Opening with documentary footage of children suffering in Auschwitz, India, Korea and Vietnam, WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? promises to be a grim experience. Once you get past those initial scenes it is thankfully less savage than one would imagine, and a rather well directed film. Thematically, it’s actually a kissing cousin to animal revenge films like THE BIRDS. Here children (who it is pointed out suffer the most in times of war) collectively decide enough is enough and set out to kill all existing adults rather than continue to be doormats and pawns. This Spanish precursor to CHILDREN OF THE CORN begins as a young couple Tom (LEWIS FLANDER) and Evelyn (AMY STEELE clone PRUNELLA RANSOME) decide to take a holiday on a remote island. She is pregnant with his child and although he was originally not too keen on bringing an infant into such a mad world, he has since warmed up to the idea. Upon reaching their destination they find a somewhat deserted seaside town. It’s actually only the adults who are M.I.A. as children roam the streets randomly and in packs. Eventually, through the testimonial of an adult survivor, they learn that the children just snapped one night and went on a non-stop killing spree. Their attack was easily successful because, as the bloodied witness points out, “Who could kill a child?” Well, it turns out Tom could, especially when his wife and unborn son are on the chopping block and he’s left no other choice. After the survivor is lead away by his daughter to be hacked to death by a kiddie mob, Tom and Evelyn decide to cut the R&R short and head for the mainland, which proves less than easy. The audience is delivered one suspenseful scene after another, until a grisly finale that harks back to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD occurs. This all may sound exploitive, but it’s not. Anyone who feels squeamish about the demise of the underage in this movie need only rewind to the film’s news footage introduction to see what real horror is.
- That creepy kid fishing; what the hell is in his tackle basket?
- The oldster who gets bludgeoned with his own cane
- The kid’s interpretation of a piñata party
- Isolated normal kids are recruited by some ambiguous psychic means and stagnantly pose in what must be a salute to HITCHCOCK’S famous birds on a jungle gym scene.
- Evelyn is attacked from within
- The po-po come to save the day! (Well…maybe not)