X: The Unknown - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

X: The Unknown Reviews

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½ May 22, 2017
Truly abysmal low low budget Quatermass rip-off with none of Nigel Kneale's intelligence, and pedestrian direction by Leslie Norman. Poor Dean Jagger, fresh from being serenaded by Crosby and Kaye in White Christmas, is lumbered with most of the terrible script. Even good actors like Leo McKern and Edward Chapman sink without trace, but you'll probably be asleep before you notice.
½ March 27, 2016
British military drills uncover an invisible radioactive organism that emerges from beneath the earth's surface to absorb additional energy. Rare film where a young boy is a victim. Fairly interesting watch. Wraps up very cleanly with no loose ends like most 50's films.
½ October 13, 2015
Despite its absurd storyline, it's a surprisingly entertaining film that won't deaden your brain cells even if it's a trashy B film sci-fier. The special effects are certainly not up to modern speed, but for its time it serves the low-budget film well. 
August 26, 2015
A Scottish black and white version of The Blob. It's less entertaining than the Blob, and it's cheaper to,but it still has it's charm. The acting is good as well as the effects and the characters is this movie are likable. And a few graphics deaths that i enjoy and helped the movie in getting it's 3 stars. Recommended !!
May 28, 2015
This thing can take up any shape it needs to.

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."

Grade: C-
½ May 10, 2015
In the same vein as Hammer's contemporaneous Quatermass pictures, X: The Unknown is British sci-fi themed horror with serious social commentary (about radioactivity) thrown in for good measure. It starts well, with a sort of "Val Lewton" asthetic - low budget and what you can't see just might be more scary in your imagination. Dean Jagger is on hand as a scientist who is doing experiments on neutralizing atomic bombs when the monster strikes, killing a few soldiers and leaving a huge fissure in the earth. Then, a few more victims before we see the horrible sludge creature that lives on radiation (even attacking a hospital to get some). Unfortunately, the scientific mumbo jumbo can only get you so far and the film stumbles along to its fully expected conclusion.
February 21, 2015
Unknown energy mass emerges from the earth's core to ingest radioactive sources, burning anyone in its path. Originally meant as a Quartermass sequel but scrapped when the writer refused to take part. Regardless, it stands another effective suspense/horror film from the Hammer collection.
October 11, 2014
WOW.....WOW.....WOW....WOW....JUST SEEN THIS MOVIE 4 THE 1ST TIME N THINK THAT THIS IS A GREAT MOVIE 2 WATCH......ITS GOT A GOOD CAST OF ACTORS/ACTRESSESS THROUGHOUT THIS MOVIE.......I think that dean jagger (.R.I.P.), Edward chapman (.R.I.P.), leo mckern (.R.I.P.), Marianne brauns, William lucas, play good roles/parts throughout this movie.....I think that the director of this horror/mystery/suspense/classics/sci-fi movie had done a great job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie.....man this is such a great classics movie 2 watch, its got a great cast throughout this movie......man this is such an amazing movie 2 watch.......

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

man this is such a thrilling enjoyable classics movie 2 watch.....WARNING THIS MOVIE CONTAINS STROBE LIGHTNING EFFECTS THORUGHOUT SOME SCENES THROUGHOUT THIS MOVIE.....man this is such an amazing classics movie 2 watch, its got a great cast throughout this movie....man this is such a great black/white movie 2 watch, I think that this is such a really well written/acted/directed movie 2 watch, its got a good cast throughout this movie.....man this is such a thrilling 1950's movie 2 watch, its got a great cast throughout this movie.....I think that this is such a great movie 2 watch, with a great cast throughout this movie its such a brilliant movie 2 watch......
September 28, 2014
Quatermass meets the blob. Some shocking images, given its age, but let down badly by the ending.
Super Reviewer
August 30, 2014
How many creatures features out Scotland way? Not veddy many. Making this all the more special as Dean Jagger plays an eccentric American nuclear scientist who with local Leo McKern (one of the silly bad guys from the Beatles "Help!") combat a primordial sentient from beneath the earth. You might predict it'd be a laugh riot (until yer PS3 warmed up) but in truth it's alright stuff as a bowl of salsa escapes and threatens us all with radioactive hot stuff.
It's better than you think.
April 28, 2014
In 1955, Hammer Films had a huge box-office success with their adaptation of the BBC's 1953 serial, The Quatermass Xperiment. This sci-fi thriller, scripted by future Hammer veteran Jimmy Sangster, originally started life as a sequel to Quatermass. However, it's creator Nigel Kneale said no, so Hammer made it a film in it's own right, and it's a very good thriller, with a good cast to boot too. During an army training exercise in a remote part of western Scotland, a large earthquake occurs where soldiers involved in the exercise, including Private Lansing (Kenneth Cope) are exposed and injured by radiation exposure. Dr. Royston (Dean Jagger), who works at the nearby Atomic Energy Laboratory, is called in with Inspector McGill (Edward Chapman), to investigate this, and why it happened. But, when villagers in nearby communities to where it happened start dying of radiation poisoning, Royston and McGill deduct that the force is some prehistoric lifeforce which predates man, and has been trying to get to Earth's surface. It's a very good thriller, and it has a good cast of faces from film and TV of that time and later. It was directed by Leslie Norman, (Barry's Dad), who replaced Joseph Losey, who had ran away from the Communist Witch-hunts of America. As a result, it was a difficult production, but it manages to be exciting to watch.
March 28, 2014
Silly radioactive blob flick benefits from the conviction of its British cast.
½ March 12, 2014
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.
½ October 22, 2013
British b-movie horror tapping into the fears of the new nuclear age to create its monster and it's solid enough film-making.
½ October 12, 2013
Classic Horror about a group of soldiers in Scotland who come across a gravel pit which emanates an unusual amount of Radiation, many deaths follow,and of course the team must find a way to stop this radioactive horror. Lots of well known stars, good acting and a good story, make it a compelling budget thriller, The special effects are well done for the time,Look out for Johnny Briggs, I think, But he was later in coronation street
July 20, 2013
Early Hammer horror about a radioactive mud creature that terrorizes a small Scottish village. The film does take itself more seriously than most 1950s sci-fi/horror films, even if the premiss is awfully silly. Still, it's a well made low-budget film that is well worth watching for fans of these sorts of films.
½ February 13, 2013
just ok B movie fare though a rare sci-fi movie from hammer (the house of horror) films.
February 13, 2013
Unusual early Hammer sci-fi which arrived hot on the tails of their success with Quatermass and Curse of Frankenstein. Good special effects combine with some great character performances from the usual suspects and the American imports.
½ February 13, 2013
I guess it might have been a fun drive in flick to take your girl too, but now it is just a typical shabby produced and boring movie.
February 13, 2013
Early genre film from Hammer is an intelligent science-fiction mystery in the mold of Nigel Kneale's Quatermass series. It has it's slow, talky moments, and the ending is pretty anti-climactic - but the intriguing scientific mystery of Jimmy Sangster's smart script and the effective atmosphere and production values - including some pretty good special effects and superb, crisp black and white cinematography - keep things moving. Great piercing score by James Bernard.
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