The Quatermass films were a sci-fi enriched staple of BBC Television in the late 50’s and early 60’s. As these TV mini series’ did so well Hammer Films decided to make them into feature films in the late 60’s and crank up a bit of the horror element to them. Quatermass is the name of a British scientist who leads the space program in London. Unfortunately things do not always go right and he is forced to help fight off alien attacks, and other evil forces. The topics of the film were a lot deeper than the Sci-Fi films in the United States at the time. They dealt not only with invasions but mind control, artificial intelligence, evolution, and the early findings of ancient civilizations. One of the most popular films of this series is called Quatermass and the Pit. Made in 1967 it is the 3rd of the Quaterrmass series, and definitely one of the most loved.
Quatermass and the Pit follows Professor Quaterrmass planning to lead a rocket exploration to the moon when he is met by Col. Breen. A military man who will be joining the space team. Breen gets a call about a mysterious bomb that has been found and when he goes to investigate it Quartermass goes with him to investigate when he learns of the discovery made with the bomb. They go to London in a place called Hobbs End, which translates into “Devils End” some workers have found the remains of what they believe is some time of ancient ape-men along with metallic ball they believe to be some type of V Bomb. Quatermass believes this is alien technology. A theory not shared by Breen or the other men there.
When workers and investigators in the are begin seeing ape-men in ghost form they believe its because Hobbs End is haunted. Quaterrmass is convinced that the place is evil but is still convinced that the are is part of an alien life form. They locate a chamber and when a door opens for them they encounter different bug like remains. Quatermass believes it to be bodies of Martians, and that the chamber itself is causing the ghosts to appear.
When one of the works begins having visions of alien attacks and Quatermass is able to tap into the chamber itself to reveal the images of Martians killing other creatures on their planet. However when an electrical line hits the chamber it somehow charges it and causes it to begin sending out a telekinetic link to all of London which makes the people begin to go insane and begin killing anyone who is different from them. It also begins ripping up the streets and destroying planes and anything in the vicinity.
As you can tell it’s a bit different from the standard Aliens invade formula. I’m not saying its only for the thinking mans sci-fi fans I’m just saying it gets pretty deep if you think about it. Raising the theory of evolution from ape to human, and the purge of people who are different. Its much different from the standard fair, which makes it a very good film. The series has always been great, and this is the best of the bunch in my opinion.
Scream Factory has picked this one up and like always they have given it the Scream Factory treatment. From the fantastic transfer in both terms of video and audio, it looks and sounds amazing. Everything is crisp and clear, while the atmospheric score is almost haunting to listen to in surround sound. Now Scream Factory never skimps on Special Features, but they have outdone themselves on this one.
NEW Audio Commentary With Film Historian Bruce G. Hallenbeck
NEW Audio Commentary With Filmmaker Constantine Nasr And Author/Film Historian Steve Haberman
· NEW Interview With Actor Hugh Futcher
· NEW Interview With Academy Award-Winning Special Effects Artist Brian Johnson (Alien)
· NEW Interview With Clapper Loader Trevor Coop
· NEW Interview With Focus Puller Bob Jordan
· Interview With Author Judith Kerr
· Interview With Actor Julian Glover
· Interview With Actor/Writer Mark Gatiss
· Interview With Filmmaker Joe Dante
· Interview With Author/Film Historian Kim Newman
· Interview With author/Hammer Film Historian Marcus Hearn
· Audio Commentary With Director Roy Ward Baker And Writer Nigel Kneale
· World of Hammer – Sci-Fi
· Theatrical Trailers
· TV Spots
· Alternate U.S. Credits
· Still Gallery
Wow that’s a tons of special features for an awesome film. If you like science fiction this is for you. If you’re a horror fan who enjoys Hammer Films this is up your alley as well as it does have a horror element to it. It’s a fantastic film, and that’s coming from a guy who is not really a Sci-Fi fan. I highly recommend you pick this one up.
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars