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Monday, April 17, 2017

Children Of The Damned (1964)

Starring Ian Hendry, Alan Badel, Barbara Ferris, Alfred Burke, Sheila Allen
Directed by Anton M. Leader
(actor & director credits courtesy

After a pair of scientists discover a remarkably intelligent boy in England, similarly gifted children from across the world are brought to join him, where their dangerous psychic powers are discovered.

A follow-up to Village of The Damned, which itself was an adaptation of John Wyndham's The Midwich Cuckoos, the film is not a literal sequel, featuring no common characters or acknowledgement of earlier events, but could take place in a world sometime after the original story.  I've heard a number of people prefer this movie to the prior film, although I think that version had an eerier quality and a stronger cast.  However, this is still gripping entertainment, well-photographed and directed, and I liked Badel's performance as a geneticist who enjoys asking indelicate questions.  Although the filmmakers try to refocus the original story's themes to point out the evils of nations in an arms race, I think I would have preferred for them to peel back the layers of the mystery of the children, to unravel their origins and purpose rather than re-present the same puzzle we've seen before.

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