ByJohn Mountain, writer at
John Mountain

Directed by John Carpenter.

Screenplay by David Himmelstein.

Based on the book "The Midwich Cuckoos" by John Wyndham and the 1960 film and screenplay by Wolf Rilla, Stirling Silliphant and George Barclay.

John Carpenter's Village of the Damned is a somewhat boring affair that is interesting solely for the common bond it shares with a handful of his better efforts.

A dark shadow passes over the town of Midwich and everything-man, woman, child and animal-faints. They soon awaken, or at least the fortunate ones do; there is the matter of the man who passed out over a hot grill and the other guy who is the hapless victim of a fiery collision. A few months afterward a handful of the women of Midwich (ten in all including a post-Crocodile Dundee Linda Koslowski) become pregnant and the date of conception is traced right back to the day of the fainting incident. Of the ten, including a virgin (Meredith Salenger-go figure), nine give birth and one infant is stillborn. To say these children are different is quite the understatement. Five boys and four girls, they all sport blonde hair, have blue eyes and are devoid of human emotion. They can also read our minds and can persuade us to do horrible things regardless of our reluctance. This leads to several suicides and the film's gorier moments. It's up to the town doctor (Reeve) and a government scientist (Alley) to stop the little buggers before the entire town is wiped out. Can Superman and Rebecca from Cheers save the day?

Village of the Damned is based on the book "The Midwich Cuckoos" by John Wyndham and the 1960 film directed by Wolf Rilla. This is all irrelevant; Village of the Damned is a John Carpenter film through and through as it shares two common threads-an alien being(s) that hide themselves behind a human guise (The Thing, They Live, Starman); and the conquest of earth via enslavement/assimilation. It's great to see Carpenter come back to these themes. It's also great to see Christopher Reeve in what would be his final role before a horseback riding accident left him paralyzed for the remaining nine years of his life. The common thread that would have made me, a fan of Carpenter's work, happy would have been for Village of the Damned to be good but alas, it is not.


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