31 Days Of Hammer: Quatermass 2

31-days-of-hammerWith the success of the first Quatermass movie Hammer quickly went and secured the rights to Nigel Kneale’s next Quatermass story Quatermass II.

Kneale wanted more control over his creation so he wrote the first draft of the screenplay but was disappointed when Brian Donlevy returned as Quatermass. The movie was released in 1957 and while successful it was overshadowed by another breakout horror film from Hammer, The Curse of Frankenstein.

Quatermass 2Quatermass has been working on a moon colonization project when he becomes interested in a massive number of meteorites that have been landing Winnerden Flats.

Quatermass travels there with his assistant and discovers a secret complex that looks exactly like his moon colonization model that he presented to the government. Quatermass and his assistant discover one of the meteorites and it explodes into the face of the assistant leaving a v-shaped marked on his face. Men from the complex arrive and take the assistant away at gun point.

Trying to figure what’s going on leads Quatermass to a member of Parliament, Broadhead (Tom Chatto), who has been investigating a conspiracy surrounding some members of the British Government that seem to be attached to the mystery complex. Quatermass and Broadhead manage to take a tour of the complex, which is claiming to be an artificial food factory. Broadhead sneaks into one of the food containers and is later discovered by Quatermass covered in black slime, dying.

All the humans working at the plant all have the same v-shaped mark as do several members of the government. Quatermass believes that the plant is making food for aliens, aliens who are controlling humans and planning on taking over the world. With the help of Detective Lomax and a reporter Quatermass tries to stop the impending invasion.

Retitled Enemy from Space for the U.S. release this was the first sequel to use a number in the title (although The Godfather: Part II tries to claim this too, well it was the first American film to use a number). Strangely enough Hammer would never use a number in a sequel until more recently despite the numerous sequels that they turned out. Not as good as the first movie it’s still pretty entertaining and it does have an Invasion of the Body Snatchers feel to it. Returning director Val Guest makes the most of the increased budget.

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka spends most of his life watching movies and reading comic books, using his vast knowledge of genre culture for evil instead of good.