QUATERMASS II(Hammer, 1957)—Science fiction. Director: Val Guest; Producer: Anthony Hinds; Script: Nigel Kneale and Val Guest; Cinematography: Gerald Gibbs; Cast: Brian Donlevy (Quatermass), John Longdon (Lomax), Sidney James (Jimmy Hall), Bryan Forbes (Marsh), William Franklyn (Brand), Vera Day (Sheila), Percy Herbert (Gorman), Michael Ripper (Ernie), Tom Chatto (Broadhead), John Van Eyssen (PRO), and Charles Lloyd Pack (Dawson).
Hammer Studios produced the first Quatermass film, The Quatermass Xperiment, starring Brian Donlevy, in 1955 following the popularity of Nigel Kneale's television series. The success of this film prompted a sequel, Quatermass II (released in the United States as Enemy from Space), again starring Donlevy as the obdurate scientist Professor Quatermass. Quatermass II is an even better film and it shares many of the qualities of the 1956 Hollywood film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, especially the idea of an alien takeover of human bodies through the disbursement of foreign organisms. A more general influence on the film was the overall sense of paranoia embodied in George Orwell's 1984.
When Quatermass's car nearly hits another car containing a distressed woman and her badly scarred boyfriend, he learns of a secret government project at Wynnerton Flats. The discovery of this enterprise, ostensibly to manufacture synthetic food, is accompanied by a mysterious meteorite shower. After one of Quatermass's scientists (Marsh) is scarred by the tiny living organisms inside one of the “rocks,” security forces from the installation knock Quatermass over and take Marsh away. Despite warnings not to become involved, the obstinate scientist joins with a rebel politician (Broadhead) to investigate the project. During a supervised visit to the installation, the politician dies and Quatermass has to flee for his life. Faced with bureaucratic obstacles, Quatermass, with the assistance of a senior policeman (Lomax), penetrates a conspiracy that includes senior members of the government and the Commissioner of Scotland Yard. Quatermass, with the assistance of local villagers from Wynnerton, in an ending similar to the