Review Date: February 15, 2001
Released by: Anchor Bay Entertainment
Release date: 5/22/2000
Region 1, NTSC
Full Frame 1.37:1
In 1957 Hammer Studios gave the sci-fi world a sequel to the enormously successful 1955 film, The Quatermass Xperiment
. Let's take a look and see how this film compares to the first film.....
When the rocket research laboratory of Bernard Quatermass begins tracking meteorites that show a strange trajectory, Quatermass decides this phenomena requires further investigating. Research on fragments of these meteorites shows them to be artificially constructed and when one of the "meteorites" is discovered intact, it releases a vaporous material that attaches itself to the face of Quatermass' assistant, rendering him unconscious. Once Quatermass tracks down help for his assistant, the man is taken by armed guards to a synthetic food research company. Quatermass, not liking the look or feel of the situation, decides that he needs to investigate this strange facility a little more.
Quatermass contacts his old adversary, Inspector Lomax and through Lomax a member of British Parliment offers his assistance, as he's long been suspicious of the Government and their explanation for the reasons behind the facility. Quatermass finds all the answers and many more questions, once he infiltrates the facility and just what is housed in the huge buildings.
is sandwiched between The Quatermass Xperiment
and Quatermass and the Pit
, and, unfortunately, it seems to carry many of the problems of being a middle child. The story has much promise, but it seems that throughout the film, more questions are raised than are really answered. Not that this is a bad film, it just seems to have the misfortune of being the second film in a trilogy that is stuck between two far better films. Brian Donlevy is cantankerous but very human in his portrayal of Bernard Quatermass and although I personally prefer Andrew Keir in the role of Quatermass, Donlevy's Quatermass is quite overpowering and strong. In fact, in Donlevy's two films as Quatermass, I'm hard-pressed to even think of any of his supporting actors in the films, Donlevy commands that much attention on screen.
is once again another adaptation of a Nigel Kneale story and was also a BBC serial. Nigel Kneale's ability to leave the viewer with an uneasy sense of dread is something that works very well in these films and you'll see an encompassing feeling in the first two Quatermass films that nobody can be trusted, much like the film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Anchor Bay presents this film in its full-frame of 1.37:1. The opening sequences of this film are quite deteriorated, but after the first few minutes, the film evens out nicely. As a B&W film, the blacks are nice and solid and the whites look clean. Artifacts and print damage are very minimal and the B&W filming only adds to the paranoia that the story creates.
The musical score for this film is compliments of James Bernard, a staple of many of the very best Hammer films, his musical talents are never wasted and this score adds nicely to the paranoia that overtakes the film. The soundtrack is not without some slight problems....slight muffling during certain scenes and the occasional blast, but overall an acceptable effort. Dolby Digital Mono 2.0 is the best that can be offered with this disc.
Not a whole lot going on here, but what is offered is enough to make most folks happy. Another "World of Hammer" episode entitled, "Sci-Fi", the US theatrical trailer and a commentary track. Director Val Guest and writer Nigel Kneale offer an insightful commentary, they cover interesting aspects of the film, without wandering off in too many directions and Nigel Kneale - who was involved in all three Hammer Quatermass productions - is always a pleasure to listen to, as it's fascinating to hear about the stories he wrote and how he often expanded the ideas for serials on the BBC to films for Hammer.
Though not the strongest film in this trilogy, Quatermass 2
is a nice film, it offers a nice amount of eeriness and some thought-provoking scenes and is entertaining. This is a film that I tend to enjoy a little more with each viewing, but in my own humble opinion, it has a little less to offer than the first film, The Quatermass Xperiment
and Quatermass and the Pit
enjoys a much stronger story, but by all means, if you have enjoyed any of the Hammer sci-fi films, chances are, you'll find this very enjoyable.
Movie – B
Image Quality – B
Sound – B
Supplements – A
- Running Time - 1 hour 25 minutes
- Not Rated
- 1 Disc
- 19 Chapter Stops
- Dolby Digital Mono 2.0
- Audio commentary with director Val Guest and writer Nigel Kneale
- US theatrical trailer, Enemy From Space
- Exclusive "World of Hammer" episode entitled, "Sci-Fi"
- 5x7 facsimile poster