When I was watching the first episode of Nigel Kneale’s second Quatermass series for the BBC, I had the feeling I’d seen something like it before although the rest of the story didn’t progress the way I thought it would. What I remembered involved an indestructible blob monster coming up out of the ground.
This was the movie I was thinking of. It does look like a sequel to Hammer’s version of The Quatermass Experiment–but it’s not. It’s more of a Quatermass wannabe. Hammer originally intended it to be another tale in the continuing adventures of Professor Bernard Quatermass until Kneale objected to their unauthorized use of his character. The studio went ahead with their story idea, but with certain names and other details changed.
Up in the rocky Scottish Highlands, a group of soldiers is conducting an exercise using a Geiger counter to scan for and locate a harmlessly small amount of radioactive material buried out on the heath. The sergeant (Michael Ripper, not playing the same sergeant he was in Quatermass and the Pit) is about to call it a day, when a young man named Lansing chirps up that he hasn’t had a turn. The other soldiers moan and groan, but the sergeant goes out to rebury the little canister so Lansing can find it.
Lansing takes awhile and the company’s lieutenant goes out to join him to see what the problem is. The Geiger counter is picking up a very strong signal, much higher levels of radiation than the canister contents would emit.
The ground beneath their feet begins to tremble and a long crack opens up in the earth. The rest of the men retreat to safety, but when the crack widens into a great fissure, poor Lansing and one other man are caught in the blast that shoots up out of it.
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