In John Carpenter's VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED a quaint old village becomes host to an alien species in the form of white haired children sharing the same soul and possessing destructive powers.
Problems begin in the peaceful coastal village of Midwich when one day all the villagers collapse simultaneously. Officials arrive but no one can enter the village without losing consciousness. When the blackout is lifted, all the women, including a virgin, are pregnant. The government wants to
study the children and agrees to pay each woman to take her baby to term. All the children survive but one, who is whisked away for a private autopsy by Dr. Susan Verner (Kirstie Alley), an ambitious research scientist, who keeps secret the knowledge that the corpse reverts to alien form.
The children resemble humans physically, except for their white hair and flaming eyes, but lack feelings, exhibit superior intelligence, share a group consciousness, and tend to walk in line in male and female pairs. One of the children, David (Thomas Dekker), does not have a partner as a result
of the stillbirth and begins to stray away from the others and develop human feelings. The children display certain mental powers: they can read minds and redirect the will so that their victims bring on their own destruction. Suicides begin occurring throughout the village, and it seems no one
can stop the children, until the town doctor (Christopher Reeve) discovers that he can block his mind and slip some dynamite into their den. The dynamite destroys the children, but David is rescued by his mother (Linda Kozlowski), opening up the possibility for a sequel.
Based on the novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham and the 1960 English film of the same title, the story follows a traditional theme best rendered in INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956), which some critics interpreted as being representative of cold war fears, especially the threat
Communism poses to individualism.
In a broader sense, VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED projects the most basic of human terrors: the fear of group power overtaking individual will is expressed in the children as well as in the government and medical establishment which intervene in the realm of the body by manipulating reproductive
decisions. In the homogeneous setting of the village, any difference is a radical threat, and the children exemplify that difference in its most extreme form. The scene where all the women give birth simultaneously makes even the natural processes of life itself terrifying. And the destruction
wrought by the children is merely predicated by their biological need to survive at any cost and to eliminate anything which impedes that goal. (Adult situations, sexual situations, violence, profanity.)
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- Released: 1995
- Rating: R
- Review: In John Carpenter's VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED a quaint old village becomes host to an alien species in the form of white haired children sharing the same soul and possessing destructive powers. Problems begin in the peaceful coastal village of Midwich when on… (more)