on 26 October 2011
I almost never purchased this DVD at all on the basis of one review especially on here, which dismissed this outright as almost unwatchable in some respects: however, the appearance of more even-tempered, and frankly more balanced assessments made me decide to 'bite the bullet' and order this two-film set which has duly arrived this week.
Everyone seems to agree that the worst portion of this footage is the pre-credit sequence to 'Quatermass 2', so I jumped straight to that first, expecting to see some wretched snowstorm of unwatchable dross. Although this portion is undeniable grainy [although one close-up shot of a radiation-scarred victim is crystal-clear even here] it's not enough to spoil the viewing pleasure, and although the overall films have certainly not been lovingly restored frame-by-frame, they are most definitely watchable and of acceptable viewing quality, I am pleased to report.
Yes, there are white lines that crop up in a vertical portion now and again, but these are at the sidesof the screen, and just a small distraction. The actual picture quality is clear enough overall, and the only people likely to be disappointed are those expecting pristine quality, which is simply not feasible at this budget price.
I paid 3 pounds per movie and it was well worth it for the pleasure of owning these two excellent 50s UK sci-fi films, which up until now, have never been available easily or affordable in Britain on the DVD format.
The films themselves are cracking entertainment, and I'm delighted to own them on DVD at long last.
Worth pointing out: the films are together on a single disk, but as the running time is fairly modest, there are no compression problems.[Around 160 minutes for both]
No, I do not work for Icon or any other DVD company, I am just stating that these prints are of reasonable quality and will do until mintly-struck prints of these films ever surface, which may of course never materialize.
Until then, I am delighted with this DVD double-bill [one star off, as perhaps the occassional vertical white lines could have been removed fairly easily].
on 6 May 2012
This review is for the Icon Home Entertainment edition.I am not reviewing the films, they have already been reviewed enough times. I want to speak about the quality of the prints. I am very picky about film prints, like most other like minded people, I love all these films and will always seek out the best quality print available for the film I am after.
The prints on this disc are good. Quatermass Xperiment is quite good and has good contrast and pretty good black levels. A couple of white tram lines appear either side of the picture that last about 5 mins and do not detract from the overall picture.The sound is again, perfectly good and does it's job.
So,for Quatermass Xperiment... PQ 7/10 SQ 7/10
Quatermass Experiment 2 is actually a better print than the first film! Yes there is heavy grain during the first 2 minute pre credit sequence but after that, the credits and the rest of the film are again, pretty good. There is some slight grain now and again during the last 20 minutes or so but again, this does not detract from the overall quality.The sound is perfectly fine and again, like the first film, does it's job.
So,for Quatermass Experiment 2 PQ 8/10 SQ 7/10
A lot of dvd players & televisions allow you to alter settings, my dvd player & TV are set to user control, you can set it to user, cinema, standard etc..these settings can have a different effect on the appearence on the picture quality so perhaps a little twiddling on your settings may improve the overall image of these films.
So, all in all, I am very happy with the quality of this disc and urge anyone thinking about buying it, well stop thinking about it and get it, you will not be dissapointed, I can assure you. The above is only my opinions and please feel free to correct me if you disagree.
on 7 October 2011
This is a good double bill released by Icons pictures, who recently botched up Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter. But this is not such a bad job. The main problem is the pre-credit sequence of Quatermass 2, which is extremely snowy. But it does improve once the credits roll and maintains a reasonable standard through most of the film. Quatermass Experiment does have some flickering (one noticeable scene in particular) but is a fairly decent picture for most of its length.
These films appear fairly modest now, but they did put Hammer films on the map before they blazed into colour with their gothic horrors. Of the two, I think Quatermas 2 stands up particularly well.
For the budget price, getting these two films is not a bad deal.
on 15 September 2011
I do not understand the other two review that say the print is bad...
My DVD is fine, the quality of film transfers is fine, audio is fine also.
Great value for two films, just thought it is worth redressing the balance here, as I am very happy with my purchase.
on 23 September 2011
First, let me say I do not work for Icon or Hammer. Second, I own a 46" flatscreen with a 5 speaker surround system and watched the films on a blu-ray player. I am not an expert or DVD picture geek, but I do feel qualified to give an impartial viewpoint on the state of these two films' presentation on this DVD release.
Quatermass Xperiment: The film has speckling throughout its run, which is never heavy. There are very few moments where I found it distracting. The major negative for this print is the thin white lines which appear on screen just before the 49 minute mark and last for a little over 5 minutes. They are on the right and left of the screen and are fairly distracting, though they do not interfere with any picture information. Film grain throughout is perfectly acceptable. Despite what another reviewer wrote, I noticed no instances where the picture is "blurry". The blacks are definitely not as sharp as one would see in a remastered print, but while the picture is occasionally soft, it is not blurry.
There are a few instances of tinny sound. Again, these do not make it difficult to understand what is being said, though they can prove mildly distracting. Overall I would give the picture a fair rating, with the sound above average.
