Wednesday, December 10, 2008

CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED - Ron Goodwin - "What The Hell Would You Do" (1963)

Yes, you lucky souls, in it's current release, "Children Of The Damned" and "Village Of The Damned" are paired up as an absolutely terrific double feature, so now, you can rent or buy it and make a weekend of it!!! Once again written by John Wyndham with music by Ron Goodwin, "Children Of The Damned" is arguably as good, or maybe even better in some people's eyes, as it's predecessor, "Village Of The Damned!" For me, the first movie is a more cerebral, but this one is a lot more grisly and graphic!

Ron seemed to get a chance to stretch out a bit more on this flick, but he still never was given a chance to swing out like he did in "Day Of The Triffids" or like you know he can, just the same, this is some very spacey and moody music, that accompanies this film quite rightly!!

Ian Hendry as Col Tom Llewellyn and Barbara Ferris as Susan Eliot both have some serious issues in this movie. He really thinks the kids are allright, but she becomes completely under their control, and even serves as their mouthpiece for a lot of the film!!

These are the three main protagonists in this flick, Alan Badel as Dr. David Neville, you've already been introduced to Ian in the middle, and Alfred Burke as Colin Webster! They've got their work cut out for them!!!

Pretty grisly, yeah, that dude really shouldn't have shot their dog, that was really extraordinarily stupid!!!

Taking the concept of 'the dirty look' combined with 'if looks could kill' and you've got some real trouble on your hands!!

The real basic notion is that kids learn a lot faster than adults!!! A Lot Faster!!! The kids rig up the organ in the church to blast out the adults eardrums and brains, too bad they didn't have some Hendrix!!

Ian Hendry was lookin' like a cross between Chevy Chase and George Bush, and although he was married to Janet Munro for like 8 years, he really got dealt some bad cards in life. He originally had the top billing in "The Avengers" over Patrick Macnee, but left TV for the movies after one season. He worked on a ton of British films and TV over the years, mostly in cop roles, but never did much other horror. Sadly, Ian Hendry died of internal bleeding on Christmas Eve in 1984 at only 53 years old!

So, all the ambassadors from all the different countries want their own kids back; they don't have a clue that the children aren't really theirs, and that they are of one collective mind. Lots of politics going on here!

This is a very good movie, and it's hard to fault it, but I really liked the blonde brats versus this multi-cultural mix, they were a lot creepier!!!

John Wyndham seemed to have a penchant for explosive endings!! I really like the fact that in both of these movies, he never explains where the kids came from, or what they actually have planned! It's just all understood!!! Your mind fills in the blanks!!!


Greg Goodsell said...

This is a great flick -- but the original intent of the malicious brats are never fully explained. Most of the stuff they did was in self-defense .....

Douglas McEwan said...

John Wyndham (Real name John Beynon Harris) had nothing whatever to do with writing this movie. It was written by John Briley. Wyndham wrote THE MIDWICH CUCKOOS, the novel VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED was based on. Since this movie is a loose sequel to that one, he gets a "based on" credit, but he had nothing at all to do with the writing of it, and all credit or blame must go to Briley.

Having read pretty much every novel Wyndham ever wrote, I can say that MICWICH CUCKOOS is the only one he ends with an explosion, so no, he did not have "pechant for explosive endings." Again, it was Briley's ending this time.

Ian Hendry certainly had one other MAJOR horror movie credit you passed over. He was the hero of the magnificent Vincent Price masterpiece THEATER OF BLOOD.

I saw CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED on my first-ever date with a girl, when I was 14. Dad drove us to the theater and picked us up again after. Very good movie. The girl, not so much, though we are still friends.

Eegah!! said...

I guess it's only fair to let people know that Douglas McEwan is a published author of a book about monster movies!

Douglas McEwan said...

I AM? Oh, that's right; I am. They can Google the book title if they care to. I spent about four hours yesterday wading through your archives here, having a great time.

Eegah!! and Tabonga! said...

If we could leave in all the sound clips, and put it in chronological order, we could be a force to reckon with, glad you're having fun with it, that's why we do it!

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