I have mentioned on more than one occasion that in all honesty I have drank deeply of the Kool-Aid that is the work of John Carpenter. There is truly not a film he has made that I haven’t cared for…he is one of the main reasons in my youth that I wanted to pursue a career in filmmaking, so I have a lot of of love for his talent as a Director.
That isn’t to say of course that I don’t hold some films from his career over others. Which brings us to his 1995 remake of the 1960 classic Village of the Damned, this is a film I saw at the Razorback Theater with a group of friends and we quite liked it…it would seem though audiences and critics of the time didn’t share our appreciation of the film. I have come to learn that John Carpenter chose this film as a way to get Universal to green-light another remake he wanted to bring to the big screen, which was The Creature From The Black Lagoon! There was a bit of studio tinkering…and if Peter Jason (They Live!, Village of the Damned) is to be believed…and there is no reason to doubt him, Universal took the picture out of Carpenter’s hands before he was 100% finished with the product. Which might explain why this film doesn’t reach the heights of say Escape From New York or Halloween but it is STILL a good movie, it’s creepy and possesses an embarrassment of quality actors and awesome visual effects.
Thankfully Scream Factory feels the same way as they’ve decided to release a Collector’s Edition on Blu-Ray!
[Via] Pedro Benetone
Village of the Damned concerns the quite little seaside town of Midwich, California when during a joyous fundraiser for the town, every woman, child, man, anything living passes right out after a curious cloud travels over. Anyone that attempts to enter Midwich is knocked out and unlike the 1960 original Carpenter is quick to point out how deadly being rendered unconcious can be as some of the residents lose their lives during this bizarre event.
The horror has only begun however for the people of Midwich as they quickly realize that ten of the women in town are now with child, this includes the main protagonists of the film, Jill McGowan (Linda Kozlowski ), Barbara Chafee (Karen Kahn), and Melanie Roberts (Meredith Salenger) who is still pure. The Government who was already alerted when…you know…people just started passing out when they entered Midwich is quick to lend “aid” to those affected by these strange mass pregnancies, led by Dr. Susan Verner (Kirstie Alley). The townsfolk are rightfully frightened by these events but they at least have the support of Barbara’s husband Dr. Alan Chafee (Christopher Reeve) and Midwich’s minister Reverend George (Mark Hamill), whose wife is also one of those affected by the unexplained pregnancies.
Then, all ten of the pregnant women go into labor on the very same night at the very same time. One of the children is sadly stillborn, the child of Melanie, but even with all of the strangeness their are nine happy couples after the delivery. That doesn’t last long though as all nine of the children have pale complexions, white hair, incredibly…frighteningly…intelligent, a complete lack of empathy or any signs of emotions and they all have the same colored eyes.
Those eyes have the tendency to change hue when one of the children is upset and woe be to those that come under that gaze…I guess they do show one sign of emotion…rage…
It’s pretty evident that these nine children do not fit in or make the townspeople feel safe, so it’s decided that they will separated from children their age and taught by Alan Chafee, his Daughter Mara acts as the leader of the group. There is one member of the group of children that does act differently and that is Jill’s Son, David, who actually shows some small signs of humanity of being able to feel for others. The problem is that Mara and the others actions are forcing the hands of the townsfolk and even the Military. Can anything be done to change what looks to be a violent conflict between the children of Midwich and the World? Or will all of the Earth become as the Village of the Damned?
To find out that answer you will just have to pick up a copy of John Carpenter’s The Village of the Damned when it’s released tomorrow on April 12th. This being a Scream Factory release you know they will include Special Features worthy of your time:
NEW It Takes A Village: The Making Of Village Of The Damned Featuring Interviews With Director John Carpenter, Producer Sandy King, Actors Michael Pare, Peter Jason, Karen Kahn, Meredith Salenger, Thomas Dekker, Cody Dorkin, Lindsey Haun, Danielle Wiener-Keaton And Make-up Effects Artist Greg Nicotero
NEW Horror’s Hallowed Grounds – Revisiting The Locations Of The Film
NEW The Go To Guy: Peter Jason On John Carpenter
Vintage Interviews Featuring John Carpenter, Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski, Mark Hamill And Wolf Rilla (Director Of The Original VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED)
Vintage Behind-The-Scenes Footage
Behind-The-Scenes Still Gallery
So feel free to hop on over to Scream Factory’s Official Site to pre-order your copy of John Carpenter’s Village of the Damned or wait until tomorrow to pick it up at your local retailer…or risk the wrath of Mara!