Force More Powerful Than 1,000 H-Bombs Unleashed To Devastate Earth!
The film would seem to have been the inspiration for one of the main story lines for the popular X-Files TV series. That being the idea that millions of years ago Aliens altered the genetic makeup of primitive neanderthals to produce man.
Professor Quatermass and the Army are called in to investigate the remains of an ancient spacecraft that is unearthed during the construction of a London subway tunnel. The area of the discovery is the legendary Hobbs End district which had been vacant for a decade due to numerous reports of insanity and evil spirits. The Army insists that the craft is an unexploded "V" rocket from the second World War although the numerous remains of neanderthals, some more advanced than others, around the ship lead Quatermass to believe that there is more to the story than just a unknown Nazi weapon.
Many attempts are made to penetrate the outer shell of the object including the use of diamond tipped drills. All fail to even scratch the smooth surface of the ship. As the attempts continue the craft begins to emit high frequency sounds that effect anyone who is within a block of the site with paranoia and primitive thoughts of rage. It would seem that the investigators had activated some sort of self-defense system generated from the ship.
Without warning the ship opens up on its own to reveal three insect like creatures in a sort of hive inside the ships core. The bodies begin to decompose rapidly and the bodies are removed and preserved despite an overwhelming stench.
Through several experiments with telepathy Quatermass's assistant Barbara Judd is able to tap into the long dormant memories of the alien insects. Her visions show Mars as it was a million years in the past. Hordes of Martians destroying each other in a violent orgy of carnage. (Note: The sequence where the Martian war is viewed may be one of the worst special effects sequences ever filmed. One can only assume that the film's budget ran out due to the fact that the rest of the effects in the film are quite good.) It would seem that the Martians had traveled to Earth and experimented with primitive forms of man. The actual look of the insect creatures it is discovered was the inspiration for the horned representation of "The Devil", a sign of evil that has existed inside mankind for centuries.
Mankind soon would have bigger problems. The ship itself has become "alive" and has begun to broadcast its high pitched signal throughout London. People begin to mimic the Martian Insects and start to destroy the city and each other. A huge vision of a Martian appears over the city. Quatermass determined that the vision is source of the signal and must be destroyed. Dr. Roney manages to shake the alien mind control long enough to pilot a large crane into the vision shorting it out and stopping the signal.
Quatermass and the Pit (1967)
Hammer Film Productions Limited
AKA: Five Million Years to Earth (USA), The Mind Benders
Directed By: Roy Ward Baker
Written By: Nigel Kneale
James Donald as Dr. Mathew Roney
Andrew Keir as Bernard Quatermass
Barbara Shelley as Barbara Judd
Julian Glover as Col. Breen
Duncan Lamont as Sladden
Bryan Marshall as Capt. Potter
Peter Copley as Howell
Edwin Richfield as Defense Minister
Maurice Good as Sgt. Cleghorn
Grant Taylor as Sgt. Ellis
Robert Morris as Jerry Watson
Sheila Steafel as Journalist
Hugh Futcher as Sapper West
Hugh Morton as Elderly Journalist
Thomas Heathcote as Vicar
Runtime: 97 Minutes
Release Date: November 19, 1967