Movie Reviews 90 – Children of the Damned (1964)

Children DamnedIn Village of the Damned we were learned that the ‘event’ which led to the birth of the brainy psychic children was not an isolated event that happened only to the town of Midwich, but rather one that occurred simultaneously in a number of locations all over the world. Further, due to the circumstances, in all the other cases the children or the entire community in which they were born, had come to some sordid end.

This sequel departs from that premise altogether and focuses on six unique but isolated children displaying the prodigious qualities that sets them apart from normal kids. In this case the kids grow up alone without other children like them, but not oblivious to their own nature either. Also, unlike the original, the kids are not blonde lookalikes of one another. Rather, they are a disparate group each representing different the nationalities of where they were born.

Again contradicting the first movie we find that all these kids are recognized for their standout superiority and considered as valuable assets. So when one group of bureaucrats decide that they should be rounded up and studied, they encounter opposition from the other nations trying to keep their prodigies to themselves. And this is when the kids step up and take control over themselves. They not only manage to assemble together, but they immediately go into hiding, taking refuge in a deserted church. But they are soon found and incur the fear of mankind, finding themselves literally facing an army at their doorsteps.

While the first film purposely kept the real nature of the children a mystery, this movie gets a bit hokey, positing that the kids are human, but advanced by a million years based on a study of the children’s blood. How one could ascertain that is silly enough but the film goes even into sillier territory by having the kids devise a sonic wave weapon. Both the kids and bureaucrats come to some last minute fateful conclusions, but you’ll have to watch the movie to see who wins out in the end.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, this sequel is vastly inferior to the first movie. It’s still cool seeing the kids using their special abilities and there is some decent drama watching the rest of the population trying to figure out what to do, but nothing like the suspense in the first movie.

Neither of the movies should be confused with yet another damned movie featuring kids with special abilities simply called “These are the Damned” (1963). What was is about kids being so damned  in movies in the early sixties? I’m especially intrigued since I count myself among them.

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