Hammer’s first plunge into sci-fi horror stars Brian Donlevy as bulldog scientist Quatermass dealing with a rocket ship returned from space whose lone-survivor, played by Richard Wordsworth, may no longer be human. Donlevy’s commanding presence overcomes his suspect casting as a scientist, and Wordsworth steals the film with his dead-eyed performance. Love director Val Guest’s decision to adopt a realistic style—it helps the film age well. He keeps the special effects off-screen as much as possible. When he does show the goods they often deliver, and even when they fall short they’re still unsettling. The Kino Lorber print looks great.
Followed by Quatermass 2.