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Quatermass 2 (1957) - Blu-ray

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Quatermass 2 (1957)

Based on the popular television serial, Hammer Studios produced a trilogy of science fiction gems featuring the talents of Professor Bernard Quatermass in the 1950s and 60s.  Their first film, The Quatermass Xperiment brought them a box office hit and a major film distributor.  It also angered creator and screenwriter Nigel Kneale who didn’t see the casting of Irish-born American Brian Donlevy in the lead role as very fitting.  It didn’t matter much to Hammer Studios, though. They had a hit on their hands.  The Quatermass Xperiment is, in fact, the film that gave Hammer Studios its legs to stand on in the horror genre, a sequel was a no-brainer and so two years later, Quatermass 2 was released.

"Without the success of the Quatermass series, there is no Hammer Studios legacy to celebrate"


Professor Bernard Quatermass (Brian Dunlevy) is back in action and annoyance!  His annoyance begins with a car accident that has him face to face with a man with a very unique condition RIGHT ON HIS FACE.  A woman (Jan Holden), promising her boyfriend, Chris (Barry Lowe), that she’ll get help soon winds up almost crashing into Quatermass when the delirious Chris, with burns all over his face, grabs the wheel and forces their car off the road.

But this burn is caused from strange pieces of stone.  Quatermass is at once interested, especially when the shocked man makes a run for it.  That’s the pre-credit action-packed sequence that kicks off the second Quatermass movie.  With James Bernard’s chill inducing score as a tense background, we are swiftly off to investigate a series of patterns involving these falling rocks from the sky.  With a rocket in the distance ready to launch, our eyes are to the sky throughout this science fiction classic flick from Hammer Films.

Except Quatermass and his crew, who desperately want to colonize the moon, are grounded.  He can’t even stand to look at the rocket in the distance.  But the objects falling from the sky won’t stop and, as Quatermass discovers another plan, similar to his own, as aliens begin to invade the British government, leaving those who discover the truth in the meteorites with strange v-marks on their faces. Quatermass 2 (1957)

Written by Nigel Kneale and directed by Val Guest, Quatermass 2 brilliantly flips the script on Quatermass’ plan for a moon colony by having the aliens colonize us – or at least attempt to do so.  Paranoid and full of suspense, Quatermass 2 is another wildly successful science fiction flick put out by Hammer.  With Dunlevy being the only actor to play the character twice, there is a nice continuation and flow in both character and treatment as the aliens get the early upper hand in colonization. 

Without the success of the Quatermass series, there is no Hammer Studios legacy to celebrate.  Own the sequel on blu-ray today.

4/5 beers

Quatermass 2 (1957)

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Shout Factory
Available on Blu-ray
- July 30, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.75:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

The new 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack, is a beauty of black-and-white photography.  The grain level is perfect.  The details are crisp and there’s no flaw in the 1080p picture.  It. Is. Golden.  The black-and-white film is shadow-heavy and the transfer holds thick lines in place.  Nothing bleeds.  It is surprisingly clean given the age of the film, without any over-processing lending the picture an artificial appearance.  The film is still allowed to breathe and retains a level of grain that ensures an authentic and credible appearance.  Even the darkest of scenes are rarely problematic, with the blacks proving extremely solid and lighter grays visually stunning.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There is a fascinating commentary from filmmaker/film historian Constantine Nasr that is NEW to this release.  There is also the commentary from filmmaker William Friedkin that was attached to a prior release.  Both are good. 

Special Features:

This release is loaded with bonus material. 

  • NEW 2K Scan Of A Pristine Archival Film Print
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Filmmaker/Film Historian Ted Newsom
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Author/Film Historian Steve Haberman And Filmmaker/Film Historian Constantine Nasr
  • NEW Interview With Academy Award-Winning Special Effects Artist Brian Johnson (Alien)
  • NEW Interview With Assistant Director Hugh Harlow
  • Vintage Interview With Director Val Guest
  • Audio Commentary With Director Val Guest And Writer Nigel Kneale
  • World Of Hammer – Sci-Fi
  • U.S. Theatrical Trailer – ENEMY OF SPACE
  • Still Gallery

Blu-ray Rating:

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

Overall Blu-ray Experience

3.5/5 stars

Quatermass 2 (1957)

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
85 mins
Director
: Val Guest
Writer:
Nigel Kneale
Cast:
Brian Donlevy, John Longden, Sidney James
Genre
: Horror | Sci-fi
Tagline:
A horrible enemy from the unknown strikes terror across the earth!
Memorable Movie Quote: "I was right. They are coming down by the hundreds."
Theatrical Distributor:
United Artists
Official Site:
Release Date:
September, 1957
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 30, 2019
Synopsis: Professor Quatermass, played by Hollywood veteran Brian Donlevy reprising his role from The Quatermass Xperiment, is Britain's most clever scientist. Investigating a series of bizarre incidents that have been reported from a deserted area, he finds a group of soldiers and government officials that appear to be controlled by aliens from another world. When a close friend is brutally murdered by these beings, Quatermass leads a mob of local workers to a showdown with the extraterrestrials. The film was retitled Enemy From Space for its U.S. theatrical release.

Quatermass 2 (1957)

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