Who Can Kill a Child? (1976)
"¿Quién puede matar a un niño?" (original title)

R  |   |  Horror  |  June 1978 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 4,325 users  
Reviews: 57 user | 133 critic

A couple of English tourists arrive on an island where all the children have gone crazy and are murdering the adults.


(novel), (screenplay) (as Luis Peñafiel)
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lewis Fiander ...
Prunella Ransome ...
Antonio Iranzo ...
Father of Crying Girl
Miguel Narros ...
Guardacostas 1
María Luisa Arias ...
(as Mª Luisa Arias)
Marisa Porcel
Juan Cazalilla
Luis Ciges ...
Enrique Amorós - the Postman
Antonio Canal
Aparicio Rivero
Fabián Conde ...
Camera shop clerk
Andrès Gomez ...
(as Andrés Gómez)
Maria Druille ...
Child (Crying daughter)
Lourdes de la Cámara ...
Child (Lourdes)
Roberto Nauta ...


A couple of English tourists rent a boat to visit the fictitious island of Almanzora, just off the southern Spanish coast. When they arrive, they find the town deserted of adults, there's only children who don't speak but stare at them with eerie smiles. They soon discover that all the children of the island have been posessed by a mysterious force or madness which they can pass from one to another, and which makes them attack and murder their elders, who can't defend themselves because nobody dares to kill a child... Written by Pablo Montoya <mmontoyac@nexo.es>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

children | island | tourist | child | boat | See All (52) »


If you want to leave it alive leave it ALONE ..! See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

June 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Island of the Damned  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs



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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The script was written in only four days. See more »


Tom sees the children using the old man's dead body as a piñata, but every time they strike him, his eyes and his face flinch. See more »


Evelyn: What did the man of the pension tell you?
Tom: Just that something strange had happened to the kids on the island.
Evelyn: Strange... But what?
Tom: I don't know. Some sort of madness. I can't understand this.
See more »


References The Birds (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

Children of the damned
26 July 2010 | by (Cleburne, TX) – See all my reviews

While on vacation, a man and his pregnant wife visit an island that the former knows from his past. They arrive to find that the place is not how he remembered. In fact, it appears to be quite deserted aside from several children. It isn't too long before they come across an adult. Pity the kids get to him first, killing him and stringing his body up for use as a human piñata. You see, adults are no longer welcome on this island. At least not if they're still among the living.

For my money, "Who Can Kill a Child?" is a masterpiece of the genre. It makes other killer kid films look like jokes in comparison. Originally seeing it via the "Island of the Damned" cut, it's a very tense and unsettling film with some interesting socio-political subtext as relates to child violence. The likable main characters really struggle here, both physically and morally, in a picture as bleak as they come. It has such an impeccable mood and atmosphere to it. The closest comparison I can make is to that of Werner Herzog's short documentary, "La Soufrière". The isolated, disquieted feel of the island is very predominant.

It's unfortunate that director Serrador faded into the land of television after this film. He clearly had a lot to offer the genre.

23 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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