22 July 2014

Village of the Damned (1960)
77 min.
Directed by Wolf Rilla.
With George Sanders, Michael Gwynn, Laurence Naismith, Barbara Shelley, Martin Stephens, John Phillips.
A hypnotic, moody classic.

Something from out of this world seems to have temporarily overtaken the small English town of Midwich.

All its residents go into a deep, unnatural sleep. Then, just as quickly as it started, it passes - and everything appears to resume as normal.

Sometime later, all the women in town are discovered to be pregnant. Soon, they give birth to a group of fast-growing, super blonde children with glowing eyes...and deadly telekinetic powers.

What's the secret of the children's malevolence? Can these Aryan aliens be stopped?

This superb black & white British gem has everything going for it: an effortlessly created atmosphere, the solid performance from the wonderful George Sanders, crisp cinematography, an excellent story arc, and of course the sinister little Martin Stephens.

Followed by the equally good Children of the Damned in 1963.

As is often the case with remakes, a cornball-injected remake in 1995 (directed by none other than John Carpenter) did little to tarnish the image of this inventive original.

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