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tomelce's Review

Created Jan 11, 2010 02:43AM PST • Edited Jan 11, 2010 02:45AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. OK 2.5

    Who’d have guessed a Simpsons parody would thoroughly outdo a supposed horror classic? Just as the Trey Parker/Matt Stone collaboration “Team America: World Police” was leaps and bounds superior to the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced action pics it mocked, so to did mini-spoof “The Deadening” wittily parody and, ultimately, enhance the somewhat comical foundation built by 1960s “Village of the Damned,” a seeming critical darling whose methods are no less broad than those of the Matt Groening show. While it admirably affords the parent/child conflict (that is: wanting to do what’s best for them at all costs, fearing they may disappoint), “Village of the Damned” is most certainly too broad for its themes to transfer themselves into the realm of effective horror cinema. In the world created by director Wolf Rilla, there’s nothing more freaky and frightening than an intelligent tyke with a posh accent and hidden psychological powers yet his methods only ever come across as cornball, his film amounting to an interesting failure that has inexplicably gone on to receive high praise. Its monsters arrive following a bizarre village-wide blackout, every woman impregnated and ultimately giving birth to white-haired, fast-growing little geniuses who know more than they ever should, adults first of all trying to accept them in spite of their outright freakiness but ultimately conspiring to “do something about it” by the time adults start dropping dead. Cue uniformly shrug-worthy acting and typically old-fashioned idea of suspense, “Village of the Damned” a motion picture at once reminiscent and indebted to its time – so while the 1935 “Bride of Frankenstein” continues to be worthwhile watching in the 21st century, it’s hard not to take Rilla’s film as an extremely weathered relic. Call me crazy, but I’d rather watch John Carpenter’s flawed but wiley remake than come into contact with its “masterful” inspiration.

  3. OK 2.5
  4. Male Stars Good 3.0
  5. Female Stars OK 2.5
  6. Female Costars Barely OK 2.0
  7. Male Costars OK 2.5
  8. OK 2.5
  9. Direction OK 2.5
  10. Play Barely OK 2.0
  11. Music OK 2.5
  12. Visuals OK 2.5
  13. Content
  14. Tame 1.2

    Probably the most polite horror film in cinema history.

  15. Sex Innocent 1.0
  16. Violence Gentle 1.5
  17. Rudeness Polite 1.0
  18. Supernatural 3.5
  19. Circumstantial Supernatural 3.5
  20. Biological Supernatural 3.5
  21. Physical Supernatural 3.5


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