Whilst excavating for a new Underground station in London, a mysterious artefact is unearthed. Bernard Quatermass is brought in to examine it and identify its origins. What was thought to be an unexploded bomb from World War 2 is, in fact, an alien craft containing insect-like residents of Mars.
I love any film that gets apocalyptic very quickly. After a slowww build-up, we suddenly get the characters and indeed, the whole of London going to hell in a handcart. I kept thinking, ‘See what you’ve done now and just for one more station on the Jubilee Line!’
I also love how this seemingly quite conservative film suddenly becomes all trippy and far out with the discovery of the artefact. Suddenly we have kaleidoscopic visuals and giant locusts. This was way before The Exorcist 2: The Heretic.
This film is beautifully photographed and directed with panache. There’s a fantastic build-up of tension and sometimes the film skirts into the terrain of the truly insane (check out what the ‘strange vibrations’ the artefact gives off does to the characters who are subject to them. Their RADA training was used to great effect for these scenes).
Quatermass and the Pit was written by the brilliant Nigel Kneale who, at one point, wrote the first draft of Halloween 3: Season of the Witch. John Carpenter is a big fan of Quatermass and adapted the name when he wrote the screenplay for his film Prince of Darkness.
Fun fact- Andrew Keir who plays Quatermass is the father of the fabulous Julie T Wallace of Life and Loves of a She-Devil fame.
Quatermass and the Pit ran with the Christopher Lee film Circus of Fear after its original release in cinemas.
3.5 stars out of 4