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October 27, 2010


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Grant L

One of those wonderful childhood memories, of happening upon this on network TV just as it was starting, never having heard a thing about it before.

Grant L

And damn, you're right, it does look like that big Satan thing they made for the album cover...or one of the Louvins themselves, with horns.


Which freaks you out more, the above image -- or the stomach-churning, proto-torture porn concept of 'human pulp', pioneered in 'Quatermass II'?

Lord Henry

Okay I'm dumb. What's this from?

That Fuzzy Bastard

Thanks, Lord Heny, for beating me to it...

Glenn Kenny

Well, the two of you need to go watch "Quatermass and the Pit" pretty much before you do anything else today. Indulge me, please, as I say "yeesh," and roll my eyes patronizingly.

I bet Don Lewis didn't know what movie this was either. Okay, maybe he did, but that Bewersdorf pally of his, no way.

Joe Strike

Lord Henry:

The image itself is from the movie's ('5 Million Years to Earth' as it's known here in the US) creeped-out climax. Movie begins with the discovery of an alien spaceship - that turns out to be 5 million years old - during excavation for a new Underground station in London...

And *then* it starts getting weird :-)) Along with "Curse(aka Night) of the Demon," my all time favorite British sci-fi/horror film.


This particular image really creeped me out as a God-fearing child stumbling across the movie on broadcast TV. Happily, the movie stood the test of time -- and exceeded my memories -- when I watched it again on TCM last week.

Unfortunately, it's not so easy to see nowadays. Not currently available on home video, according to Amazon, and not available from Netflix. Wish I'd taped the TCM showing.

Glenn Kenny

I had LOST my old, out of print domestic DVD of the film...but it's just been reinstated, courtesy of the Optimum Hammer box set, Region 2 UK only. Just so you know.

Peter Campbell

The film of Quatermass And The Pit is terrific but the television show of the same name is even better. Its in black and white, which adds to the creepiness, its got more time to build suspense, and is suggestive of old world evil when things begin to go wrong. All of the hammer Quatermass movies are worth a viewing.

Pete Apruzzese

That's a great image from a great film. Reminds me that I still need to watch the DVD of the original BBC serial version.

Nate Yapp

God I love this movie. I wish I had it on DVD.

Fuzzy Bastarrd

Ahhhh! I've been meaning to watch that one ever since Greil Marcus spouted off about it. Doesn't seem to be on Netflix, though.

Glenn Kenny

@ Fuzzy: Yeah, you need to get on that: "Lipstick Traces" was a WHILE ago. It's worth noting that Marcus' account of the film is, not altogether untypically, a little on the overheated side, in the manner of someone who watched the picture in a fever dream (or maybe on a pot high?) and then cobbled together an account from scrawled half-notes later on. Just so you know. Still, great film in any event.

@ Pete: Yes, and of course it was nice to see Mr. Donald again so soon after enjoying him in the Lafayette's presentation of "Kwai..."


Glenn, do you mean that big, 21 disc, or whatever, Hammer set, that comes in a black fold-out box with a red cross on the front? Yeah, I have that. It's gorgeous. However, as I still haven't replaced my effed up region free player, I can't watch it, and therefore I also haven't seen QUARTERMASS AND THE PIT. Goddamnit.

D Cairns

I can't tell you anything about the BluRay of the first Quatermass movie YET, but the TV version of PIT is indeed worth checking out. It was broadcast live, so the fear you see on the actors' faces is quite genuine...

Joe Strike

Anybody who wants a DVD of the movie should hang around in Union Square NYC & hope the guy who sells rare titles from a folding table shows up again. (That's where I got mine, along with 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, The Alligator People and The Mysterians.)

Glenn Kenny

Or a body could hie to, say, the Chiller Theatre Expo in Jersey this weekend and probably snag a copy from one of the 100%-legit-no-doubt table dealers there...

Joe Strike

Is that at the Loews Jersey in Journal Square? (If not, it should be)

Jason M.

Wow. Must see this; it looks fantastic.


Netflix is terribly stingy with Nigel Kneale. I managed to catch Quatermass and the Pit before it vanished. I also saw the last Quatermass series which has one of the saddest endings ever created. But beyond that, I may have to be a bad boy and watch "The Stone Tapes" on YouTube.

Lord Henry

For some reason I had it in my mind that QUATERMASS AND THE PIT was in b&w. I think it was because they've re-run the orignal TV series on British TV. Got to get this now, that's a great shot.

hisnewreasons -- THE STONE TAPES is great!

Joe Strike -- ditto for NIGHT OF THE DEMON. I was thinking about Dana Andrews the other day (as you do). NIGHT OF THE DEMON, BOOMERANG!, LAURA, A WALK IN THE SUN, THE OX-BOW INCIDENT, and THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES -- that's a pretty great run of films for an actor who now seems to be entirely forgotten. I'm also one of the few people who thinks THE LAST TYCOON is a good film. Great drunk act by De Niro, and one of Nicholson's most relaxed performances. Also, Theresa Russell proving in her first film that not only is she a hotsy-totsy but she's a very fine actress as well, as STRAIGHT TIME, BAD TIMING and EUREKA would later prove.

And THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES reminds me of a great trivia question -- Who is the only actor to win two Oscars for the same role? Who is the only actor to have sold an Oscar? They're the same person.

In these Internet days there's no reason to keep anyone in suspense. It's Harold Russell.

Just saw Shion Sono's COLD FISH at the LFF. I liked it, but as my missus said, "That's a good film, but that director's got problems." Plus MY SON, MY SON, WHAT HAVE YE DONE on DVD. With that and BAD LIEUTENANT, Herzog gets my vote for Director of the Year.

Sorry for rattling on, I've had a few beers. Often the best way to watch Werner.


Glad you got on to the Hammer box, Glenn. There's a lot to explore there. Straight On Til Morning and Demons of the Mind are worth the purchase price all by themselves...


"Kid's playin!" on Hob's Lane.

Peter Campbell

Demons of The Mind is a terrific film. The box set also includes such gems as The Reptile, The Plague Of The Zombies, Dracula: Prince Of Darkness, Rasputin The mad Monk and Blood From the Mummy's Tomb. (And the amazingly weird oddity that is Prehistoric Woman. Awful film but you know... additctive)

Glenn Kenny

Yes, yes, yes; that Optimum Hammer box is a 21-disc thing of beauty and Amazon U.K. has it for something like 35 pounds, which even with delivery comes out to maybe four bucks a disc. A package no region-free home should live without:

Bob Turnbull

Just following up now because yesterday I received that lovely 21 disc Hammer box in the mail after ordering it due to this post. I've wanted to see Quartermass And The Pit for some time, so when I started searching for it after reading this, I found the set on amazon.co.uk for 35 pounds - $56 for 21 Hammer films. Guess how long it took me to decide to buy that puppy?

Anyway, I just finished the film and it's a whole whack of fun. So thanks Glenn...B-)

Lord Henry, I saw "Cold Fish" at TIFF and thought it was an absolutely fearless piece of filmmaking. Along with "Love Exposure", "Strange Circus" and "Noriko's Dinner Table", it makes a case for Sono as one of my favourite currently working filmmakers.

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