Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Watching Quatermass by the bucketful of late, and while the BBC stuff has dated, the films still have rough-edged B-movie charm, though I don't like Brian Donlevy's portrayal of Quatermass as he comes off as too much of a cock, in particular with the final shot of Quatermass (1957) where he marches off mechanically stating he's going "to start again" sounding like a threat from a Victor Frankenstein or a Herbert West. Likewise, the Martians in the cinematic version of Quatermass and the Pit look a bit poor compared to their televisual counterparts, though I'm probably biased as the Andre Morell Quatermass - for me - remains definitive.

The live broadcast of the adapted and remade Quatermass Experiment was alright, too, but felt a bit ephemeral given the 'shot live' gimmick and the fact that it's the third version of the story, though by default it's my favorite adaptation given the missing episodes from the Reginald Tate version leave an incomplete picture of the original, and Donlevy played the role as too unlikeable for me to totally warm to the film version, particularly the abrupt and seemingly pointless ending where they just kill the beast and move on with their day seeming hateful compared to the Prof Q of other adaptations convincing the last vestige of humanity within the beast to sacrifice itself. There's both heart and science in that resolution that to me embodies the optimism at the core of Quatermass, in that even if we're the product of Martian genetic engineering, what we've made of our world - for better or worse - is our own doing and as individuals we ultimately act for the better of us all.
Michael bay should totally adapt these.

Watching: V, Quatermass (lots of)

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