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Village of the Damned/Children of the Damned

99 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Village of the Damned/Children of the Damned (DVD) (Multi-Title)

We have met the enemies and they are our children. Well, perhaps not OUR children, and that's the problem: they are the offspring of aliens who secretly impregnated human women. That's the riveting premise of Village of the Damned, a science-fiction classic rife with paranoia and set in England's Midwich. There, the glow-eyed humanoids develop at an alarming rate and use astonishing powers of mind to assert their supremacy. Woe to parents or anyone who defies them. Yet one intrepid soul (George Sanders) does. It's "yesterday Midwich, tomorrow the world" in the sequel Children of the Damned. Unusually gifted youngsters who might be a leap forward in human evolution are brought from around the globe to England for scientific study - and then the terror hits with full force. Children, behave!


What's scarier than scary kids? Village of the Damned is the definitive scary-kid classic, a truly unsettling film drawn from John Wyndham's novel The Midwich Cuckoos. The brilliant opening sequence depicts the sudden and temporary paralysis of a small English hamlet, which is followed by the town's women becoming mysteriously pregnant. The spawn of this occurrence are a dozen eerie, blond-headed children, who are either gifted, evil, or "the world's new people." A splendid outing, not least in the way it catches parental anxiety about this small new stranger in one's home. (It was remade by John Carpenter in 1995.)

Children of the Damned follows up with a story about six more creepy kids, brought from all over the globe to huddle in a old church in London. An excellent opening half-hour gets bogged down in the movie's global-political ambitions (it's very much a cold war offering), but it has its share of shivery moments--the sight of the six youngsters striding down a London street as though they controlled the world is a chiller. But where's the blond hair? The two films are different in tone; Village feels like a fifties sci-fi offering, with an old-school star (George Sanders) and classical style; Children is a film of the sixties, with hipper techniques, urban setting, and young actors Ian Hendry and Alan Badel. But both have those damned kids. --Robert Horton

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen, Dolby
  • Language: English (Mono), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 13, 2005
  • Run Time: 167 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00027JYMG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,686 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Village of the Damned/Children of the Damned" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Michael R Gates VINE VOICE on January 6, 2005
Format: DVD
A cool double-feature DVD from Warner Home Video.


As with INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956) before it, 1960's VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED is a cold-war allegory that uses extraterrestrial infiltration to represent Western fears of Communist invasion. Even so, this flick is still one of the best SF thrillers ever made, and it has become one of the SF cinema classics.

When a group of albino children born under mysterious circumstances begin to demonstrate superhuman mental prowess, they come to be viewed by their community and the military as a threat to the survival of mankind. Though faithful to the novel on which it is based--THE MIDWICH CUCKOOS by Brit SF author John Wyndham--the film is in many ways more frightening, mainly due to simple but effective special FX and outstanding performances from adult leads George Sanders, Barbara Shelley, and Michael Gwynn and from child actor Martin Stephens. Indeed, the unusually reserved and sympathetic performance from Sanders--well known in England at the time for his over-the-top portrayals of villains or cynical antiheroes--makes the film's climax extremely dramatic and affecting.

Caveat: Avoid John Carpenter's far inferior 1995 remake.


1963's CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED was originally marketed and is still often regarded today as the sequel to the 1960 classic VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED. However, the second film's script diverges so drastically from the characters and premise of the first that it is not, in actuality, a continuation of or branch-off from the same narrative--super-intelligent children are the only common story element.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Nix Pix on August 7, 2004
Format: DVD
"Village of the Damned" is the 60s sci-fi classic steeped in paranoia and set in England's Midwich. It seems that this picturesque district was visited by aliens who secretly impregnated the town's human women. Suddenly, blonde haired clone like boys and girls begin to pop up all over the countryside. These glowing-eyed humanoids have but one purpose - to use their intellectual superiority as mind-control over the adults in order to conquer the world. Top billed are George Sanders and Barbara Shelley as Gordon and Anthea Zellaby. Gordon is first to recognize that the town's children are not what they seem. But will he be in time and of enough strong will to stop this slow plague of brainwashing? The chilling screenplay by Stirling Siliphant (based on the novel, "The Midwich Cuckoos") and nimble direction by Wolf Rilla builds to a climax of unsettling terror that even today holds audiences spellbound. This classic film comes as a double feature with its sequel "Children of the Damned." Moving the location from countryside to a London school for the gifted, a professor (Alan Badel) assembles high I.Q. moppets from around the world for an intellectual experiment that goes horribly awry. The sequel has its merits but it lacks in the visceral and unsettling terror associated with the original. In 1995 "Village of the Damned" was remade by scare-master, John Carpenter with Kristie Alley and Christopher Reeve - but with decidedly predictable and less than stellar rewards.

Warner's DVD is outstanding. The image is remarkably clean, with a very solid and beautifully rendered gray scale, deep blacks and excellent contrast levels. Fine details are fully realized.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 9, 2004
Format: DVD
Truly this a classic of both science-fiction as well as horror.
Of course the horror is not the traditional bloodletting but rather psychological.It reads like a hitler youths takeover of a
typical english village "while everybody is asleep".these fatherless children all sport blond hair & blue eyes and definite
ideas about how things should run in the now quaranteed village.
They also seem to exhibit no distinct personnalities but more of a "group mind"(hence the fachism analogy)that has no problem crushing all dissidents , even their own parents.
On the technical side I have to again commend Warner for including it's sequel (children of the damned)on the disc , making it a great value.While the sequel suffers in comparison
to the original it's still worth seeing.
We as customers should support Warner & it's "double bill" DVD's
so that other companies might jump on the bandwaggon (so far only
MGM has released some interesting double bills)and increase the circulation of classic films on DVD.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By T. Ahrens on June 25, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This original black and white version of Village of the Damned is one of my all-time favorites. It stands head and shoulders above most of the other entries from this era by avoiding the pitfalls the others fell into.
The film is unrelenting in its bleakness, and there is not one second of humor to relieve the tension that slowly builds to the film's climax. Yet it is subtle and unpretentious, and the performances are understated and convincing. I consider this to be among the finest appearances by George Sanders; say what you will about him as a person, he was perfect for the part of the father in Village.
This film is uncompromised by sentimentality, and there are no punches pulled in any scene, least of all the climax. That being said, the director never stoops to resorting to gore or gratuitous violence, but prepare yourself for a very unsettling experience.
Village of the Damned is far superior to its sequel (as is almost always the case) as it is to most other films of the same genre and period. It is also much better than the remake with Christopher Reeve, although the newer film is better than I expected.
If you're looking for a feel-good, lighthearted film watching experience, look elsewhere. But if you love well-made classic science fiction, this is one to add to your collection.
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Village of the Damned/Children of the Damned
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