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   VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (1960) 

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CAST
George Sanders
Barbara Shelley
Michael Gwynn
Laurence Naismith
John Phillips
Martin Stephens
Richard Vernon
Jenny Laird
Richard Warner

DIRECTED BY
Wolf Rilla

PURCHASE


VHS




Time: 77 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Suspense/Horror


SYNOPSIS: In the English village of Midwich, the blond-haired, glowing-eyed children of uncertain paternity prove to have frightening powers.

BOTTOM LINE: A campy, sci-fi/horror classic that looks better than it scares. Maybe children bent on evil was an unusual and creepy concept in 1960, but kids that kill is so commonplace in the 21st century, the idea is not very disturbing or unthinkable. The gorgeous B&W cinematography gives the film a sinister vibe that adds weight to the underdeveloped plot. The film opens with a bang: an entire English village rendered unconscious for over an hour, as if under a spell.

No one can explain the strange event or the unparalled fallout. Every woman capable of bearing a child becomes pregnant, much to their dismay, especially the unmarried ones. The children – all born healthy though technically premature – not only look alike, but appear to be able to read each others thoughts. As they get older, their behavior begins to turn sinister and it seems they have a plan that will not bode well for the townspeople.

The main problem with the film is we never find out exactly what their ultimate goal is. I guess the filmmakers thought 12 children using mind control to wreak havoc on their small town was frightening enough. Sure, people die, but the lack of story direction leaves the plot with nowhere to really go. Sanders gives the only standout performance as a professor and "father" of one of the children bent on discovering what's behind their chilling glare. In the end, he takes matters into his own hands, ridding the world of these unnatural offspring for good. While this is certainly not the best movie ever made it's worth a look for fans of the genre.




"People, especially children, aren't measured by their IQ. What's important about them is whether they're good or bad, and these children are bad. "

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