Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Forgotten Movies: VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED

I don't think I had seen this since I saw it as a kid at the theater. It holds up pretty well because the script is succinct and doesn't try to do too much. The inability to mount special effects probably saved it because the remake doesn't look too promising.

An English town falls into a trance and some months later every woman of child bearing years gives birth to children who look alike and are gifted intellectually. This has happened in other places too but only this group of kids survive.

George Sanders defends them for a while, seduced by their brilliance, but eventually everyone realizes it's us or them. It's not hard to draw parallels with today's fears of having strangers in our midst. A sequel CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED is supposed to be good also.

Bet all of you have seen this one. 

16 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

I hadn't thought about that one in years, Patti. Thanks for the reminder.

Margot Kinberg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jerry House said...

Don't bother with the remake, Patti, and CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED -- while interesting -- doesn't hold up well compared to the original.

Bill Crider said...

I, too, saw the original in the theater. Very creepy.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Very. The remake was unwatchable.

J F Norris said...

I think the reason it works so well in any decade is because it's allegorical science fiction (as many SF movies of the 50s and 60s were) and not horror for its own sake.

Elgin Bleecker said...

Patti – This is a terrific film. I have seen it several times. The mysterious opening always draws me into the story. And, as I commented on my own site, I think it was made to freak out the young parents of the Baby Boom generation.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Its interesting that i thought John Carpenters 1995 remake was actually better than the original, so many of his films are ludicrously under-rated and have an incredible cultish re-watchability factor.

Al Tucher said...

Ahhh..."Village of the Damned" from the days when the British used to make proper science fiction and horror movies that were almost on-a-par with what their American counterparts were producing 6000 miles away in Hollywood. Now all the British produce is laughable unwatchable unimaginative garbage. And just to emphasize the point even more, Jerry was right, "Children of the Damned" isn`t as good as the original but its still infinitely better than any of the rubbish thats produced by the British film industry today ! ! !. BTW Patti, i also agree with what Steve said, John Carpenters remake is better than the original.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Someone's posting under my name again. No way I thought Carpenter's remake better than the original.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

I recommend reading John Wyndham's novel The Midwich Cuckoos that the movie is based on. He also wrote The Day of the Triffids which I reread last year and found it holds up quite well 60 some years later.

Al Tucher said...

Steve, the film version of "The Day of the Triffids" from 1963 with an oddly non-singing Howard Keel is still quite a good movie too.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Al, i remember falling madly in love with Janette Scott when i first saw that movie, she was 22 at the time of filming and such a gorgeous little darlin`. And you`re right it is still a pretty good film once again from those halcyon days of British film making at its best.

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

Great little movie, truly the archetypal British SF film. The sequel is not bad. The UK release point omitted the glowing eyes, which makes those scenes really strange actually ...

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Still using my name for posts I didn't make-I did the one recommending reading Wyndham but didn't do the post about Janette Scott

pattinase (abbott) said...

You will have to come up with a pseudonym. How flattering that he wants to be you.