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Movie Review: 'Quatermass and the Pit'

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This heady sci-fi thriller (released in the U.S. as Five Million Years to Earth) captivates with its dense plot involving a spaceship found in a London subway station. The dead, locustlike creatures on board (which somehow explain such mysteries as the origins of evil and human intelligence) exert a psychic influence that threatens mankind. Roy Ward Baker’s pithy direction is capped by a parting look at battle-weary scientists Keir (as Professor Quatermass) and Shelley that has the dazed eloquence of mid-’60s Antonioni. Tip: Rent the equally good first two films of the series, The Quatermass Xperiment and Quatermass II, for a kicky triple bill. B

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