquisite! Xhelirating!!

9/10 You can't even begin to describe how essential (and quintessential) this legendary Hammer-movie in fact is! It was the unexpected success of this movie that single-handedly caused the horror-boom all over Europe! If this adaptation from Nigel Kneale's play hadn't been so popular, Hammer Studios probably never would have started with re-telling other famous franchises, such as "Frankenstein", "Dracula" or "The Mummy". It was "The Quatermass Xperiment" that all of a sudden showed that the audience's hunger for morbid Sci-Fi and fantasy tales is insatiable and Hammer cleverly exploited this given bit by bit. The film itself is about 50 years old now, but it definitely still stands as one of the uncanniest and mesmerizing Sci-Fi films ever made. With its uniquely tense atmosphere, the astonishing performance by Richard Wordsworth and the intelligent script, this movie is an experience that'll keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. Quatermass is the name of a brilliant (but slightly obnoxious) scientist who – apparently without permission of the legal authorities – launched a rocket with a 3-headed crew into space, to travel distances no other space-mission ever reached. The movie opens when a catastrophe already took place and the rocket crashes just outside London. Two crew members seemly vanished into thin air while the other (Wordsworth) is "possessed" with something. The unfortunate astronaut inexplicably turns into a monster that threatens to extinguish the entire world

The premise of alien-intelligence invading earth through an unfortunate space-mission is extremely stereotyped by today's standards, but "The Quatermass Xperiment" is one of the only oldies in the genre that still feels genuine and original. A form of criticism I often encountered while browsing through other users' comments is that this production supposedly hasn't dated well and that it's nowhere near scary. Frankly, I don't share this opinion at all. First and foremost because the film suggests more terror rather than showing it explicitly! I am aware that few people nowadays appreciate horror film if it doesn't contain graphic violence and tons of blood, but it really is the unsettling atmosphere what makes this film so brilliant. And besides, I do think that the special and make-up effects are staggering although half a century old. The images of Wordsworth mutating arm wrapped in a filthy overcoat and his facial metamorphose are still definitely creepy! To wrap it all up: "The Quatermass Xperiment" is an exhilarating and trend-setting genre film that should be viewed by every fan of fantasy-flicks. Giant thumbs up for director Val Guest who also made another Hammer classic, "The Abominable Snowman"

3 years ago

Dashingly good sci-fi film with a strong stench of horror

8/10 Well written and terminally fascinating British sci-fi thriller from director Val Guest and writer Nigel Neale. It is a film of big ideas and planet-sized concepts that stares up into the unknown with a combination of wonderment and dread.

Originally a highly popular TV series, it spawned two excellent sequels and decades of creative Hollywood pilfering.

Brian Donlevy is wonderful as Quatermass, a scientist with the bullying manner of a military drill Sargent and a fierce, pragmatic streak. After a rocket that he sent into space crashes back to Earth, Quatermass and unofficial partner-in-crime Inspector Lomax (Jack Warner) uncover a bizarre alien conspiracy in which a surviving astronauts's body has been "borrowed" by extraterrestrials keen on relocating.

Director Guest gives the drama a no-nonsense, almost documentary feel. The special effects are perfectly acceptable for the period and the brooding sense of mid-century paranoia is well conveyed.

The hero is the script, though. The dialogue is fresh and colourful and writers Guest and Neale always keep the scientific jargon interesting. All the characters are believable and the performances are top notch.

Despite the fact that James Bernard's solid score is a little overbearing at times, this is a dashingly good science fiction film with a strong stench of horror.

3 years ago

Quintessential 1950s Sci-Fi

10/10 A secret rocket expedition to Space unexpectedly crashes back to Earth. One lone astronaut is found to have survived only he's disheveled, not quite himself as he seems to be on the verge of some bizarre transformation! And what happened to the other two astronauts on board - all that seems to be left of them is two empty spacesuits?! How and why? What and when? A mystery that needs unraveling, a strange journey into unknown previously unexplored territory and a scientist hero named Quatermass whose methods the viewing audience are not always going to be inclined to agree with even if he is in essence correct in his line of thinking on many levels. A likely inspiration for many later film and TV works including THE BLOB, THE FLY, "The X-Files" and much more. Science fiction does not get much better than this film which grips you with its terrific suspense as we see Victor Caroon (played as a tragic and terrifying figure all at once in a terrific performance from Richard Wordsworth) go where no man has gone before in more ways than one might imagine.

3 years ago

Rather Simplified But Still Effective

7/10 Unfortunately Nigel Kneal had absolutely no input into the film version of THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT . Out goes the philosophy and long discussions of the human condition and in comes the more formuliac and streamlined plotting of a hostile alien endangering the human race , but to be fair to Richard Landau he also jettisoned many underdeveloped subplots from the serial ( When episode one of TQE was broadcast on television Kneale was still writing episode 5 so some subplots were abandoned by Kneale in order to meet the deadline ) and - unlike film viewers in 2002 - the oft used premise of an alien entity coming back to Earth from a spaceship would still be very new to cinema audiences in the mid 50s. I might even be right in saying this is the first time this idea had appeared in cinema .

Director Val Guest treats THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT as SF film noir and brings in a heavy dose of mood and atmosphere especially during the night time zoo sequence. Unlike QUATERMASS 2 there`s no feeling that the night scenes were achieved by sticking a dark filter over the camera . Guest is less successful with his cast . Donlevy is relatively good at playing double crossing mobsters in the likes of THE BIG COMBO but he`s utterly unconvincing as a rocket scientist and it doesn`t help that he keeps pronouncing his name as " Qittermiss ", Margia Dean is utterly appalling as Judith Carroon , but Richard Wordsworth is outstanding as Victor Carroon even if he doesn`t have a single line of dialogue.

The BBC serial of THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT shocked the viewers of Britain when it was broadcast and in its own way the film version is almost as groundbreaking , it was a big hit at the UK box office which led to Hammer Films to concentrate solely on horror films something they would excell at for the next 10-15 years .

Trivia point 1 - The montage scenes of soldiers searching for Carroon at night time are actually culled from another British SF flick - SEVEN DAYS TO NOON

Trivia point 2- The last four episodes of the BBC serial were shown live on television but because of an industrial dispute they weren`t - unlike the first two episodes - recorded onto film which means no one will ever see the complete BBC QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT

3 years ago