world of The Quatermass
Conclusion (1979) is a grim one. Society is on the verge of collapse (those Martian genes must have kicked in), governments are reduced to the carrot of
pornographic television and the stick of a brutal mercenary police to
maintain any sort of order. Cities are given over to bands of
robbers and young people are abandoning their parents to follow
bizarre cult leaders.
It was made in the '70s, all right.
A retired and hopelessly embittered Prof. Quatermass is hunting for
his granddaughter, who has run away with the Planet People; a cult
that believes that they are going to be transported to another
world. While at a gathering of the Planet People at Stonehenge,
Quatermass sees a bright light flash out of the sky and instantly blast
everyone in the stone circle to dust.
You'd think that civilisation going down the tubes would be bad
enough, but Quatermass discovers that the cult problem is not
sociological in nature. It's commercial. Young people are
being deliberately drawn to stone circles and other sites all over the
world and when enough of them are gathered, beams from space destroy
them as part of some sort of a harvest by indifferent aliens. Apparently, the human body contains something as attractive to
the aliens as spices or tobacco are to us-- and about as trivial. And this
isn't anything new. The aliens have been scooping up their human
produce since prehistoric times at five thousand year intervals and that is why the stone circles that dot various parts of the
world were built in the first place; as a
warning against the return of the danger.
Marvellous. Man learns his place in the universe and it's as an
ingredient in a marinade.