VILLAGE OF
THE DAMNED

HOME JOHN CARPENTER REVIEWS FEO'S STUFF FEO AMANTE THEATER SCIENCE MOMENT UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
FEO FEED BACK?
NEWS?
SUBMISSIONS?
Read:
SUBMISSION
GUIDELINES

MOVIES
FEO AMANTE THEATER
My Short Films
LAST CALL

THE NIGHT MY MONSTER DIED
SCIENCE MOMENT
TOP TEN SCARY MOVIES
UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
RACIAL CLICHÉ RESPONSE
INTERVIEWS

STORY TIME

COMICS

CONS

HORRIBLE NEWS
Movies Kelly Parks Review by
Kelly Parks
Bookmark and Share
SHOULD YOU?
TIP JAR
Village of the DamnedVILLAGE OF THE DAMNED - 1995
Universal Pictures
Rating: USA: R

Remakes sometimes suck (and sometimes they rock, like DAWN OF THE DEAD [2004]). People used to ask, "Yes, but how much did that remake suck?" There was confusion across the land. Then Tim Burton came along and at least established an endpoint with his re-imagining of PLANET OF THE APES, which sucked as much as it is physically possible to suck.

Yea, verily.

So now if a remake sucks you can at least get a feel for how much by saying, "Well it sucked but it didn't re-imagining suck."

VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED was directed by the great John Carpenter (HALLOWEEN, THE FOG, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK, THE THING, BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, THEY LIVE, PRINCE OF DARKNESS, IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, GHOSTS OF MARS) and written by David Himmelstein with writing credits going to both the screenplay from the original 1960 version and to John Wyndham's novel "The Midwich Cuckoos".

One of the cool things about the original was the excellent, virtually expositionless opening. The story started with everyone in town dropping to the ground and staying unconscious for hours for no apparent reason. So does Carpenter keep this cool opening? I thought he would at first, as a strange shadow making weird noises passes over the countryside. But that is followed by a big chunk of exposition and the chance to retain the cool opening of the original is lost.

We meet a variety of characters including town doctor Alan Chaffee (Christopher Reeve: REAR WINDOW [TV], STREET SMART) and his wife Barbara (Karen Kahn), Jill McGowan (Linda Kozlowski) and her husband Frank (Michael Paré: BLACKWOODS, PERIL, SPACE FURY, BAD MOON, LUNARCOP), Melanie Roberts (Meredith Salenger: LAKE PLACID, BUG BUSTER) and Reverend George (Mark Hamill: Aww c'mon! You know! He's Luke freakin' Skywalker! Also SLEEPWALKERS). After about ten minutes of getting-to-know-you cliché dialogue the blackout finally happens and everyone drops. Unlike the original film, this movie does show that if a whole town full of people blacked out, many accidents would result - some of them fatal.

Alan happens to be out of town and on his way back runs into a state police roadblock. The state cops have the area cordoned off and have already called in the Feds, in the person of Dr. Susan Verner (Kirstie Alley: RUNAWAY, HOOT TO KILL). They've already established that it's not a gas or other chemical spill because the effect is sharply defined.

Then everyone wakes up. The townspeople try to get on with their lives in spite of the strange event but that doesn't work out so well when it turns out that every woman in town (including several verified virgins) are pregnant. This causes a lot of marital problems, especially for Callie (Constance Forslund) and Ben (Peter Jason: IMPULSE, PRINCE OF DARKNESS, ALIEN NATION, THEY LIVE, IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, GHOSTS OF MARS) since Ben has been away for about a year.

Dr. Verner shows up at a town meeting and offers full medical services and a $3000 / month living allowance per woman for any who decide to keep their baby (and free abortions for those that do not) if they agree to frequent medical exams and other tests. A strange dream - and not the substantial stipend - convinces the women to all carry their babies to term.

The children are all perfect little blonde (actually their hair is almost white) boys and girls. As they grow up their extreme intelligence and unusual mental abilities makes everyone uneasy. As in the first movie the children regard their parents (and everyone else) as slaves, to be severely punished at any sign of disobedience. Jill's son David (Thomas Dekker), who was the leader of the children in the first movie, is the lowliest member here because his mate/partner/whatever (all the kids are paired up as couples) was stillborn. Instead Alan's daughter Mara (Lindsey Haun: DEEP RED) leads the group.

Village of the Damned

Ok, so I've made lots of comparisons and mentioned a few things I didn't like but what does it all mean? Before I tell you that let's have a brief

!!!SCIENCE MOMENT!!!:
Rather than humanoid children created by genetically manipulating human DNA (as in the first movie) Carpenter goes for the much more formula aliens-crossbreeding-with-humans idea which is much harder to swallow. There isn't a single animal on Earth - not even chimpanzees - with which humans can cross breed. Humans crossed with a species from a completely different planet (and therefore completely different biology that uses something other than DNA) seems astronomically unlikely.

Speaking of formula, that is a good way to express my major complaint. What Carpenter did was take a cool movie with some original ideas and replace them with standard sci-fi movie formulas. His only improvement was better glowing eye special effects, although even that felt over the top. What did the different glow colors represent? Moods?

What I'm saying is that Carpenter's remake of VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED sucked. But it didn't "re-imagining" suck. That's why I give it two shriek girls.

Shriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 2004 E.C.McMullen Jr.

Village of the Damned (1995) on IMDb Bookmark and Share

Return to Movies

E.C. McMullen Jr. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

CURRENT REVIEWERS
E.C.MCMULLEN JR.
COME FOLLOW ME -
AMAZON
BLOG
DEVIANT ART
ECMJR - PORTFOLIO
FACEBOOK
IMDB
PANDORA
ROTTEN TOMATOES
STAGE32
TWITTER
YOUTUBE
KELLY PARKS
ON
IMDB
FACEBOOK
MYSPACE
TWITTER
YOUTUBE

 

DVD


BOOK


TRIVIA

Actors Peter Jason and George "Buck" Flower (who plays Carlton the drunk janitor) are buds of John Carpenter and are found in most of his movies.

 

FROM
E.C. McMullen Jr.
WILLOW BLUE
KINDLE

"'Willow Blue' will burrow under your skin and stay there long after you've put the book down."
- Jeffrey Reddick, Creator of FINAL DESTINATION

PERPETUAL BULLET
PAPERBACK

"'Some People' ... may be the standout story in the book."
- John Grant, 2 time Hugo Winner and creator of Infinityplus

FROM
Kelly Parks
&
E.C. McMullen Jr.
THE CRUSADER

Starring
Colin Cunningham and Gary Graham

UNIVERSAL DEAD


Starring
Doug Jones, D.B. Sweeney, and Gary Graham
I will take you home...Feo Amante's Horror Home Page, Feo Amante's Horror Thriller, and feoamante.com are owned and
Copyright 1997 - 2016 by E.C.McMullen Jr.
FAIR USE - PRIVACY POLICY - OWNERSHIP - CONTACT
All images and text belong to E.C.McMullen Jr. unless otherwise noted.
All fiction stories belong to their individual authors.