When I was a kid I watched a black-and-white American SF movie.

A spaceship returned to Earth. Two astronauts died and one was charred but still alive. There was a plot point about doors of the capsule that were so hot the rescue team had to pour water on the door. The astronaut survived but died soon afterwards and scientists found a small starfish-like creature. It escaped and started to grow eventually as big as a building. Eventually they stopped the creature by electricity.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Approximately what year would this have been? Did you watch it on TV, broadcast or recorded, or was it in a theatre?
    – DavidW
    Feb 6 at 22:46
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    I don't understand. "One was burned but still alive . . . he died". How did he die? Was it because of burning or because of some other reason? Also - "scientists found a small starfish-like creature". Do you remember where they found it or how? Besides this, do you remember anything else from the movie? Feb 6 at 22:49
  • Yes, this was unclear. And my memories are jumbled. But I've skimmed through the movie and it must be the one. It really terrifies me as a kid.
    – Andy
    Feb 7 at 7:07
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    I watched it on Polish television. Circa 1993.
    – Andy
    Feb 7 at 7:11

2 Answers 2


I think this is "The Quatermass Xperiment", which is actually British but had an American lead actor playing the main character of professor Bernard Quatermass. From the wiki summary, two astronauts on a rocket expedition were killed, their bodies completely destroyed, but one survived:

The rocket's hatch is finally opened, and the space-suited Carroon stumbles out. There is no sign of the other two crew.

Carroon is slowly mutating over the course of the movie, eventually becoming a tentacled blob (which might be remembered as starfish-like) killed by electricity:

On a police tip from a vagrant, Lomax and his men track the Carroon mutation to Westminster Abbey, where it has crawled high up on a metalwork scaffolding. It is now a gigantic shapeless mass of combined animal and plant tissue with eyes, distended nodules, and tentacle-like fronds filled with spores. Quatermass arrives and orders London's electrical power centres be combined and the generated power quickly diverted to the Abbey. Heavy duty electrical cable is run and attached to the bottom of the metal scaffolding. The alien creature is cremated by electrocution before it can release its spores.

From this blog post, an image of the final form of the alien:

enter image description here

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    It must have been this. Wow. Thank you. I must have seen 30 years ago and I could not trace it back. I can put my mind at ease now
    – Andy
    Feb 7 at 7:06
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    @Andy - If this answer is correct, please consider marking it as accepted, which you can do by clicking on the check mark beneath the voting buttons, as per the tour. Feb 7 at 9:04

"The Quatermass Xperiment".

I recognize all the key plot points and the monster image.

The firemen pouring water, the fact that only one astronount returned, the ever growing tenacled alien killed by electricity.

I'll watch it but it is definitely what I was looking for.

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    Hi Andy. Welcome to SF&F. We appreciate that you confirmed that Hypnosifl's answer is the correct one. However, on this network the better way to do that is to accept the answer (click on the checkmark on the left, under the vote count), rather than by submitting a competing answer. (It is also good to upvote the answer as well.)
    – Basya
    Feb 7 at 11:42

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