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Quatermass 2
cast: Brian Donlevy, Brian Forbes, Sidney James, Bryan Forbes, and Vera Day

director: Val Guest

85 minutes (12) 1957
DDV DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 8/10
reviewed by Dawn Andrews
Desolate black and white cinematography, inspired location shooting and a strong cast make this one of the most intelligent and atmospheric films Hammer ever produced. The menace of an alien threat mingles with an undertow of black hysteria, which is maintained throughout. Brian Donlevy plays Professor Quatermass with the corrosive intensity of a control freak, there is nothing of the do-gooder scientist about him - his force is sheer force of will. Unsentimental and clear-cut in his thinking, he never doubts his own estimation of the menace that only he can initially perceive. When he and Marsh (Brian Forbes, intense and twitchy as ever) discover the mirror image of their own planned Moon Project already constructed, and hidden away at Winnerden Flats, their first reactions are puzzlement and curiosity at the deception being practiced. Even after Marsh in injured by one of the alien devices, and hustled off to the base by grim sentinels dressed in black, Quatermass, although concerned, is obviously more interested in what is going on in the plant itself than in the welfare of the individual.
   The visit to the workers pristine and charmless town is for me the most chilling part of the film, their cynical lack of concern about the nature of the work that gives them good wages and lifestyles is observed with an almost clinical detachment. As a dissection of human nature and psychological reactions to extreme and mysterious events, Quatermass 2 broke new ground.
   DVD extras: commentary by director Val Guest and writer Nigel Kneale, Val Guest interview, Enemy From Space trailer, 24-page booklet with stills and notes about the film.
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