Village of the Damned

One day all of the citizenry of the super sleepy town of Midwich passed out dead in their tracks and took to an involuntary siesta. After awakening, all the women within child bearing years discovered a mysterious bun in their ovens. (The unmarried had some ‘splaining to do). Falling asleep and waking up pregnant can be disheartening (just ask my cousin Ida), but the ladies of Midwich take their mass rape with typical English aplomb. When the children are born, it is clear that they are far from normal; in fact, they’re blonde AND smart, a chillingly unnatural combination. As they get older, they begin to show further signs of otherworldliness, roaming the streets in flocks like junior Jehovah’s witnesses. Residents begin to fear these Aryan-looking oddballs who begin to unabashedly strut their psychic and telekinetic powers all about town. This unrest and distrust is worsened when it’s learned that if the creepy kids have a problem with you, they force you to drive your car into a wall or blow your brains out. In fact, it is suspected that Midwich is just a stepping-stone and what the kids really have their radiant eyes on is the whole globe. Are they from outer space? Can they be stopped? Based on a novel by the great JOHN WYNDHAM entitled THE MIDWICH CUCKOOS (on account of Cuckoo birds are such slackers that they make other birds raise their kids) and featuring excellent performances from future INNOCENTS star MARTIN STEPHENS and future suicide GEORGE SANDERS, VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED is creepy, compelling and surprisingly thought provoking. In fact, it’s impossible to think of any demonic child movie that doesn’t have this 1960 sci-fi “What if?” flick’s greasy paw prints all over it. Like INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS before it, it’s the absence of humanity and emotion, not to mention individuality (Commie!) that unnerves here. Although there’s no over estimating the power of super-imposed, glowing eyeballs over a still framed black and white image of a cherubic child either.
indelible scenes

  • Plane flies over slumbering Midwich, pilot nods off and plane goes boom!
  • Mom with psychic assistance, attempts to scald own hand after accidentally presenting infant with a too hot baby bottle
  • A HELLRAISER like Chinese puzzle box reveal the kids communal learning skills
  • SANDER’s imagining of a brick wall to block off munchkin’s Jedi mind tricks.
  • Miniature house explodes into flames
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