Hobbs End, Knightsbridge, London. Whilst working on a new subway tunnel for the London Underground a group of construction workers uncover a strangely shaped skull amongst the rubble. Nearby is another discovery: a large, mysterious and impenetrable metal object. Initially mistaken for an unexploded bomb the origins of the object and its strange power are far more horrific and terrifying than anybody could have possibly imagined. Is it of this earth? Could it be the ancestral link to mankind’s evolution? Or could it be an ancient link to unleashing ultimate evil? There’s only one man capable of unravelling the clues, his name is Professor Bernard Quatermass, a man of science who thrives on the dark mysteries of the world, a man with answers.
Written by legendary screenwriter Nigel Kneale, Quatermass and The Pit is a seminal British sci-fi classic. Highly influential, it’s renowned for its creepy plot and eerie, disturbing atmosphere. There is nothing else like it.
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Beautifully restored, this is one of the best-looking blu-rays I own. The film itself is an undoubted classic, intelligently scripted by the legendary Nigel Kneale and with an excellent performance from Andrew keir as Quatermass. An essential purchase!
Quatermass and the Pit is arguably the best of the Quatermass movies, with the definitive Bernard Quatermass in Andrew Keir. Produced some time after the first two movies due to disagreements between the studio and writer Nigel Kneale, the move to colour and a different actor makes a more satisfying watch. The story itself has been endlessly retold, elements show up to a greater or less extent in a couple of Doctor Who stories, but suffice to say something odd turns up in an excavation to extend the London Underground, and the wonder unravels in stages. The occasional cheap-looking visual effect aside, the movie has dated remarkably well, with great performances and sets. The transfer is very clear in sound and vision, and the inclusion of both Blu-ray and DVD disks is a pleasant surprise. A number of new interviews shed some light on the background to the movies, and the writer's commentary track makes a very complete package. It's highly recommended.
A film I have often undermined, not finding the resonance many others did, until this version! With new Olly Moss artwork on the cover, the feel is classic science fiction (Moss's illustration reminds me of the original 'Invasion of the Bodysnatchers'). The film looks vibrant and deep in rich colours, particularly in the claustrophobia that is Hobbs End underground station and the performances are, on the whole, exceptional, particularly Andrew Keir, Julian Glover, Barbara Shelley, James Donald and the wonderful Duncan Lamont. The impending sense of terror is built slowly but masterfully by the late, great Roy Ward Baker and Bernard Robinson's amazing sets (apparently his last work for Hammer) defy the woefully minute amount of money at this great designer's disposal. So why the three stars I hear you say? Quite simply, all the other Hammer releases so far have included both a Bluray disc with extras and a direct copy on DVD, but not this one! The HD disc includes around two hours of new interviews with the splendid Judith Kerr (widow of Nigel Kneale), Joe Dante, Kim Newman, the wonderfully jolly Julian Glover, Marcus Hearn and Mark Gatiss, trailers for the UK cinemas, the USA release (under its silly alternate title) credits for America, a 'World of Hammer' episode on Sci-Fi and a superb commentary from Roy Ward Baker and Nigel Kneale which is absolutely fascinating. These are not, however, repeated on the DVD and, furthermore, the film is 3 minutes less in duration. Since the aforementioned and upcoming 'Curse of Frankenstein' includes all the content from the Blu-ray, why couldn't Optimum do the same here? It means that I can't watch the full content on my computer or upstairs TV so I am really disappointed and short changed.
The quality of the restored 'Quatermass and the Pit' is fantastic. Don't worry about the Hammer "special effects" either as the high definition merely adds to their charm. The colours and audio look and sound cleaner and better than ever on these discs and they represent execellent value.