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The follow-up by Hammer to The Quatermass Xperiment (55), this also was preceded by an earlier TV version - a 6-part BBC serial in 1955. Brian Donlevy returns to the role of Professor Quatermass, here starting the story in a grumpy mood because the funds for his planned moon base have been cancelled. Investigating a region with an associate due to rumored meteorite strikes, Quatermass is surprised to discover a secret base, apparently modeled on his moon base. They also find some small meteorites; one of these breaks open and infects the associate. Armed personnel take the infected man away and Quatermass gets bruised. Later, along with a persistent newspaper reporter, Quatermass begins to get wind of an alien plot - several government men have already been compromised by this point, in an alien scheme that stretches back over a year.
The famous horrific visual on the poster is a representation of what happens to the reporter - he falls into a vat of toxic alien material (his fall isn't shown, only the aftermath). The aliens in this one are a kind of gestalt mind and we finally see these massed together in monstrous form in the final act. But, overall, it's one of the more subtle alien invasion tales, copied later by such diverse properties as Star Trek TNG, the episode Conspiracy (1988), where-in select officials are 'taken over' by an alien mind. The plot shows that one doesn't know who to trust, though compromised individuals can be spotted by the odd black marks somewhere on the skin, the point where the alien presence entered. This seems a bit slow in the first half, but the tension mounts and there's a fairly action-loaded last act when Donlevy infiltrates the secret plant and the local workers join in repelling the alien invaders. BoG's Score: 7.5 out of 10
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