Click here to return to the main site.

Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Quatermass and the Pit


Starring: Andrew Keir, Julian Glover and Barbara Shelley
Optimum Home Entertainment
RRP: £22.99
Certificate: 12
Available 10 October 2011

Professor Quatermass is arguing against his British Rocket Group being effectively taken over for military operations, when a call comes through about strange occurrences at Hobbs End underground station. Work had begun on extension modifications when a number of skulls and other bones were uncovered. Further excavation work revealed the origins to be a link to the earliest prehistoric man. Now what appears to be an unexploded bomb has been found, but Quatermass and his reluctant military allies discover it to be a larger, missile-like capsule, which cannot be penetrated by any substance. Furthermore, it is suspected to date from the same period as the bones. When a section finally falls open of its own accord, it is to display several large but dead locusts. But that isn't the end of the matter. It is suspected Man owes his intelligence and development to these creatures, and there could be a repeat of the catastrophe which killed life on Mars...

This 1967 Hammer Production, based on the story and screenplay by Nigel Kneale, is more of a thinking story than an action one. There's lots of bumping together of official heads, educated theories and just plain speculation.

In fact, there are so many ideas packed into 94 minutes that the film appears to constantly change its style; moving from 1950s-style B-Movie, through The Exorcist or Omen territory, to Invasion of the Body Snatchers or Village of the Damned.

Unfortunately, there's no progression or outlet for these stories. Very little happens in the entire film (though it's well acted); even in the climax when the lead characters run around with British stiff-upper-lips, seemingly unconcerned that a form of ethnic cleansing is about to take place. Pretty amazing coming little more than two decades after the end of the Second World War.

In effect there's no feeling of approaching threat. The movie peters-out rather than reaching any ultimate conclusion, with the end credits appearing over Andrew Keir who suddenly doesn't know what to do with himself.

The above paragraphs pretty much describe my opinion at the time of my review of the DVD two or three years back, and I haven’t really changed my view that much. Over the years, I must have watched this film four times at least, and I have to say that I probably enjoyed it this time the most. It may be because my previous review was relative to the other releases at the time, but I think it’s more to do with the extras and the way that Blu-ray has brought this film to life and really done justice to Nigel Kneale’s seminal work. It is only recently that I have been dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century and actually purchased for myself a Blu-ray player, and so the first thing which strikes me about the format is the bright crispness of the picture. An old film is brought alive; it’s like seeing Vidfire or a restored and remastered DVD for the very first time.

Extras include: an Audio Commentary with Nigel Kneale and Roy Ward Baker; UK & US Trailers; Excellent Newly recorded UK Exclusive Interviews with Kim Newman, Joe Dante, Julian Glover, Mark Gatiss, Judith Kerr and Marcus Hearne; and World of Hammer - Sci-Fi Episode.


Ty Power

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£12.93 (
£12.99 (
£13.99 (
£15.97 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.