Children of the Damned: In this 1963 sequel to VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED, the children are no longer Aryan types, but rather international-- one from every major race of the world (African, Asian, Russian…) The governments of the world are after them as these kids are too brainy and too powerful to simply ignore. But in the end, who will win...the children or the army?
Children of the Damned (3 stars): There exist many similarities between the two films, but also some important physical differences: the children’s eyes are glowing less than in the original film here, they are also no longer dressed the same or even blond. The other major difference between the two films is that CHILDREN is set in the city, whereas VILLAGE was set in a small country village, both in England. This film has some beautiful shots of some of the characters running through the empty city streets, in search of the children. Very atmospheric and creepy because of the emptiness and silence in the streets. However, I did not enjoy this film as much as I enjoyed its predecessor and I am not sure why. Both films had similar story-lines (children of unknown origin with strange telepathic powers trapped in a hostile adult world), but this film was more politically themed which is not surprising as it was supposed to be a moral fable about the cold war. That may have played a part in me not loving this film as much. The kids were also less eerie looking here-- really enjoyed the look of the kids in the original, that blond country-club/Hitler youth type. Their leader, Paul, did not impact me as much as the leader David in VILLAGE. Also, this film was around 15 minutes longer than the original which caused me to become somewhat bored. A typical sequel, because it is not as good as its original.
Audio Commentary on CHILDREN by film’s screenwriter John Briley: Mr. Briley speaks in a slow, monotonous tone which is irritating and no fun to listen to. He relates way too many stories about his own life, and about the Cold War, and this is boring to hear. Not much additional background on the film is given, a commentary worth ignoring if you ask me. It’s worth mentioning that this was Mr. Briley’s first original screenplay.
Theatrical trailers. Both films contain very cool trailers for the films, worth checking out.