Friday, October 19, 2012

31 Days of Halloween - Day 19 - Movie 2

A missing spacecraft crash lands in the English countryside with only one of the three astronauts still on board. The surviving astronaut is unresponsive and is undergoing a physical metamorphosis, which if not stopped, could wipe out all life on earth.

The Quatermass Xperiment aka The Creeping Unknown (1955) is great science fiction in that it actually makes being a scientist look exciting, and has an intelligent screenplay. I've always been a big fan of the Quatermass films, which clearly had an influence on the development of Doctor Who.

I don't really like Brian Donlevy's as Professor Quatermass here. He's a very self involved jerk, putting his rocketry experiments ahead of the lives of the astronauts who carry them out, and as a scientist he comes off as very close minded. I much preferred the likable Quatermass played by Andrew Keir in Quatermass and the Pit.

The performance of Richard Wordsworth as the doomed astronaut is haunting. Gaunt, and agitated, he really carries out a performance that suggests that the human he once was is being replaced by something other. He is completely mesmerizing to watch.

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