The poster for the US version of this film. Note that the odd looking creature depicted is nowhere to be seen in the movie.
I have watched hundreds on science fiction films in my life and I have always felt that the British approach to the story was much darker and mature than those of other countries, especially the US. Science fiction films from the United States seemed
a bit goofier to me (and there are exceptions of course), particularly those of the so-called Golden Era of the 1950's since they were aimed primarily a at the US teen age market.
The Brits on the other hand didn't seem adverse to applying the “hard
science” aspect to their stories since they seemed to be focusing on an older and more knowledgeable audience. “The Creeping Unknown” in the US or “The Quatermas Xperiment” as it is know in Britain is such a film. (Note: The dropped
letter E in the British title may have been to draw attention to the film goer that this was a “X” rated film which indicated it was meant for adults although nothing of a pornographic nature.)
Released in 1955, it tells the story of a doomed
British rocket ship with a trio of astronauts that crashes not long after being launched, with two of the astronauts being reduced to a small lump of jelly in their spacesuits and the third in a somewhat disfigured and catatonic state.
The story climax's
with the third astronaut, having mutated into a horrendous blob impacted by the things it has consumed, being electrocuted on some scaffolding inside Westminster Abbey moments before it can release any spores of similar creatures. Though there are only four
human casualties and an unknown number of animals in the London zoo off scene, the film advances at creepy albeit slow pace which may be off putting to some viewers.