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Village of the Damned/Children of the Damned (1963)

Cast: Ian Hendry, Alan Badel, Barbara Ferris, more...
Director: Tony Leader
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Warner Home Entertainment
Genre: Foreign, Science Fiction , UK
Running Time: 166 min.
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
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VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED: Something is seriously amiss in the tiny British village of Midwich. At 11 a.m. one morning, every village resident suddenly falls asleep -- and then, just as suddenly, everyone wakes up, completely unaffected by the phenomenon. Well, not completely: virtually every woman of childbearing years has become pregnant. All the babies are born on the same night, at precisely the same moment. All look the same, weigh the same, and even have the same curious cross-hatched hair and underdeveloped fingernails. Four years later, the children have all prematurely reached the age of nine or so -- and all behave in a weird, conspiratorial manner, comporting themselves more like adults than kids. Resident scientist {%George Sanders}, one of the fathers, surmises that the bizarre manner of the children -- from their zombie-like movements to their cold, staring eyes -- is the result of radioactivity, possibly extraterrestrial in nature. One thing is certain: the children possess powers far beyond those of ordinary mortals. And they must be stopped. One of the most influential {\science fiction} films of the 1960s, {#Village of the Damned} was based on the equally eerie {$John Wyndham} novel {-The Midwich Cuckoos}. The more explicit 1995 remake was widely panned in comparison. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED: This sequel to the 1960 Village of The Damned falls short of the original well-made Sci-Fi shocker. The pretentious attempt to give the film a moral message severely weakens the plot and serves to confuse the fans of the previous film. Beautiful, strange children with genius IQ's, destructive dispositions, and ray-gun eyes, who were invaders bent on overtaking the earth in the former tale, are now a sample of mankind's future sent to the earth for the purpose of being destroyed in order to teach the present-day warlike man a lesson of some sort. Plagued with a tedious and unimaginative plot. ~ Lucinda Ramsey, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Kids ... they keep you hopping .... by GGoodsell March 19, 2005 - 4:24 PM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED is the classic chiller of inhuman children. The citizens of Midwich, an isolated British hamlet, are rendered unconscious by a mysterious alien force. Afterwards, all the women capable of childbirth become pregnant. Blonde, emotionless children with superhuman intellects are the result -- and as they grow to adolescence, the kids begin to flex their telepathic power. Perpetual screen cad George Sanders heads them off at the pass.

VILLAGE tackles a host of 1960's bugaboos; conformity, mind control, fear of a "master race" (World War II was still fresh in the British mind) and on some vague level -- fear of the intellectual and/or gifted. Skip the terrible John Carpenter-lensed remake.

CHILDRENOF THE DAMNED is a sequel in name only. In lieu of vaguely blonde, Aryan super-brats, a veritable Rainbow Coalition of gifted children take shelter in an abandoned church to escape the clutches of the military-industrial complex. Everything about the original is turned inside-out. The children, for all of their intelligence, are victimized at the hands of grasping, evil adults. This theme is carried out even the film's ad art (see above), where the lead boy is seen stroking his fellow lab rat.

Somebody somewhere should release the unofficial companion film to this series, Joseph Losey's THESE ARE THE DAMNED (1965). That film features ordinary British school kids wrenched from the arms of their parents and fed doses of radiation by evil scientists in a sinister bid to survive a nuclear war.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.27)
33 Votes
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