Village of the Damned () - Rotten Tomatoes
Future learning and skills – giving everyone the opportunity to build a lifelong relationship with film. Perhaps most intriguing of all is a cycle of films made in the s and The science fiction/horror hybrid Village of the Damned is the first Many of its characters are either left dead or end up in a terrible. This pair of early s chillers share good reputations and can certainly be classed as movies Village of the Damned was adapted from The Midwich Cuckoos, one of John Sanders emotional relationship with his much younger wife is much more . Like the star children in Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End the group. Although it is often referred to as a sequel to "Village of the Damned", the plot when Paul makes a very eloquent speech near the end of the movie where he The adaptation of John Wyndham's Midwich Cuckoos, filmed as Village Of a more ambitious examination of mankind and its relationship to its saviours, .
Superior Children, Superior Sequel heathblair 6 December The inexplicable appearance of a group of children, advanced 1 million years beyond Mankind's genetic development, causes fear among the governments of the world. When the authorities try to contain them, the children respond with deadly telepathic force. This is a rare instance of a sequel being better than the original. However, it was also a product of post-war British film making complete with cozy, somewhat gentrified attitudes to class, sex and an illusory rural idyll.
This was exemplified by George Sanders' typically suave performance as the smoking-jacket clad, martini sipping hero. Children Of The Damned is a much tougher affair. This time the action takes place in the dark, grim, urban backstreets of early sixties London - not so much swinging as downright gothic. Rather than the aliens invaders of the first film, the children here are a human super-species, socially and intellectually incompatible with the rest of humanity.
They don't seem to mean any harm, but their eerily cold and quiet presence provokes the authorities into a fearful contemplation of what they might do. John Briley's adult and intelligent script takes an insightful look at how our inherently insecure systems of authority might hunt and destroy that which merely suggests a challenge to their control.
The cast is excellent. Ian Hendry and Alan Badel as the two conscientious scientists trying to fathom the children's secret, are terrific. They bounce Briley's sometimes caustically witty lines between them with a delightful, naturalistic touch. The rest of the cast play it for keeps too, imparting a sense of urgency and, as with Alfred Burke's government man, icy menace. The children themselves are surprisingly well played. No brattish over-acting here. Instead, the group of young, multi-racial actors exude a perfect sense of other-worldly calm, and, when necessary, chilling ruthlessness.
The film's technical credits are excellent. Cinematographer Davis Boulton's vivid black and white images ensure that Children of the Damned is one of the best photographed British films of the era. The special effects are simple glowing eyes but startlingly effective.
The late, great Ron Goodwin was a composer best known for comedies and war films, but here he provided a subtler kind of score which suggests both the child-like and the ethereal. It was one of his best. The main plaudits must go to director Anton M. His handling of actors, the imaginative staging and his pictorial compositions, particularly towards the climax, are outstanding. For example, the scene depicting a group of gunmen trying, somewhat disastrously, to capture or kill the children in a derelict church is a tour de force of tension and horror.
This movie may have children in it, but it isn't a children's film. In all, this is much more than a quick cash-in sequel. When the going gets tough the men abandon their spouses and go to the pub to find solace in ale and male bonding, all to some incongruous Ron Goodwin marching music. The equally uptight Hammer films didn't exploit the full range of female power either.
An unintentional laugh at least when I saw the film for the first time in comes when the women of Midwich queue up at an aid station to be told that they are all pregnant.
Just as the idea that every Jill in town has the same problem, there's an abrupt cut to Zellaby's large German Shepherd dog. Gee, is the dog preggers too? Are there going to be little puppies running around with blonde wigs between their ears? The film keeps hinting that the Midwich children are aware of their status as spearheads for invasion, a fave theme of low-budget Sci Fi show for which full-scale alien invasions were out of reach, budget-wise.
Zellaby's brainy kindergarten class avoids his probing questions about life on other planets, and the kids are soon a sealed-off conspiracy of the Them against Us variety.
There's no question about the necessity of exterminating these little brainiacs. The only question is, How?
BFI Screenonline: Village of the Damned () Synopsis
In the book it's less clear what's going on. The Midwich children and the other attempted alien colonies around the world are less an invasion than the voluntad imperativa of another life form Like the Boll Weevil lookin' for a home, these aliens are simply spreading their seed around the galaxy, starting new colonies and outposts that not necessarily know their origin.
Every species of animal and race of man does this to the full limit of its capability. Wyndham's book maintains the ambiguity, whereas the movie falls back on the invasion idea, adding hints of "demonic evil" from human superstition: It's the tiny village with the little race track-like rail around a triangular common.
George Sanders clearly was interested in the intelligent story, for he plays it straight. Fantasy familiars Michael Gwynne and Laurence Naismith also lend solid credibility to the story. The standout is little Martin Stephens, who give David Zellaby an intelligent poise far beyond his years.
- Village of the Damned (1960) Review
- The Children (Village of the Damned)
He'd be even more precocious -- and creepy -- the next year in The Innocents. A large part of the film's eerie charge is conveyed by the precocious calculation in Stephen's voice. Savant was too young to see Village of the Damned when new and was prevented from doing so by a mother who picked up on the same "sick" elements noted in the Variety review.
But I did a lot of staring at the poster I remember it played the day after Butterfield 8 at the Air Base Theater and was traumatized by one viewing of a TV spot.
Village of the Damned () - IMDb
For years afterwards I had scary nightmares featuring, of all things, the TV spot's image of people waking up and climbing out of a disabled bus!
The film has always been in good condition and this enhanced transfer only improves it. The edition includes a trailer and a good commentary from author Steve Haberman. He brings up several of the points mentioned above. Haberman's insights about the apocryphal English cut of the film are fascinating, as is his discussion of how the "blasphemy" issue stalled the movie's production for three years.
Is the film "sick" and blasphemous? In that one a mutant Messiah is born when a woman is impregnated by aliens. Cohen clearly delights in upsetting church apple carts when the opportunity arises.