Six impossibly intelligent children from all over the world with dangerous psychic powers hide in a church in England after the military tries to experiment on them. Besieged, they warn the military to back off before carnage ensues.
In the small English village of Midwich everybody and everything falls into a deep, mysterious sleep for several hours in the middle of the day. Some months later every woman capable of child-bearing is pregnant and the children that are born out of these pregnancies seem to grow very fast and they all have the same blond hair and strange, penetrating eyes that make people do things they don't want to do.Written by
Leon Wolters <wolters@strw.LeidenUniv.nl>
When the priest is asked about the pregnant women, he mentions that one of them is a girl by the name Evelyn Harrington. George Sanders (Gordon) previously starred in the movie All About Eve (1950), and the full name of that movie's title character was Eve Harrington. See more »
The action takes place in the 1950s (some characters are wearing medal ribbons for the Korean War), but all of Major General Leighton's campaign ribbons predate 1939; he has no ribbons for World War Two. He could have retired before 1939, but he would have been far too old to rejoin after the war. See more »
Prof. Gordon Zellaby:
Good morning. Uh, would you get me Major Bernard at his Whitehall number? Thank you.
See more »
In order to get an 'A' certificate in the UK no optical effects shots were used in the UK print and original footage or alternative shots used instead. Both the UK and the 'standard' version of the film run to the same length. At the end of the film no glowing eyes are seen rising from the flames in the UK version which also has a "Made at M.G.M British Studios, Borehamwood, England" credit. Because this change was requested at the scripting stage there is no reason to believe that the two version of the film were not edited in tandem. It is incorrectly stated that the British print has the burning man sequence cut. This was a cut requested by the Production Code office in the US and is the same for both versions of the film, where the victim is never engulfed by the flames in close-up, which contradicts the long-shot seen in the sequence. See more »
Village of the Damned is a strongly compelling Science-Fiction highlight and easily of the eeriest movies I ever saw. Although it's a very modest and simply made production, the scary-effect of this film is a lot more effective than some of its big-budgeted colleagues. On a random day, the entire English village of Midwich falls into a trance-like sleep. Completely inexplicably, they awake again seemly normal but two months later it appears that every fertile woman in town got pregnant on the day of the blackout. The newborns show a strange resemblance in looks and what is even more bizarre they're telekinetic! Due to their amazing intelligence and emotionless behavior, they form a huge threat and freak out the entire little town. `Village of the Damned' is loyally adapted from John Wyndham's novel `The Midwich Cuckoos'. Throughout the whole film, you don't get much explanation and, as a viewer, you're forced to guess at the mystery's origin. Although highly unlikely, the events in Midwich really are alarming and make you feel uncomfortable. This effect is reached through solid tension and macabre atmosphere much more than through special effects. The eerily lit eyes of the children' are the only real effects but they cause a lot more fear than gallons of blood ever could! Village of the Damned also owes a lot of its power to a terrific casting job. Essentially to achieve the obtained scary effect were the children. Well, they did a good job! The offspring looks alienated almost naturally and their appearance literally chills your blood. The concerned adult in Village of the Damned is excellently played by George Sanders. Sanders was a terrific and shamefully overlooked English class actor who committed suicide in the early 70's. He has a got a few other delightful horror movies on his repertoire like `Psychomania' and `Doomwatch' (both are some of his last films). Village of the Damned is a highly recommended picture that'll certainly keep you close to the screen till the end-credits role. Equally recommended is the (unofficial) sequel called `Children of the Damned'. There's a bit more background in that film, as well as some more explicit horror sequences. The 1995 remake by John Carpenter, however, is rather unexciting and one of the most redundant films ever made. Stick to the original and be scared!
60 of 70 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this