X: The Unknown - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

X: The Unknown Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 13, 2013
Before "The Blob" there was X-The Unknown, a creepy, scary film by Hammer, the makers of the Quatermass series. Radioactive mud rises to the surface to terrorize soldiers and residents of a scottish village. As it is radioactive several victims succomb to burns and worse while it is on the prowl for radiation that makes it grow even larger. While the special effects are dated it can still send a chill through you with the melting scenes and the longest scream I ever heard in a sci-fi film. Decent script and excellent acting by american actor Dean Jagger and british actors Leo Mckern and Edward Chapman help to make this film well worth the rental. 3 Stars 1-16-13
½ February 13, 2013
This is a thoroughly enjoyable sci-fi movie from Hammer. I can't help but feel that this film must have been the inspiration for "The Blob" (released a couple of years after) radioactive mud is causing havoc in the Scottish Highlands and near an atomic laboratory. Luckily Dr. Royston works there and is in the middle of carrying out some groundbreaking nuclear experiments. So Royston, with the help of Inspector McGill and the military race against time to find a way to kill the unknown. While most 50's monster movies can be somewhat camp and silly. This comes across as relatively intelligent. There is a very Quatermass feel to the proceedings. Time is taken to clarify the science aspects but done in a way that doesn't become boring. Well acted, well paced and really suspenseful. The ending is little bit of a letdown and quite abrupt. But any fans of Hammer films will be used to that.
February 13, 2013
Decent Early Hammer Horror tale. Kinda reminds me of The Blob. Kinda reminds me of The Monolith Monsters. VF.
½ February 13, 2013
Early Hammer film. A weird radioactive creature that burst from the earths core is reaping havoc trying to get more radiation for reasons unknown. With the first half playing like THE THING, and the second like THE BLOB, you can't really go wrong with this one.
February 13, 2013
just ok B movie which elevated by a great cast like jagger & newley.
Super Reviewer
½ February 13, 2013
This not entirely satisfying Hammer film is pretty much solidifies the reason as to why you didn't see them making too many sci-fi movies. Dean Jagger plays an American scientist in Scotland, who with the army at his disposal must stop the radioactive version of The Blob. The story is nothing innovative or even particularly exciting but even Hammer's lesser efforts have some great murders, an awesome-looking monster and a great finale. And if you're lucky, some spectacular photography. Fortunately, X the Unknown has all of these things. It's just too bad there are those story parts inbetween.
½ October 13, 2012
Rather dull Quatermass Spinoff--Passable low-budget sci-fi flick, helped by sincere performances!!
April 14, 2012
This movie reminded me of The Blob (1958) and I wouldn't be shocked if they got some ideas from this movie. Nuclear radiation seems to be the main theme for these type of movies from the 1950s, but this creature is more like a blob from underground that feeds off radioactive material. In the movie the blob kind of looks like a giant marshmallow, but toward the end you get a more close up look at the creature. This was a so-so film, not horrible, but borderline for me.
½ August 16, 2011
This is an occasionally satisfying attempt at Quatermass-style science fiction from Hammer Films. The goopy mass that terrorizes throughout the film seems like an inspiration for "The Blob" which will follow a couple of years later.
The creeping gob from the center of the Earth doesn't show up until later in the movie but near the end it slithers around quite a bit which makes the whole endeavor more fun overall. This has to score some points for originality and for the subdued performance of Dean Jagger as Dr. Royston. There's an overabundance of silly science and clicking Gieger counters and the disposal of the monster is a yawner but there's some slightly suspenseful moments that make the whole thing worth a watch.
½ November 18, 2010
It's a bit 'meh'. Biggest issue is probably that if you were born after 1975 you learned more about radioactivity in school then the supposed scientists in this movie seem to know about it, and that really doesn't help with the immersion.

It has all the great cinematography you'd expect from a hammer movie though and I loved the fact that the supposed Scots in this actually have the correct accent! :-) Lots of eye for detail, all the characters play their roles pretty well too and manage to avoid becoming to clichĂ (C), with the notable exception of Edward Chapman, who has impressed me with being quite possibly the most painfully clichĂ (C) bureaucrat in movie history I've ever seen.

If you're not capable of 'suspension of disbelief' I'd recommend you steer clear of this one.
If you like this type of old mystery/horror movie and you can cringe your way through the horribly wrong 'science' it has a few actually melting faces to enjoyable kill a lost afternoon with!
October 26, 2010
A paint by numbers atomic era sci-fi/horror film. Seriously imagine a scene from any cold war sci-fi movie? That scene is in this movie.
October 23, 2010
Meh...not my favourite sci-fi movie that's for sure. I wanted a bit more science in my fiction to make this radioactive slime creating trouble to be believable.
½ March 2, 2010
A bit slow, but decent effort by Jimmy Sangster. Jagger was alright. He played great off of Leo McKern who was wonder with his role.
March 22, 2009
After the successful Quatermass Xperiment, Hammer wanted the character to be in this movie, but Kneale wisely refused.

This isnâ??t on a par with any of the Quatermass tv shows, or movies, but itâ??s still an interesting sci fi movie, and often amusing look at how naive the writers were, when it came to writing about radiation, and how scientists supposedly handled radioactive properties, without wearing any protective gear, or house radiation in a proper environment.

But this was made in the 50s, and no one (well script writers) really understood the nature of radiation other than it was used to build a bomb.

However this is an enjoyable and an nostalgic trip to an innocent age, with a fun story of a radioactive creature stalking a sleepy village in Scotland.
February 22, 2009
If you imagine the central character is Bernard Quatermass, it's a very good film
½ December 23, 2008
A 'Blob' rip off but no Steve McQueen
Super Reviewer
October 11, 2008
Alot of noise and static..and a performance by Dean Jagger as though hes' taking a stroll in the park..uninspired, not scary or frightening, just a blob of radioactive energy slime creating havoc..the science behind it is as hard to grasp as the entertainment value (or lack thereof) this movie offers...
May 19, 2008
Hammer may have perfected horror, but their science fictions are magnificent, with "X" comparing favorably with their "Quatermass" films. Great cast (dig Anthony Newley getting toasted!), and a great premise. Seriously, what's more original-the umpeenth alien invasion from outer space, or sentient, radioactive mud popping up on the Moors? Great stuff, ya betcha! I wonder if Jack Harris and/or Irving Yeoworth used this as inspiration for THE BLOB. Hmm.....
½ January 30, 2008
Effective little horror/sf film from Hammer Studios. Intended to be a sequal to Quatermass, has a scientist loosely based on him dealing with a dangerous radioactive mud-like critter.
½ January 24, 2008
An inventive sci-fi thriller from Hammer's black and white period. It's hard for a mostly unintelligent lump of radioactive mud to make a compelling antagonist, and the ending is weirdly abrupt, but it's an engaging film nonetheless.
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