“Either they control us or we control them — that’s the law of nature!”
Two scientists (Ian Hendry and Alan Badel) discover that six genetically similar children exist around the world who possess a vastly superior intelligence. When they’re brought to London for further observation, however, all hell breaks loose, as government officials begin to speculate about how the children’s powers may be “used”, and the children react defensively by secluding themselves in an enormous church.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Evil Kids
- Mind Control and Hypnosis
- Science Fiction
This follow-up to 1960’s classic horror film Village of the Damned takes the original story’s essential concept — children with superhuman intelligence who pose a threat to humanity — and shifts it into an entirely different context. This time, the children (though still mysteriously born to virginal mothers) live in various countries around the world, look different (rather than wearing the same blonde wig, they’re a veritable multicultural crew), and aren’t posited as inherently evil or alien — indeed, they only band together once they realize that they’re about to be used as pawns by governments eager to exploit their extraordinary talents for military purposes. The second half of the film basically features a show-down between the children and British military forces, with additional drama generated through a quibbling pair of scientists (Ian Hendry and Alan Badel) who disagree about whether the children should be destroyed or protected. Ultimately, Children of the Damned is more of a pacifist parable than a horror flick, and never reaches the chilling heights of its iconic predecessor; nonetheless, it’s certainly worth a look on its own merits.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- The freaky scene in which the children use mind control to force two men to kill each other rather than them
- Ian Hendry and Alan Badel as two scientists with radically different takes on the situation
- Effective use of London streets
- Davis Boulton’s atmospheric b&w cinematography
No, but it’s certainly worth a look. Listed as a Sleeper in the back of Peary’s book.