Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Village of the Damned/Children of the Damned|
Actors: Ian Hendry, Alan Badel, George Sanders, Barbara Shelley, Barbara Ferris
Directors: Anton Leader, Wolf Rilla
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
This release contains two suspenseful horror films from the 1960s: VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED and CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED. See individual titles for detailed information.
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Member Movie Reviews
Samuel K. (Solvanda)
Reviewed on 7/3/2018...
Based on John Wyndham's "The Midwich Cuckoos". Another Earth invasion via panspermia. As usual, Wyndham utilises post-apocalyptic dystopian social constructs to shed hindsight on the existence we currently inhabit. Albeit, this vision will send a shudder through the bones. Children of the Damned wasn't as good as the original, but not bad.
One thing I appreciate about Wyndham's works is he never wastes space on the page...and what is there is compressed and intelligent, if not written with a pen dipped in cold blood. I can imagine a lot of British kids of the day had to work a bit with the noggin to get this story tucked in.
There's some real whacked out artwork on the Ballantine PB I have at home...here's a link:
FYI, there are also 3 miniseries available on Region 2 which are based on his novel "Chocky". Interestingly enough, I found the 2nd and 3rd TV miniseries, which were written by other writers in the 1980s, using Wyndham's characters, to be more engaging that the original story.
Tara C. from ROY, UT
Reviewed on 3/19/2012...
Spooky in an old fashioned way. They knew how to frighten you back then without special effects. I think the first movie is the best. The second one... except for the gruesome murder scenes...the sound weapon and the way the kids made the men in the embassy kill each other, wasn't as good. I also kinda wondered how they managed to walk the entire world in one day. LOL
The first one scared the crap outta me. It was so realistic.. everything except the eyes. Creepy. And the ending was superb. Man sacrificing himself... Nice.
At Last--It's the Village, People!
Michael R Gates | Nampa, ID United States | 01/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A cool double-feature DVD from Warner Home Video.
VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED:
As with INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) before it, 1960's VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED is a cold-war allegory that uses extraterrestrial infiltration to represent Western fears of Communist invasion. Even so, this flick is still one of the best SF thrillers ever made, and it has become one of the SF cinema classics.
When a group of albino children born under mysterious circumstances begin to demonstrate superhuman mental prowess, they come to be viewed by their community and the military as a threat to the survival of mankind. Though faithful to the novel on which it is based--THE MIDWICH CUCKOOS by Brit SF author John Wyndham--the film is in many ways more frightening, mainly due to simple but effective special FX and outstanding performances from adult leads George Sanders, Barbara Shelley, and Michael Gwynn and from child actor Martin Stephens. Indeed, the unusually reserved and sympathetic performance from Sanders--well known in England at the time for his over-the-top portrayals of villains or cynical antiheroes--makes the film's climax extremely dramatic and affecting.
Caveat: Avoid John Carpenter's far inferior 1995 remake.
CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED:
1963's CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED was originally marketed and is still often regarded today as the sequel to the 1960 classic VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED. However, the second film's script diverges so drastically from the characters and premise of the first that it is not, in actuality, a continuation of or branch-off from the same narrative--super-intelligent children are the only common story element. While cold-war issues are still addressed, sympathies are ultimately directed towards the children rather than the adults or society at large, reflecting the burgeoning shift from conservatism to liberalism that was then occurring in the West (and especially the United States).
A decent SF film in its own right, CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED just isn't as cinematically effective nor as dramatically memorable as its purported progenitor VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED. In truth, its greatest merit is the fact that it marks the first solo scriptwriting credit for John Briley, who would later go on to win an Oscar for scripting 1982's GANDHI.
The double-feature DVD from Warner Home Video is well worth the price of admission. Not only does it offer anamorphic widescreen versions of both films, each film also includes its respective trailer and a feature commentary (John Briley does the commentary for the film he scripted). Definitely a five-star disc."
Terrifying 60s Horror Classic & Sequel at last on DVD!
Nix Pix | Windsor, Ontario, Canada | 08/07/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Village of the Damned" is the 60s sci-fi classic steeped in paranoia and set in England's Midwich. It seems that this picturesque district was visited by aliens who secretly impregnated the town's human women. Suddenly, blonde haired clone like boys and girls begin to pop up all over the countryside. These glowing-eyed humanoids have but one purpose - to use their intellectual superiority as mind-control over the adults in order to conquer the world. Top billed are George Sanders and Barbara Shelley as Gordon and Anthea Zellaby. Gordon is first to recognize that the town's children are not what they seem. But will he be in time and of enough strong will to stop this slow plague of brainwashing? The chilling screenplay by Stirling Siliphant (based on the novel, "The Midwich Cuckoos") and nimble direction by Wolf Rilla builds to a climax of unsettling terror that even today holds audiences spellbound. This classic film comes as a double feature with its sequel "Children of the Damned." Moving the location from countryside to a London school for the gifted, a professor (Alan Badel) assembles high I.Q. moppets from around the world for an intellectual experiment that goes horribly awry. The sequel has its merits but it lacks in the visceral and unsettling terror associated with the original. In 1995 "Village of the Damned" was remade by scare-master, John Carpenter with Kristie Alley and Christopher Reeve - but with decidedly predictable and less than stellar rewards.
Warner's DVD is outstanding. The image is remarkably clean, with a very solid and beautifully rendered gray scale, deep blacks and excellent contrast levels. Fine details are fully realized. There is a total lack of edge effects and other digital anomalies for an exceptionally smooth visual presentation. The audio is mono but with a considerable punch to it. For "Village of the Damned" there is a thoughtful and thorough audio commentary by author, Steve Haberman. On "Children of the Damned" we get a fairly thorough reading by the sequel's screenwriter, John Briley.
Invasion of the aryan children from outer-space
marteau | montreal- jazz capital of the world | 07/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Truly this a classic of both science-fiction as well as horror.
Of course the horror is not the traditional bloodletting but rather psychological.It reads like a hitler youths takeover of a
typical english village "while everybody is asleep".these fatherless children all sport blond hair & blue eyes and definite
ideas about how things should run in the now quaranteed village.
They also seem to exhibit no distinct personnalities but more of a "group mind"(hence the fachism analogy)that has no problem crushing all dissidents , even their own parents.On the technical side I have to again commend Warner for including it's sequel (children of the damned)on the disc , making it a great value.While the sequel suffers in comparison
to the original it's still worth seeing.
We as customers should support Warner & it's "double bill" DVD's
so that other companies might jump on the bandwaggon (so far only
MGM has released some interesting double bills)and increase the circulation of classic films on DVD."