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Children Of The Damned (1964)

This is technically a sequel to Village Of The Damned, although it has little to do with the first film and stands up more than adequately on its own. It starts with the credits playing over a picture of a kid equally as scary-looking as any in the first film (more so, given his lack of crap blonde wig).

Then we cut to a bunch of kids doing The Krypton Factor (sadly without the presence of Gordon "North West Tonight" Burns), with the kid from the title sequence (Paul) easily beating the rest. The doctors doing the test decide to go and see his mum, but she won't take any IQ test and is an obvious slapper.

"I think we can safely say that he didn't get his brains from his mother," comments one of the doctors, drily.

"I should have crushed you to death when I first held you to my breast," she tells him, tenderly.

Mum doesn't like Paul very much: "I should have crushed you to death when I first held you to my breast," she tells him, tenderly. The poor mite reacts badly to this, and sends her out to her death by making her walk into a busy traffic tunnel, where she obligingly gets hit by a truck.

However, she survives the experience and decides to confide in the doctors that she's still a virgin. "He doesn't have a father." Dodgy ground there, for a 60s film.

There are apparently six "Pauls" in the world, and some bright spark has decided to bring them all to London for study. Of course, that's not going to cause problems, is it?

One of the main problems with this film is it's full of typical English (or Welsh) Brylcreemed, tweed jacket wearing leading men, so it's difficult to tell who's who at some points. But Dr Llewellyn (Ian "it's not booze, it's beer" Hendry and Dr Webster (Alfred Burke) do make a great double act until they fall out towards the end of the film.

Anyway, the Doctors go around asking all the mothers of the other kids if they're married (well, it was the 1960s) and saying things like "Sometimes there's nothing more exciting than chasing children around London" (ah, innocent times). Then Paul actually asks his mum to call the two doctors, and meanwhile the sinister government agent Colin (yes, Colin - a name to strike fear into the heart of any man) pays a call. All the world's powers have started to see their own children as assets, and want them all out of Britain sharpish.

Paul escapes and rounds up the other kids, and they walk in slo-mo down the street like a Mini-Pop version of Reservoir Dogs. The United Colours Of Benetton - but even more frightening. The kids hole up in a run-down church, and bring Paul's mother to them to act as their spokeswoman.

"Sometimes there's nothing more exciting than chasing children around London"

Two men who break into the church shoot a dog belonging to one of the kids (bad idea, that) and the kids unleash the full power of their minds - one is made to shoot the other, and then commit hari-kari by diving onto some spiked railings. Nasty.

Now the army wants to destroy them, and the kids set up some kind of flashing light doodad in the church. The world's powers have realised that as assets, the kids are useless - as they can all tell what the other is thinking. No super-weapon created by the children would remain a secret. There's another devastating attack on some more men who break into the church, and the kids vanish, appearing at embassies across London and killing the representatives of all the super powers. Asked "Why are you here, Paul? What do you want?" their leader can only reply "We don't know." That's that sorted out, then.

Meanwhile a Professor Gruber deduces that the cells of the kids could be "the cells of man... advanced perhaps a million years", and asked the same question again after returning to the church, Paul this time replies "To be destroyed".

Unfortunately, just as it appears everyone's getting somewhere, some idiot drops a spanner (well, a screwdriver actually) in the works and all the kids, and the officials trying to make peace with them, are killed by the army. As the survivors look on in horror, the camera pans onto the screwdriver.

Grim stuff.

Last updated: February 17, 2010

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