Val Guest is the director of the classic The Quartermass Experiment (1954, also known as The Creeping Unknown). Born in London in 1911, and after working as a journalist and screenwriter in America, including a period spent on the Hollywood Reporter, he returned to England as a screenwriter on the Marcel Varnel comedies of the 1930s. He also collaborated on the scripts for many of the Will Hay comedies.
He began directing in the late 1940s. His first film for Hammer was Life With the Lyons in 1953. Other early Hammer films include The Lyons in Paris (1954) and Break in the Circle (1954). His first horror film was The Quartermass Experiment. Then came Quartermass II (1955, also known as The Enemy from Space) and The Abominable Snowman (1957). His non-horror Hammer films include Yesterday's Enemy (1959), Hell is a City (1959), The Full Treatment (1960) and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth (1970) for which he also wrote the screenplay.
Guest also produced and directed the successful science fiction film The Day the Earth Caught Fire in 1961, the sex-comedy Confessions of a Window Cleaner (1974), the action-thriller Killer Force (1976), and his last film, the comedy The Boys in Blue (1982). He was a competent, unspectacular commercial director with a natural inclination towards comedy; but capable of producing a workmanlike picture in any genre. The Day the Earth Caught Fire is the film that has earned him the most praise but his best film is undoubtedly The Quartermass Experiment, and also one of the best of all British horror films, though a great deal of the credit must go to Nigel Kneale's script.
--JOHN BROSNAN, from
The Horror People.
A selection of Val Guest films.
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A selection of Val Guest in books.
A History of Horror
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