Quatermass Xperiment, The (1955)

The Quatermass Xperiment (1955), directed by Val Guest.

Aka The Creeping Unknown.

The first Quatermass feature film. Like the sequel, Quatermass 2 (1957), the lead is played by Brian Donlevy, gruff and barking orders, acting nothing like a genius scientist. They needed an American for US sales and this is what they got.

The first manned rocketship returns with a crash. Two crew members are missing and the third is acting alien. He mutates into the sort of blob/squid monster so much beloved in this type of story.

The tone is just classic for British SF in general and Quatermass-style tales in particular: a low key, realistic presentation of ordinary life, people going about their business, when this weirdness emerges. Police, firemen and boffins deal with it competently. Die, monster, die.

In those days early space exploration was exciting enough just talking about it without the need for much else. It was a big hit for Hammer Films.

Jane Asher, age 9, is the uncredited "Little Girl".

Besides Quatermass 2 (1957), I reviewed another entry in the series: Quatermass and the Pit (1967).

MGM DVD-R, available for rent from ClassicFlix. (Later: on Blu-ray).