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Quatermass and the Pit (1967) - Blu-ray Review

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Quatermass and the Pit blu-ray

Because skulls and bombs do not mix!  Quatermass and the Pit finally sees the light of day on HD thanks to Shout! Factory.  

Directed by Roy Ward Baker (The October Man) and starring character actor Andrew Keir (The Dalek Invasion of Earth) as Professor Bernard Quatermass, Quatermass and the Pit concerns itself with the discovery of a pair of early human skulls and a mysterious object in an extension to the London Underground.  The shiny, metallic object is first believed to be an unexploded German bomb and so panic runs through Hobbs End.  But the thought of this object being a bomb is dead wrong.

"this is classic Hammer.  No doubt about it.  From beginning to end, Quatermass and the Pit will shake you to your core."


And Quatermass, believing this bizarre (and BIG) object to be of otherworldly origins, knows it.  Which is why, throughout Nigel Kneale’s wicked-smart script, he is a constant thorn in the side of Colonel Breen (Julian Glover) who believes the Germans are to blame.  But, when the object is messed with even Palaeontologist Dr Matthew Roney (James Donald) and his assistant, Barbara Judd (Barbara Shelley) are at a loss to explain the object . . . even if they do believe it is from this earth.

But Judd is abnormally drawn to the object and, when it is opened, small skull of weird-looking creatures are discovered everyone wonders just what is going on here?!?!  The hypnotic, sonic weirdness is just beginning in this classic of science fiction Hammer because once this craft is punctured all sorts of horrific visions are seen of races being wiped out by an evil horde of insect-looking aliens.  Suddenly, Quatermass knows what is going on: it’s the end of humanity for sure if he can’t stop the spread of curiosity surrounding this object!

And the Gonzo Gurus over at Scream Factory have served their handling of Quatermass and the Pit up well.  Fully loaded with NEW interviews and NEW commentaries, this film gets the appreciation it so rightly deserves as it, being ripe with color photography and a wicked script, turned many a young head in the youth who saw it; they, in turn, became some of our most cherished filmmakers.  Joe Dante, for one, is on record here staring his love for this movie as it was a BIG influence.Quatermass and the Pit blu-ray

Released in the States as Five Million Years to Earth when it played in a double bill here with Circus of Fear, the third (and final) Quatermass film is still highly regarded thanks to several scenes of pure terror.  While the energy coming from the spacecraft might be invisible, the terror here – as one drill operator flees for his life – is palpable and immediate.  Even running to a church for salvation does little to quell the evil that exudes from this mysterious object.   

Having originally watched this movie when I was younger, the modern day viewing of this classic thriller, now on sparkling blu-ray, proves its longevity; this is classic Hammer.  No doubt about it.  From beginning to end, Quatermass and the Pit will shake you to your core. 

5/5 beers

Quatermass and the Pit blu-ray

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- July 30, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.66:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Presented with an aspect ratio of 1.66.1, it is the punched-up color you will notice first.  The reds are delicious and the greens are fertile.  The blues go deep, too.  The 2K restoration employed here is beautiful work.  Grain has never looked this inviting.  The details throughout this feature are simply scrumptious.  From fabrics in the clothes of the actors to the facial imperfections of Keir, this AVC encoded image (presented in the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio) 1080p transfer gets the look right.  Enjoy the detailed looks of the Underground.  Hobbs End is textured and speckled with good detail.  The transfer has the film loaded with details and fresh-looking life.  The sound is presented in a choice between DTS HD MA Stereo track.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There are two NEW commentaries: one featuring Film Historian Bruce G. Hallenbeck and another featuring Filmmaker Constantine Nasr And Author/Film Historian Steve Haberman who give their thoughts about the film, its director, why it is a classic, and the entire Quatermass legacy. 

Special Features:

  • Crack the case on this one and, boy oh boy, you are in for a treat with these supplemental materials!
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Film Historian Bruce G. Hallenbeck
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Filmmaker Constantine Nasr And Author/Film Historian Steve Haberman
  • NEW Interview With Actor Hugh Futcher
  • NEW Interview With Academy Award-Winning Special Effects Artist Brian Johnson (Alien)
  • NEW Interview With Clapper Loader Trevor Coop
  • NEW Interview With Focus Puller Bob Jordan
  • Interview With Author Judith Kerr
  • Interview With Actor Julian Glover
  • Interview With Actor/Writer Mark Gatiss
  • Interview With Filmmaker Joe Dante
  • Interview With Author/Film Historian Kim Newman
  • Interview With author/Hammer Film Historian Marcus Hearn
  • Audio Commentary With Director Roy Ward Baker And Writer Nigel Kneale
  • World of Hammer – Sci-Fi
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • TV Spots
  • Alternate U.S. Credits
  • Still Gallery

Blu-ray Rating:

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  4/5 stars
  Audio 3/5 stars
  Extras 4/5 stars

Overall Blu-ray Experience

4/5 stars

Quatermass and the Pit blu-ray

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
97 mins
Director
: Roy Ward Baker
Writer:
Nigel Kneale
Cast:
James Donald, Andrew Keir, Barbara Shelley
Genre
: Horror | Mystery
Tagline:
Force more powerful than 1,000 H-Bombs unleashed to devastate Earth! World in panic! Cities in flames!
Memorable Movie Quote: "We are the Martians now."
Theatrical Distributor:
Twentieth Century Fox
Official Site:
Release Date:
February 16, 1968
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 30, 2019
Synopsis: Hobbs End, Knightsbridge, London. While working on a new subway tunnel for the London Underground, a group of construction workers uncover a strangely shaped skull. Nearby, another discovery: a large, mysterious and impenetrable metal object. Initially mistaken for an unexploded bomb, the object and its strange power turn out to be far more horrific than anybody could have possibly imagined. Is it of this earth? Could it be the ancestral link to mankind's evolution? Or could it be an ancient link to the unleashing of the ultimate evil? There's only one man capable of unravelling the clues, and his name is Professor Bernard Quatermass (Andrew Keir), a man of science who thrives on the dark mysteries of the world ...

Quatermass and the Pit blu-ray

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