Written by / 10/30/2023 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , , ,

VAL GUEST DIRECTS HAMMER'S 'QUATERMASS 2' WITH BRIAN DONLEVY

Original British Title: QUATERMASS 2 American: ENEMY FROM SPACE Year: 1957 Rating: ****

Both of Val Guest's 1950's Hammer QUATERMASS vehicles rely on different science-fiction scenarios, so you don't have to watch one to enjoy the other: starting with a Frankenstein story involving the titular scientist's funded return-space-flight gone awry, and the second has aliens behind a project meant to send rockets back up into space (while some kind of comet dust is randomly burning people's skin)... 

Condensed into a 90-minute programmer involving an enigmatic town, created within a power plant to supposedly make food for humans to live on a moon colony (borrowed from Quatermass's abandoned project), then engulfing one man with a tar-like substance: a horrifying image that this particular Hammer's best remembered...

Vera Day in QUATERMASS 2

Ironically, for such a far-out tale, the most important element's grounded in a jitterbugging beer pub that features lovely waitress (and British scream queen) Vera Day, alongside Percy Herbert as the most determined of a group of disgruntled construction workers...

Who did all the heavy lifting for the ever-suspicious factory, joining with American import Brian Donlevy as the title Quatermass (later joined by Sidney James's boozing journalist), fervently spouting rushed exposition to keep the page-turning thriller rolling under the flowing direction of Hammer stock Val Guest...

John Van Eyssen and Brian Donlevy in QUATERMASS 2

Yet QUATERMASS 2 leaves the best aspects to the imagination, sparked by matte painted visuals, like an ominous factory-sized dome or a parked rocket-ship, straight from those wonderfully fantastical pages of vintage sci-fi magazines...

And what eventually connects both Guest-Hammer QUATERMASS pictures is a gigantic alien monster attacking in a noisy climax — just in case the more standard and studied, pulpy elements (from theorized dialogue to machine-gun-wielding baddies) weren't enough for those early genre addicts, who get... despite this being a fan favorite... more an appetizer than the original's more satisfying, full-course meal: yet is still a nice little run, and gets better with every viewing.

Brian Donlevy and Bryan Forbes in QUATERMASS 2
Brian Donlevy and Bryan Forbes in QUATERMASS 2
Brian Donlevy and Bryan Forbes in QUATERMASS 2 with William Franklyn
Brian Donlevy in QUATERMASS 2
Tom Chatto in QUATERMASS 2
Brian Donlevy and Sidney James in QUATERMASS 2
Vera Day and Sidney James in QUATERMASS 2
Vera Day and Percy Herbert in QUATERMASS 2
Brian Donlevy and Bryan Forbes in QUATERMASS 2
Brian Donlevy and William Franklyn in QUATERMASS 2
Brian Donlevy and Michael Ripper in QUATERMASS 2
Space Monster attacks QUATERMASS 2
Vera Day and Brian Donlevy in QUATERMASS 2
Vera Day in QUATERMASS 2
Vera Day and Brian Donlevy in QUATERMASS 2
Brian Donlevy in QUATERMASS 2 aka ENEMY FROM SPACE
Bryan Forbes in QUATERMASS 2
John Van Eyssen and Jane Aird in QUATERMASS 2
John Van Eyssen and Jane Aird in QUATERMASS 2 with Brian Donlevy
John Van Eyssen and Jane Aird in QUATERMASS 2 with Brian Donlevy and John Rae
Tom Chatto in QUATERMASS 2 with Brian Donlevy 
Val Guest's QUATERMASS 2 with Brian Donlevy

London establishing shot in QUATERMASS 2
Brian Donlevy and Tom Chatto in QUATERMASS 2
John Longden in QUATERMASS 2
John Van Eyssen in QUATERMASS 2


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