Quatermass 2 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Quatermass 2 Reviews

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½ June 4, 2011
Bizarre plot really carries this fast-paced low-budget sci fi. It was only afterward that I realized that the inter-changeable creatures that take over humans but combine to be one entity could be a stand-in for the red menace. Brian Donlevy is again transported to the UK for this Hammer release.
December 1, 2010
Honestly, I hadn't heard a thing about this series until I read the Flixster summary, but I don't think that should influence this review. I enjoyed this movie in all it's 1950's style effects. In a lot of ways, it's like most alien invasion stories, but the story lacks many of the stereotypical elements of the 50's sci-fi movies - or some modern alien invasion movies for that matter. Thus, I found it almost refreshing.
Super Reviewer
½ November 25, 2010
Slightly better than The Quatermass Xperiment, Quatermass 2 is an almost completely different animal than its predecessor. Brian Donlevy is a less dickish Quatermass this time around as he tries to warn the town about an alien invasion instead of playing science and politics. The top secret base, the soldiers and all the imagery they bring are pretty damn frightening. The buildup to the 2 minutes of the monster(s) you eventually see is worth it. Unlike its predecessor, Quatermass 2 is entirely worth the trouble.
Super Reviewer
November 3, 2010
excellent paranoid thriller aka enemy from space. professor quatermass discovers a mysterious 'area 51' in the english countryside. donlevy seems more committed to his role this time out; he's even learned to pronounce his name. pretty decent effects and great location. one more smart 50's sci fi from hammer, maybe the best of the quatermass series
½ July 23, 2010
Disappointing, especially in comparison to the first and last in the series. I went back and watched "The Quatermass Experiment" again afterwards and was surprised at how much more convincing Brian Donlevy was in that first film--and how much creepier and more compelling the plot was. In "Quatermass 2" Donlevy never begins to convince me that he's a scientist, and he looks absolutely ridiculous running around in a jump suit.
½ April 13, 2010
A Hammer film with similarities to Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. Not great but not as bad as it could have been. Watch out for Sid James as a drunk journalist. Makes a change to see him nor being his Carry On character.
April 5, 2010
Slightly better than the original, there's more mystery to it and a lot more tension.
April 5, 2010
"Quatermass 2" is classsic British horror. Brian Donlevy (reprising his role from "The Quatermass Xperiment") is Professor Bernard Quatermass, who discovers his shelved Moonbase project erected outside London and masquerading as a secret "food processing" complex. Meanwhile missile-shaped metorites are falling nearby, containing aliens bent on subjugating mankind to their control.
Donlevy plays Quatermass with an agressive panache, and is ably assisted by the "Carry On" team's Sid James (credited as Sydney James), William Franklyn, Bryan Forbes and Michael Ripper. "Quatermass 2" has aged over the decades, but it still retains a quiet unnerving menace throughout the film.
April 5, 2010
Thought this was a poor sequel as Quatermass investigates strange happenings in some backwater town in England. Good to see some familiar faces though like Sid James, Marianne Stone, Michael Ripper and Percy Herbert!
August 14, 2009
This is a classic sci-fi move. Well worth a watch.
May 31, 2009
Even better than the first Quatermass film. Cool, intelligent, fun, with some logic behind the monster other than the usual "dropped an atom bomb, made a horrible creature" scenario - and Quatermass himself is one of the great science fiction heroes . . . a bit cranky and pushy, determined, and constantly losing at his own research because of space monsters! Val Guest and Nigel Kneale were a powerful team.
March 22, 2009
A very good movie adaptation of the BBC classic series of the same name.

Brian Donlevy stars again as Professor Quatermass who discovers a secret base, and the very government who he's working for are turned in to a zombie like status thanks to a mysterious alien gas.

This is classic body snatcher plot, with great actors including the Carry On star Sid James, who plays a journalist, who tags along to get the latest scoop on the mysterious village, and base.

You can tell was the inspiration for movies and TV shows such as The X Files, and the ending is far better than the TV show, even though John Robinson BBC version of Quatermass is better than Donlevy‚??s abrupt and sometimes rude character.

This is still a brilliant film, and I recommend it to anyone who loves a good 50s alien movies.
October 11, 2008
Dr. Quatermass is the director of an important scientific base, where he builds nuclear rockets for the colonization of the Moon. A strange fall of meteorites in a nearby village leads to the discovery of a huge base under a strict military control, officially a factory of artificial food. The shrewdness of Quatermass reveals that the factory is the place chosen by the aliens to conquer the Earth:
I'm not familiar with 'Quatermass' in any way whatsoever and thanks to a friend for recommending this to me coz I find myself enjoying while watching this movie .. I can honestly say that it is an excellent fifties science fiction and is certainly a must for 50's sci fi fanatics...

The black and white photography is excellent , has a strong story and convincing acting of the characters though special effects often fall short by standards, but for sure were pretty good for that time...Another classic movie ...
Super Reviewer
October 3, 2008
One of the best early sci-fil efforts I have seen, this movie about an alien invasion was likely the blueprint for such films as "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" among others. Crackerjack acting, paranoia, suspense, thrills, chills and a healthy dose of gunplay action..this film has it all and is to be applauded for its originality. Ahead of its time and a compelling watch.
August 20, 2008
While not as good as Quatermass Xperiment, there is much to like about this film. It has a strong cast, a script that contains both good plotting and dialogue on top of delving into the heart of the issue of government secrecy, excellent black and white cinematography and a highly atmospheric score from James Bernard. In short, Quatermass 2 is just as tense, realistic, and gritty as it predecessor and well-worth seeing.
½ April 9, 2008
Sci fi done exactly how it should be.
March 24, 2008
This was one of the first of its kind; a subtlety scary vision of a secret alien takeover. X-FILES may owe a debt to this low-budget, but nevertheless effective film of the powers-that-be who are conspiring with the invaders, and one lone, determined scientist who accidentally uncovers the sinister plot.

