August 25, 2016
X the Unknown.
Review #837: X the Unknown.
Dean Jagger (Dr. Adam Royston), Leo McKern (Mac McGill), Edward Chapman (John Elliott), William Lucas (Peter Elliott), Peter Hammond (Lieutenant Bannerman), Anthony Newley (Lance Corporal "Spider" Webb), Ian MacNaughton (Haggis), Michael Ripper (Sergeant Harry Grimsdyke), Michael Brooke (Willie Harding), Frazer Hines (Ian Osborne), Norman Macowan (Old Tom), and John Harvey (Major Cartwright) Directed by Leslie Norman.
This was a Hammer production that was distributed by Warner Brothers set in Scotland (filmed in England) released nearly 60 years ago in 1956, written by the same person behind The Curse of Frankenstein, Dracula (1958), The Revenge of Frankenstein, and The Pirates of Blood River (#593). It's evident that there was effort to make a competent science fiction flick, with a well rounded cast and some fine thrills presented about something lurking in a crack shaped like a Y. By the time the movie's half over, a theory (pretty much confirmed later on) on what the creature may be is presented that is competently delivered, for a sci-fi plot anyway. Radioactive muddy ooze is par for the course for the time period, though there isn't a sense of light-hearted tone to it nor the acting, which works well for its time. Jagger does a good job as a scientist, feeling believable enough. McKern and Chapman are also okay. The rest of the cast is serviceable enough for the plot, with no random side characters involved. The effects are pretty decent as well (what with it essentially being giant mud), and the stuff in the pit are also pretty well done. The ending is a bit weird, ending with some sort of ambiguity. On the whole, X the Unknown manages to flow well enough at 81 minutes that keeps itself in focus with a strange but useful premise. There are endless amount of science fiction films (British or not), but this might be right enough for someone looking for something decent of the genre.
On a unrelated note, my heart goes out those affected by the recent events in Italy, Turkey and Myanmar. I wish them the best of luck in recovering from these tragedies.
Overall, I give it 7 out of 10 stars.