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Village of the Damned

1960

Film: Village of the Damned

Creator: John Wyndham, Wolf Rilla

Recollections...

Scariest kids everarrow icon

On the TV, don't know when.
more from darrenhf

Trouble in Pairs!arrow icon

Must have been some time ago, when a scene was shown on TV. I immediately found and read the book but did not see the whole film till much later
more from redls52

ASBOs won't helparrow icon

Something else to thank the BBC2 science fiction film seasons for.
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More recollections...

In Depth

Village of the Damned

Spooky kids with glowing eyes haunt this mix of science fiction and horror.

Forget the 1995 remake starring Christopher Reeve. The 1960 Village of the Damned is the classic film adaptation of John Wyndham's novel The Midwich Cuckoos.

A faithful translation of its literary relative the story opens with everybody in the very English village of Midwich lapsing into unconsciousness. Just as suddenly, they recover.

Soon after the village women all discover themselves to be pregnant. On the same day, all give birth. Investigations show that similar events have taken place overseas.

The resulting children show extraordinary powers as they grow. The film's protagonist, Professor Gordon Zellaby (George Sanders), attempts to learn from them, as well as educate them, before their horrifying purpose becomes clear.

Though relying on slightly corny tricks (the children's eyes glow when they use their power, for example), The Village of the Damned is still a genuinely spooky experience, largely thanks to the stony-faced presence of the children. With their blond hair and pitiless stares, they provide a startlingly effective visual motif.

A sequel, Children of the Damned, followed in 1963. The film has also been spoofed in The Simpsons episode Wild Barts Can't Be Broken.

Work nominated by villageofthedamned.

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