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X THE UNKNOWN (1956) – Episode 149 – Decades of Horror: The Classic Era

“I’m going to kick your head in if you don’t get it down! That’s what I’m going to do!” A kick in the head turns out to be an effective management technique for Sgt. Grimsdyke. Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Whitney Collazo, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, and Jeff Mohr – as they discover all the known unknowns and the unknown unknowns of Hammer’s X the Unknown (1956).

Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 149 – X the Unknown (1956)

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A radioactive, mud-like creature terrorizes a Scottish village.

It’s time to explore early Hammer Sci-fi films with X the Unknown (1956). The film is part of a trilogy of Cold War sci-fi features along with The Quatermass Xperiment (1955, aka The Creeping Unknown) and Quatermass 2 (1957, aka Enemy From Space) that firmly transitioned Hammer from B-movie thrillers to solid horror/sci-fi excellence. The only thing missing is Bernard Quatermass himself, but not without Hammer trying – writer Nigel Kneale would not agree to the use of the character in this film. Regardless, X the Unknown is notable and well worth the watch. Hammer fans will appreciate an early appearance of fan-favorite character actor Michael Ripper as Sergeant Grimsdyke. Let’s see what the Grue-Crew make of directors Leslie Norman’s and Joseph Losey’s, and writer Jimmy Sangster’s black-and-white creepy classic. 

With this episode, The Classic Era Grue-Crew say adiós a nuestra querida amiga to Whitney Collazo. She has more opportunities than time to pursue them and will be stepping away from her podcast hosting duties. Whitney has participated in over 100 episodes of Decades of Horror: The Classic Era. Grue Believers and Grue-Crew alike will sorely miss her insightful comments, her unique movie choices, and her loving persona. We love you without reservation, Whitney. You will always be welcome here! And if you find a movie you’d like to discuss with us or have a movie you’d like to hear us discuss, just give us a shout-out. Buena suerte, mi querido amigo!

Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next in their very flexible schedule, the Classic Era Grue-Crew wanted a fitting topic for their 150th episode. They decided on a film often considered one of the best horror films of all time, Rosemary’s Baby (1968), written and directed by Roman Polanski, based on the book by Ira Levin, starring Mia Farrow who is supported by an Oscar-winning performance from Ruth Gordon. You won’t want to miss this one! There is lots of “stuff” to discuss.

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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.