31 Days Of Horror: X The Unknown

This 1956 Hammer Films horror / sci-fi flick was originally supposed to be a follow up to their successful film adaptation of The Quatermass Xperiment, but Quatermass creator Nigel Kneale refused to let Hammer use his characters.

The movie is set in Scotland near Glasgow. The army is running some tests and has soldiers practicing testing for radiation by searching for an isotope that one of the men buries. One of the soldiers finds a stronger reading and discovers it’s coming from a pit in the middle of nowhere. The pit causes a couple of soldiers to die of radiation poisoning and a scientific expert (Dean Jagger) is called in. He discovers that a mysterious blob-like creature is suddenly on the loose looking radiation for which it can feed on.

While Hammer Films helped supply the cinema with a plethora of mad scientists, usually in the form of Peter Cushing as Dr. Frankenstein, they also had a few good scientists out to stop misunderstood scientific freaks of nature like Dr. Quatermass and in this film Dr. Adam Royston who is really just substituting for Quatermass.

The movie predated The Blob by a couple years and I think the stark black and white photography works in it’s favour making the monster seem less silly. Another solid effort by the studio that would soon be known for its horror films.

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka has spent most of his life watching movies and reading comic books. He has decided to use this vast knowledge for evil instead of good.