QUATERMASS II (U.S. title: ENEMY FROM SPACE) was produced before INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, the film it is often compared to, due to their thematic similarities (loss of identity, social oppression, dangers of conformity, and blind allegiance to a greatly questionable, authoritarian power). However, it was released in the U.S. shortly after BODY SNATCHERS, probably making it look like a copycat to some.

Superb writer Nigel Kneale (excellent script, highly original for its time, derived from the earlier BBC serial) was known to strongly despise Brian Donleavy's gruff performance as the lead character. Kneale did not like the fact that Donleavy presented the character as a cold, methodical misanthrope who treats his colleagues like expendable underlings. He will probably want to boil me in oil for saying this, but I felt that presenting the lead character as morally ambivalent and ethically questionable jettisoned the standard 50's scientist/hero sterotype (for once he is not nice and charming). It also added a further degree of tension to the well-plotted story. In many ways, his alienated character is somewhat alien; perhaps that's the only true way to resist social pressures and conditioning. The allegory here is strong.

As the story opens, Quatermass is driving one night on a remote country road. He is furious that the stodgy Whitehall bureaucrats rejected his funding request for a proposed moon colonization project. A speeding car nearly hits him head-on as it runs off the road. The shaken passengers are a frightened woman and her boyfriend, who is in a crazed state, and has a strange black mark on his face.

Quatermass returns to his isolated lab, where radar reveals to his assistants that many small meteor particles (at least that's what they assume they are) have descended over a rural village known as Wynerton Flats.

Going out there with his colleague, Marsh, they first discover his moon project, fully constructed, and some small, mysterious rocks. As Marsh examines one, it emits an eerie gas and pops in his face, leaving the weird black mark. Strange soldiers arrive, behaving like aloof zombies, abduct Marsh, strong-arm Quatermass in the typical fascist tradition, and order him to leave. (There may be one flaw here: Why didn't the "soldiers" either abduct or kill Quatermass, instead of letting him go, so he can inform?)

Naturally the authorities all have tight lips about the secret activities at Wynerton Flats, but Quatermass manages to convince a few officials to go out there with him. A government aid (with that strange black mark on his wrist) conducts a formal tour of the plant, where everything seems to be normal. Not so. The small group is indoctrinated by the zombies (who resemble Nazis), but Quatermass manages to escape.

(This scene truly exposes Donleavy's ruthless side: He and a woman are taken into a large dome, but Quatermass flees, leaving the woman behind, without any concern for her fate. Hell, he doesn't even abide by the old fifties hero tradition by risking his life to save the distressed damsel. In many ways Quatermass was an ahead-of-his-time anti-hero. I always felt that this added a disquieting strength to the drama and the severity of the dire situation, but I guess that Kneale will still vehemently disagree).

I'll stop here, but don't worry, the worse is still to come. The sense of growing unease and mounting terror (strong qualities of your finer British Science Fiction at that time) escalates. Be patient, for it does carefully build into a total state of alarm, as Quatermass and the local angered citizens challenge the invaders (who have taken over most of the government and military officials) to a brutal showdown. There is something highly menacing in those domes.

This impressive film is true Science Fiction at its best. It thrills without pandering and is thoughtful to the point of disturbing. You can't trust anyone. Its social and political implications are definitely troubling. This is not for your Lucas and Spielberg crowd, for we're not talking about commercial catering to eight-year-olds. Val Guest directs in a cold, cynical Kubrickian manner, accentuating the high degree of paranoia, and the picture's black & white photography conveys a bleak, creepy mood. (Sorry, no pretty pictures here). The intriguing story takes on true nightmarish proportions.

The few effects won't win any CGI awards (don't forget, computers weren't around then) but the briefly glimpsed monster (in the gothic Lovecraft tradition) is quite sickening. After all, it can manipulate man's dirty politics, you can't get more reprehensible than that.

From the late sixties to the late eighties this film was unavailable to the public, and it was feared to be permanently lost, but it later was released on video and shown occasionally on the Science Fiction Channel. Many notable Science Fiction and Horror authors (I believe that Harlan Ellison and Stephen King were among them) have championed this small, but remarkable early Hammer production. This is the film that many others have "borrowed from." Just a polite way of saying RIPPED-OFF!
½ March 22, 2008
Professor Quatermass is almost the cinematic apotheosis of what a scientist should be - capable, knowledgeable, curious but not lacking caution... some people might find him a little overbearing, perhaps, but why should any man with a fine mind suffer fools gladly. Having said all that, this is an excellent little thriller, possibly even better than the Quatermass Xperiment. Well worth checking out.
½ March 4, 2008
What's not to like about the Quatermass films? Released by England's legendary Hammer Studios, this the second installment in the series and whose story is based around the television series has scientist Bernard Quatermass (Brian Donlevy reprising his role from the first picture) trying to stop the spread of an alien invasion centered around a refinery in rural England. This story has been reworked in many different sci-fi films over the years (such as Tobe Hooper's Lifeforce and Invasion of the Body Snatchers) but it's probably most effective and fun here.
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