In 18th-century England, the Royal Crown sends Royal Navy Captain Collier and his crew to investigate reports of illegal smuggling and bootlegging in a coastal town where locals believe in Marsh Phantoms.
Peter Graham Scott
Janet is a young student at a private school; her nights are troubled by horrible dreams in which she sees her mother, who is in fact locked in an insane asylum, haunting her. Expelled ... See full summary »
The middle-aged American Simon Wells sails in his boat to Weymouth and stumbles with the twenty year-old Joan on the street. He believes that she is a prostitute but she is actually part of a scheme of a motorcycle gang to rob tourists. Simon is brutally beaten up by her brother King and his gang. The policemen find the wounded Simon and take him to a bar to recover, where he meets the military Bernard and his mistress Freya Neilson. On the next morning, Joan challenges King and meets Simon in his boat, and King and his gang hunts Simon down. Joan and Simon spend the night together in an isolated house and on the morning, they are located by the gang. They try to flee and stumble in a top-secret military facility managed by Bernard. They are helped by children and brought to their hideout in a cave. King falls in the sea while chasing the couple and is also helped by a boy and brought to the same place. Soon Joan finds that the children are cold as if they were dead. What is the ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Although submitted to the BBFC in 1961 the UK release was held back by almost a year after director Joseph Losey delayed making a requested censor cut which showed King beating Wells with his umbrella. Losey eventually made the cut and the film was released in 1963. See more »
(at around 38mins) When Neilson wrestles King to the ground, a person's shadow (cameraman?) can be seen to move on the ground next to them. See more »
I live with one fact. A power has been released that will melt these stones. We must be ready when the time comes.
You really believe it's going to happen, don't you?
Certainly! There's absolutely no question.
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One of Hammer's weirdest and most memorable films!
A lot of great horror films were produced by Hammer Studios, and The Damned certainly ranks up there both as one of the studios best, and as one of the weirdest. The film is a mix of drama, thriller, horror and sci-fi and is inventive and refreshing in the way it plays out and I guarantee that if you go into this film without first finding out what it's about, you'll never guess where it will take you! The plot structure basically has two main threads to it and neither one is related to the other, but the film pulls them together well. The first plot we are introduced to focuses on Joan, a young woman who gets involved with an American tourist. He gets beaten up by a gang of thugs and it soon transpires that Joan is the sister of the leader of them! The two run away with the angry brother and his gang hot on their tails. The second side of the plot concerns nine children who are being brought up in isolation inside a secret military base as they have somehow been born radioactive. The two plots combine when the American and his girl stumble into the base with the brother after them.
This film was always in danger of becoming messy considering how the story changes dramatically half way through, but it actually flows really well and the story manages to keep the first plot running even when the second one takes centre stage. The themes of the story do get lost somewhat under what we are directly seeing on screen, but 'The Damned' is a very fitting title as the movie deals with a situation born out of the need for a contingency plan in case of nuclear war. The fact that the plot focuses on both sanctioned and unsanctioned criminals makes it more interesting. The film is also very haunting; the children themselves echo those in the classic Village of the Damned and the gloomy plot line gives off its own formidable atmosphere, which is reinforced well by the way the children are treated in their prison/home. The central cast is excellent with Shirley Anne Field and Macdonald Carey getting good support from the always memorable Oliver Reed. The children give some of the best performances in the film and manage to capture what you would expect of children in their situation very well indeed. Overall, The Damned is one of Hammer's most strange and surreal films; but it marks a welcome change and it's not a film I will forget in a hurry. Don't miss out on this one!
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