X: The Unknown Reviews
Some scientific experiments in Scotland go badly wrong and strange beings begin emerging from the mud. When the mud creatures come in contact with humans, the humans begin dissolving until they die. The mud creatures are on a mission to take over the world. Can anyone stop them?
"It is strictly forbidden for anyone to cross this point."
Joseph Losey, director of The Servant, The Go Between, Mr. Klein, Concrete Jungle, Don Giovanni, A Doll's House, Accident, and Eva, delivers X the Unknown. The storyline for this picture is just okay and seemed like a Blob knockoff. The script and action was just okay and the cast delivers mediocre performances. The cast includes Dean Jagger, Edward Chapman, Leo McKern, and Anthony Newley.
"We only try to create, not destroy."
X the Unknown was a movie I came across on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and decided to give it a shot (I'm a huge fan of these grindhouse/drive-in classics). This is one of those bad concept movies that seemed to have tried to ride on the coat tale of The Blob. Overall, this is a below average horror movie that is only worth watching if you're a fan of this era's horror classics.
"We cannot break a swear."
The film was originally intended by Hammer to be a sequel to the previous year's successful The Quatermass Xperiment, but writer Nigel Kneale refused permission for the character of Bernard Quatermass to be used.
The original director of the film was Joseph Losey, working under the name Joseph Walton - Losey was an American director who had moved to the UK after being placed on the Hollywood blacklist. Although Losey did begin shooting the film and some of his footage is included in the final cut, he was replaced by Leslie Norman due to illness.
Half the film's budget was provided by Sol Lesser of RKO Pictures. This amount, $30,000, went towards the fee for Dean Jagger. Despite this, an American distribution deal between Hammer and RKO fell through, and the film was distributed in the U.S. by Warner Bros..
Variety wrote that the film was "a highly imaginative and fanciful [melodrama]....There's little letup in the action, and suspense angles are kept constantly to the forefront". In the UK the Daily Telegraph said it was "good, grisly fun" and "a welcomed change from interplanetary yarns" was the verdict of Films and Filming
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It's better than you think.
A half decent British 50's sci-fi B-movie that would struggle to frighten even a 5 year-old (more likely bore them). Having said that it is entertaining enough to be worth a look and there is not exactly a huge number of killer radioactive mud movies out there so this is possibly the best of it's type.