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This review is from: Quatermass 2 [IMPORT] (DVD)
Hammer's foray into science fiction reached its peak with this sequel to the successful "Quatermass Experiment". A larger, but still comparatively modest, budget enabled them to be much more imaginative in both sets & locations.
It's a nasty dose of alien invasion again, with plenty of paranoia. The movie wastes no time at all, as the irascible professor - played again by Brian Donlevy - is practically shunted off a country road by one of the possessed. Meantime, his assistants have spotted curious meteoric objects on the radar of their research facility. Whatever can they be...
Tension ratchets-up steadily and rapidly as Professor Q employs his brains & bluster to force facts into the open. Yep; there's a high-level conspiracy as well. "Shell" practically gave director Val Guest and his crew carte-blanche access to one of their British refineries, making for some creepy other-worldly scenes where the backdrop is often just a convoluted network of pipes & tanks. They deserve a pat on the back. I wouldn't be the least surprise if this movie was an inspiration for the "Alien" & "Aliens" sets. There's nice use of camera & lighting. Acting is generally good with a number of popular 50's/60's faces including Sidney James, John Longden, Bryan Forbes & William Franklin of "Schweppes" fame.
Although the depiction of horror may seem comparatively tame these days, we need to remember that in 1957, sci-fi was still the poor nephew of entertainment, unlike today; where it is mainstream & blockbuster. But this movie still has plenty going for it and makes the best use of what was available. It's well worth a watch. If I have a criticism it is that it doesn't run for long enough; 82mins is nothing nowadays, and the story sprints along at what is sometimes a needlessly hurried pace. Scientific explanations & deductions appear too spontaneous. Another 15mins would've given them and the tension & paranoia more time to develop in a flowing way. Editing is just a little too choppy than it should've been.
Shop around for the movie. I bought this Dutch import on an Ebay auction, new & sealed, for just £2.99 postage free. Oddly; it arrived in an "Amazon" package. It's a decent print in good 'ol Black & White with Dutch subtitles that can be switched off. There's also some uninspiring extras outlining other Hammer movies with a narration by Oliver Reed.