There have been three Children of the Damned films — Wolf Rilla’s 1960 British-produced feature, a 1964 sequel called Children of the Damned and John Carpenter‘s 1995 remake of Rilla’s original, which was based upon John Wyndham‘s “The Midwich Cuckoos,” a 1957 novel.
The Rilla isn’t anyone’s idea of a knockout, but it’s still the best, I think. Those glowing eyes and white-blonde hairdos, and those wonderfully crisp, steady-as-she-goes black-and-white compositions from dp Geoffrey Faithfull. The film serves as a metaphor, of course, for how older establishment types sometimes regard younger generations with disdain and repulsion, and sometimes even fear or panic. These aren’t our children — they look and behave like aliens.
Socrates and others of his generation felt this way about teenagers, of course, and this is definitely how the WWII generation saw stoned, shaggy-haired ’60s counterculture types in the late ’60s and early ’70s. I don’t see Millennials or GenZ-ers as especially odd or alarming because I’m an enlightened X-factor fellow with a background in authority-defying and psychedelic mysticism, but I do regard the brah culture uniform with absolute horror.
A respected Village of the Damned Bluray popped a week ago, and is available to stream.