(AKA Night of the Burning Doomed) The late Fifties and the Sixties in Great Britain were the age of Quatermass. A whole slew of copies came out during the era, and you can trace Quatermass’ influence through most of the British SF Horror films of the day. Like a privileged handful of other knockoffs (and the […]
Read more "Night of the Big Heat [Island of the Burning Damned] (1967)"
When one looks at the giants of British Horror Cinema, one notes that Hammer Films turned out an impressive number of SF films, including their remakes of the legendary Quatermass serials and far too many Bikini Cavegirl movies. Their closest competitor, Amicus, while they never made quite so many, did in fact contribute two Dr. […]
Read more "Doomwatch (1972)"
When you talk about lost BBC science fiction shows, most people think about all the missing Dr. Who episodes. While I regret their loss as much as the average (Classic) Whovian (and would particularly love to see far more of Patrick Troughton’s run!), there are other programs whose loss I regret as much — or perhaps […]
Read more "A for Andromeda (2006)"
If you haven’t heard of Joshua Kennedy by now, you should have. Really. It’s your own fault. Joshua is one of a growing number of young filmmakers who turn out remarkable films for next to nothing, the garage bands of the film world. He is also one of the more accomplished of that small but […]
Read more "The Vesuvius Xperiment (2015)"
Wisconsin based filmmaker, Bill Rebane, got his career off to a good start with his successful documentary short, “Twist Craze” (1962), only to see his next project come to a sudden and disastrous end. Terror at Halfway was his first attempt at a science fiction or horror film – although not, by far, his last – […]
Read more "Monster a-Go Go (1965)"
This was the first of three science fiction films directed by Hammer icon Terrence Fisher (see my review of Island of Terror), and by far the shortest, clocking in just under an hour. I have to (once again) confess a definite weakness for British SF from the Fifties and Sixties, particularly those that were to one […]
Read more "The Earth Dies Screaming (1964)"
The greatest mystery about Island of Terror is why this tense little Hammer clone movie has so thoroughly fallen through the cracks. This was the first of two films Hammer’s Terrence Fisher directed for Planet Films (the other being Night of the Big Heat/Island of the Burning Damned). It wouldn’t be hard to imagine either of […]
Read more "Island of Terror (1966)"
Nigel Kneale, while best remembered for his four Quatermass stories, created quite a few interesting horror and SF films during a long career as a scriptwriter. One notes his TV play, The Creature (filmed by Hammer as The Abominable Snowman ), the horror series Beasts, a comedy about a guy with an imaginary girlfriend from space (Kinvig), the interesting […]
Read more "The Stone Tape (1972)"
Just two years after they launched their horror career with The Quatermass Xperiment, Hammer Films returned for the third time to the television work of Quatermass’ creator, Nigel Kneale, this time with an adaptation of his TV play, The Creature. Of course, if you count their unauthorized sequel/knockoff, X the Unknown (1956), it was their fourth venture into […]
Read more "The Abominable Snowman (1957)"
Ah, the joys of Hammer films! Even before their Quatermass Xperiment hit the theaters, Hammer decided they wanted to make a sequel and hired Jimmy Sangster to write the first of his many scripts. Unfortunately, Quatermass’ creator, Nigel Kneale wasn’t about to give them the rights to his character (and would in fact bring his second adventure […]
Read more "X the Unknown (1956)"