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Quatermass and the Pit (1967) – Episode 93 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“The will to survive… it’s an odd phenomenon. Roney, if we found out earth was doomed – say, by climatic changes – what would we do about it?” “Nothing. Just go on squabbling as usual.” Hmm, … sounds familiar, right? Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, and Jeff Mohr – as they brave the London Underground to learn the genesis of humankind as depicted in Quatermass and the Pit (1967), the third of Hammer’s Quatermass films, also known as Five Million Years to Earth.

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 93 – Quatermass and the Pit (1967)

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A mysterious artifact is unearthed in London, and famous scientist Bernard Quatermass is called in to divine its origins and explain its strange effects on people.


Chad is a huge fan of Quatermass but admits he prefers Brian Donleavy as Bernard Quatermass; there’s just something about a scientist that might punch somebody at any moment. On the other hand, he calls Quatermass and the Pit the most well written, most well thought out, and most influential of the Quatermass films, loving how the filmmakers were able to manifest psychic chaos on a grand scale. Daphne first saw the film with her dad and also says she loves it. She is amazed at the acting, the use of colors, and how ingrained the aliens have become in science fiction and horror. Whitney is in awe of how much disaster is seen unfolding in this film as well as how it questions the creation and development of humans. At his first viewing, Jeff was unimpressed but he now believes he was seeing a version that was severely cut to fit a 90-minute timeslot with commercials. He now loves Quatermass and the Pit and marvels at the acting throughout, especially Barbara Shelley’s performance, and Nigel Kneale’s stellar script which efficiently covers a very complex set of ideas and actions while making it very palatable. 

By the way, Toho Company had nothing to do with the production of Quatermass and the Pit even though it was listed in IMDb along with Hammer as one of the production companies when we recorded the podcast. IMDb should soon be corrected.

As you can see, the Decades of Horror Classic Era Grue-Crew is head-over-heals gaga for Quatermass and the Pit and strongly recommends you give it a watch soon! At this writing, a streaming source for Quatermass and the Pit is difficult to find, but Jeff and Daphne highly recommend the Scream Factory Blu-ray and its abundance of extras.

The Grue-Crew also want to thank Richard Klemenson! Issue #40 of his magazine Little Shoppe of Horrors was very helpful with its deep dive into Quatermass and the Pit. If you love classic British horror films, this is the magazine for you!

Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. In the next episode, they will discuss a movie chosen by Chad, Mario Bava’s Planet of the Vampires (1965).

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To each of you from each of us, “Thank you so much for listening!

Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.