Quatermass 2: The opening scene, which is less than two minutes long, is extremely grainy. I had no trouble seeing the action however. This grain clears up as the titles begin. The condition of the rest of this print is good with acceptable grain. There is less speckling throughout than Xperiment and only one brief instance of a thin white line on the left hand side of the screen (less than a minute) about 3/4 of the way through the film. There are a couple reel change marks in the upper right hand corner during the film, again, they do not affect the information on screen and are only mildly distracting at worst. Furthermore, the picture's aspect ratio is correct. Another reviewer said the picture looked compressed and the actor seemed taller and skinnier. Not on my copy. A simple trick to tell if the ratio is off is to look at a round object such as a tire or a radar screen. It should look round not oval. That's fine here.
There are a couple instances of tinny sound again, with some volume issues here and there. As with the first film, I had no problem understanding the dialog during these points.
The bottom line is this: These films are not remastered, but for the price and their age they look pretty darn good. You can wait until they are given the Blu-ray treatment or until they are cleaned up for another DVD release, but you'll be paying a lot more for them at that time, and who knows when that will be. If you're a hardcore film fanatic looking for a great picture then you'll probably want to wait. I'm more than satisfied with these so I can finally have the movies in my home collection, since the only ones available here in the U.S. are used copies of the original releases from DD/Icon and cost a bundle. So, 4 1/2 stars for the movies themselves, 5 stars for the price and 3 stars for the overall quality of the prints.
A British rocket crashes and the sole surviving astronaut is consumed by something and is turning into something alien and a mysterious town becomes infected by zombie like creatures that are attempting to take over the Earth in these two black and white classic British scifi films. The first film from Hammer Studios, The Quatermass Experiment is a remake of the British BBC TV serial of the same name. While the effects might look dated and laughable now, this is still a tense, chilling film with fine performances from the cast and introducing to cinema audiences a new British hero, Bernard Quatermass of the British Rocket Group. He's a kind of inspiration for future scifi heroes, a touch of The Doctor from Doctor Who and Fox Mulder from The X Files. The sequel Quatermass 2 is just as good. Again, dated and perhaps laughable effects but a tense, chilling and well acted film. The third film in the set, Quatermass And The Pit, is unavailable in this collection and has to be brought separately.
on 17 October 2011
What a pleasure to watch these classic films all over again. I first saw The Quatermass Experiment in my teens, frightened me to death, I know, it's laughable now, but the expression (or lack of same) on Victor Carroon's face was really unnerving. My father took me to see the film and I think even he found the film quite frightening, and this a man who had served nine years in submarines, all through the war as well! The picture quality is good considering its age, and the sound quality excellent. Recommended to all classic film fans.
Quatermass 2 seemed to be an age following the first film, and wasn't as frightening. The air of menace is still felt throughout the film, picture quality excellent and sound the same. You will not be sorry if you buy this collection, obviously no comparison can be made between these films and the science fiction/horror films on offer these days, but they certainly have their place in the history of the genre.
I would say of the two films Quatermass two is the worst offender, however Experiment is not far off. Quatermass two suffers from a very grainy picture (the beginning night time shots are unwatchable) and a distorted image and very poor sound. The print has not been cleaned up at all so a large degree of marks on the film reel still appear while watching. The Quatermass Experiment is a little better but the picture has not been improved much (still blurry) and in some cases it's worse than other DVD versions. The sound also is quite poor and goes quiet in some scenes then loud in others. Overall it's a very poor job, and even Icons claim that the source material was poor to begin with, doesn't excuse the fact that it looks as if they've done little to improve the quality of these films. Such a shame as they are both very good sci-fi thrillers from Hammer.
on 9 February 2016
Watching these movies provided me a quick trip in the Wayback® machine to Saturday mornings in the 60's. The prints are really excellent, and the stories better than I remembered. The creepiness factor of the Quatermass trio of films is way up there - much more so than the radiologically mutated monster flicks of the same era.
Don't know why a Region 1 version of this twin flick DVD isn't available but whatever studio prints & markets one it will make a fortune. Demand is really high, especially for "Enemy From Space" (Quatermass II) in the States.
on 8 June 2013
now back in the day when sci fi was newish,my only contact with sci fi was lost in space on the radio,and the film destination moon,so when this was released,off i went with my mates to see it.quatermass wasbeing shown to a full house,we sat there grippedyou could hear a pin drop,now at the time ,Charlie Drake was one of our top comics,he had catch phrase which someone in the audience said right in the middle of the most gripping part of the film ,we are all sitting there biting our nails,when this little voice was heard to say OH MY GAWD,WHATS UP WHATS EVER UP,everybody in that audience lost it,we fell about,so i had to get this dvd .for other reasons i laughed on seeing it again,first ten mins had me creased up,the spaceship came down randomly onto a farmers land,it came down nose first like a dart into a dartboard,the fire brigade turned up to deal with it looking like something out of Key stone cops,but after that was over the film held its own,the central actor gives aperformance of note ,considering he never said a word .Iloved the film you gotta see it sueb