Sunday, August 26, 2012

X The Unknown

“Radioactive mud-like creature 
Terrorizes a Scottish village 
During the 1950's!!!”

Little did the world know, little did the world suspect!!! That such a horrible creature would come up from the depths of hell—starved and hungering for innocent human flesh!!!

British Army radiation drills at a remote Scottish base attract a subterranean, radioactive entity of unknown nature that vanishes, leaving two severely radiation-burned soldiers... and a "bottomless" crack in the earth. 

Others who meet the thing in the night suffer likewise, and with increasing severity; it seems to be able to "absorb" radiation from any source, growing bigger and bigger. 

What is it?? How do you destroy a thing that "feeds" on energy? Nothing like a depressing black & white British ‘50s science fiction movie to sober up a crowd of usually sex-crazed, drunk, stoned American moviegoers at the local Snake Pit Drive In Saturday Night Movie.

Maybe that’s why X THE UNKNOWN never was very popular in the American Teenage Sexploitation Market. Sleazy monster movies like THE ASTOUNDING SHE-CREATURE and CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON were much more craved for their thrills and chills and getting off on Saturday nights—than simply some stupid X THE UNKNOWN mud-like piece of radioactive shit.

As black & white 50s sci-fi thrillers go, X THE UNKNOWN is somewhat eerie and has at least two genuinely scary scenes. One has a small boy wondering into the forest only to be traumatically frightened by a suggested, off-screen entity:

And a scene where a hospital attendant is exposed to the radioactive creature, only to hideously decompose.

During the mid-50s, before they gloriously revived gothic horror to its most colorful grandeur, England's Hammer films produced a handful of black & white sci-fi efforts that had a popular following. 

Produced the same year as their initial "Quatermass" effort (THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT), X THE UNKNOWN was the first Hammer film scripted by the legendary Jimmy Sangster who would soon reinvent the exploits of Frankenstein, Dracula and many more.

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