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Thursday, October 06, 2016

Village of the Damned (1995) - John Carpenter



Village of the Damned had always seemed pretty interesting. I had seen it long before I knew it was a remake. My first viewing was at a dollar theater in 1996. I remember liking it although it was kind of grown-up and boring. I idea of demonic children really seemed interesting. I liked it. Now upon viewing it, I can point out a lot more of the cracks. But they aren't big cracks. 

A small town in Northern California is visited by an Alien life force. This force impregnates the women in the town and leads to them all having strange alien babies. These silver-haired menaces to society can read and control your mind. They can make you kill yourself just by thinking it. Although one of them has learned empathy and has started to control his emotions, the others are murderous and ready to carry out their evil plan. It’s up to the town to stop them. Can they? 


The cast in this movie is pretty great for 1995. We have Linda Kozlowski, Mark Hamill, Kristie Alley and Christopher Reeves. Everyone does a good job, they at least dont mess it up. It’s passable. There are some glaring issues with some of the characters decisions. But that is in just about every horror movie. The effects are good. I have no issues. They kept it simple, but embellished on the alien elements. They also did a good job showing the town coming out to fight the kids. I loved how much of an unstoppable force these children were. 

This movie does have a good deal of suspense and terror, but the horror elements are few. It has a really unenthusiastic atmosphere that probably stems from Carpenter’s indifference to the film. He has said before that this movie was more of a contractual obligation than a project. It is viewed by many as a failure and a rip-off of the original, as this film has near shot-for-shot scenes. It hasn’t gained much notoriety as a cult film either. Village of the Damned is nearly forgotten. 


Apparently director John Carpenter had problems while filming on location in the California, Bay Area. Locals didn’t take kindly to the film crew being in Marin, County and actually vandalized and harassed the sets during shooting. Shortly after this picture, Christopher Reeve suffered a career ending injury while horseback riding on May 23rd, 1995. That makes Village of the Damned his final film before that accident. 

This movie is really tame. It has some pretty nasty elements, but for the most part it stays tame. I wouldn’t go looking to show this to kids, but I wouldn’t freak out if I found them watching it either. It”s mostly appropriate for teens and young adults. However, it’s just not that good. Some parts seem boring and others seem unnecessary. I see what people are talking about when they critique it for being shot-for-shot. It doesn’t take a lot away from the movie but it’s not great. There are better John Carpenter pictures, go watch those.

Director: John Carpenter
Producers: Michael Preger and Sandy King
Writers: David Himmelstein
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Kristie Alley, Linda Kozlowski, Mark Hamill and Michael ParĂ©
Studio: Alphaville Films and Universal Pictures
Release Date: April 28, 1995
Country: USA
Did ya know: Both Christopher Reeve and Mark Hamill were born September 25th. Also, they played the role of DC comic characters.Christopher was best known to play as Superman in all four movies. and also played Dr. Virgil Swann in Smallville (2001). Mark played and voiced the villains The Trickster in The Flash (1990), The Flash (2014) and Justice League (2001). He also, voiced as The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series (1992).


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