QUATERMASS 2 (ENEMY FROM SPACE in the USA)
Director - Val Guest; Screenplay - Val Guest and Richard H. Landau based on the
teleplay by Nigel Kneale; Producers - Anthony Hinds and Robert L. Lippert;
Music - James Bernard; Cinematography - Walter Harvey; Editor - James Needs;
Art Direction - J. Elder Wills; Makeup - Phil Leakey; Special effects - Les
Bowie, Ray Caple, Roy Field and Vic Margutti.
Cast: Brian Donlevy (Prof. Bernard Quatermass), John Longden (Inspector Lomax),
Sid James (Jimmy Hall), Bryan Forbes (Marsh), William Franklyn (Brand),
Vera Day (Sheila), Michael Ripper (Ernie).
As Quatermass struggles to gain Government support for his plans for the
colonisation of the Moon, he becomes interested in reports of meteorites
landing in an area known as Winnerden Flats. Travelling to the area with
his colleague, Marsh, Quatermass is astounded to find a huge complex under construction, apparently based on his plans for a Moon
colony. Marsh finds one of the meteorites, which cracks open leaving him
injured with a V-shaped mark on his face. Armed guards from the plant,
who are sporting similar V-shaped marks, arrive and take Marsh away.
Quatermass is knocked down and ordered away by men with machine guns.
Trying to discover what is going on at the plant and what has happened to
Marsh, Quatermass contacts Inspector Lomax, the police officer who assisted him in The Quatermass Xperiment. Lomax puts him in
touch with Vincent Broadhead, a Member of Parliament who has
been trying to uncover the veil of secrecy surrounding Winnerden Flats.
Quatermass joins Broadhead on an official tour of the complex which, he
is told, has been built to manufacture artificial food. Slipping away
from the visiting party, Broadhead attempts to get inside one of the large
domes that dominate the plant's skyline. Quatermass finds him dying,
covered in a poisonous black slime.
Shot at by guards as he exits the plant, Quatermass returns to Lomax,
explaining that he believes that plant is indeed making food, but not
for human consumption. Instead its purpose is to provide a suitable
environment for alien creatures that are inside the great domes. Lomax
attempts to alert his superiors but when he meets the Commissioner of
Police, he notices he too is sporting the V-shaped mark. The aliens have
taken control of the government.
Quatermass and Lomax turn instead to the press, in the form of journalist
Jimmy Hall (Sid James). Hall is sceptical of their story and asks to
visit Winnerden Flats himself. They visit the local community centre
where they receive a hostile reception from the locals employed to do
the building work at the plant. However, the mood changes when one of
the meteorites crashes through the roof of the building and injures
barmaid Sheila. The villagers form a mob and march on the
plant. Rushing the gates, Quatermass, Lomax and the villagers barricade
themselves into the pressure control room.
Realising that the Earth's atmosphere must be poisonous to the creatures,
Quatermass sabotages their life support system, pumping oxygen into the
domes. Simultaneously, Quatermass' assistant, Brand, launches the
Quatermass 2 rocket at an asteroid in Earth's shadow that they believe
the aliens are using to stage their invasion. The creatures can
amalgamate and create 150 foot high monsters that burst from the domes
and run amok. The rocket strikes the asteroid, destroying it in a nuclear
explosion. Their base gone, the giant creatures die and the V-shaped
marks disappear from those affected, leaving them with no memory of
having been under alien control. Once again Quatermass has saved the
Earth from a malign alien intelligence.
Screen grabs by Stuart Hall