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The Quartermass Xperiment

There's nothing quite like a good old fashioned Hammer horror movie on a late weekend night. In the 50's and 60's, Hammer Studios in the UK pumped out Vincent Price and Peter Cushing camp classics on a reliable schedule.

One of their more critically favored films of the 50's was THE QUARTERMASS EXPERIMENT also known as "The Creeping Terror" in the US.

By today's standards, it's not scary, but it shook audiences of the day with the story of a team of astronauts returning from a mission and bringing a very alien being back with them.

You can see the story strands that would emerge decades later as "Lifeforce" or "Alien", executed in black and white and a very tight budget.

For me, Brian Donlevy is not a great Professor Quartermass, paling in comparison to the other actors that played the part.

More Jack Webb than clever scientist, he tries to understand the growing illness of the sole surviving spaceman.

Richard Wordsworth is the best thing in the film as the agonized astronaut, suffering a much slower takeover than John Hurt in "Alien" and making you feel every bit of his pain.

A little eczema on his hand soon becomes something much more disturbing.

I laughed out loud at the interior of the rocket, which looks more like a summer camp dorm that a spaceship.

The conclusion terrified audiences sixty years ago, but plays campy and funny today. Just what the hell is that thing anyway? haha

It's suspenseful once in awhile, often silly but pretty fun in a nostalgic way that those Saturday afternoon scary movies used to be when you were a kid.

For me, the Quartermass character hit his peak as played by Andrew Kier in 1965's "Quartermass and the Pit", known as FIVE MILLION YEARS TO EARTH in the states.

Now THAT is a scary & suspenseful old movie. Look that one up and leave this one for another day.

As an experiment, Quartermass fails this go round and gets a C+.

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