Village of the Damned – USA, 1995 – reviews

Village of the Damned is a 1995 American science-fiction horror feature film about women in a small town giving birth en masse to strangely gifted children.

Directed by John Carpenter (Ghosts of Mars; They Live; The Thing; Halloween) from a screenplay written by David Himmelstein, Steven Siebert (uncredited) and Larry Sulkis (uncredited), based on John Wyndham‘s novel ‘The Midwich Cuckoos’ and the screenplay by Stirling Silliphant, Wolf Rilla and Ronald Kinnoch for the 1960 British Hammer Films production.

The Alphaville production stars Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski, Michael Paré, Meredith Salenger and Mark Hamill.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“I would still say Village of the Damned is lower end Carpenter, but lower end Carpenter is better than your average movie. It delivers more questions than answers and Kristie Alley is super boring, but there’s a fantastic score, some sincerely creepy moments and you get to see Mark Hamil baptize some kids, so it’s not all bad.” Bloody Disgusting

“Stranded in the midst of a gruesome decade which witnessed a massive erosion of the skills that had served him earlier in his career, director John Carpenter (who has admitted that this was a for-hire project) is unable to generate anything resembling suspense or even basic narrative fluidity…” Creative Loafing

“Carpenter doesn’t seem all that interested in making an effort to distinguish this remake from the original; it’s remarkably stodgy and literal in its “updating.” No interesting subtext underpins it and transforms the material, while the suspense is woefully inadequate (it’s remarkable how slow and tedious the movie plays…” DVD Drive-In

“Still, fans and students of Rilla’s spare 73-minute film, with its measured British tone and Twilight Zone quality […] likely will be bored with Carpenter’s remake. The trademark glowing eyes from the first film are now in color like shining marbles and seem rather silly.” San Francisco Gate

“If Carpenter is any way lucky, people will one day simply forget that he ever made this misbegotten turd of a third-rate television film. What? The Village of the Damned isn’t a TV movie of the week? Sh*t, then the film is even worse than what it seems to be: a low-budget rent-payer filmed primarily because the television rights to the newest Stephen King snoozer haven’t yet been ironed out.” A Wasted Life

“The main problem I have with this film is that it’s really uneventful until the third act. The finale is gripping and engrossing but the events leading up to it are fairly dull. The picture does feature a reasonable cast, most of whom were in their prime at the time of release. So, the fact that we’re spending time with people we don’t hate makes it slightly more bearable…” Wicked Horror

Cast and characters:

  • Christopher Reeve … Doctor Alan Chaffee
  • Kirstie Alley … Doctor Susan Verner
  • Linda Kozlowski … Jill McGowan
  • Michael Paré … Frank McGowan
  • Meredith Salenger … Melanie Roberts
  • Mark Hamill … Reverend George
  • Pippa Pearthree … Sarah, George’s Wife
  • Peter Jason … Ben Blum
  • Constance Forslund … Callie Blum
  • Karen Kahn … Barbara Chaffee
  • Thomas Dekker … David McGowan
  • Lindsey Haun … Mara Chaffee
  • Cody Dorkin … Robert
  • Trishalee Hardy … Julie
  • Jessye Quarry … Dorothy
  • Adam Robbins … Issac
  • Chelsea DeRidder Simms … Matt
  • Renee Rene Simms … Casey
  • Danielle Keaton … Lily (as Danielle Wiener)
  • Hillary Harvey … Mara, 1 Year
  • Bradley Wilhelm … David, 1 Year
  • Jennifer Wilheim Jennifer Wilheim … Mara / David, 4 Months
  • George ‘Buck’ Flower … Carlton
  • Squire Fridell … The Sheriff
  • Darryl Jones … Highway Patrolman
  • Ed Corbett … Older Deputy
  • Ross Martineau … Younger Deputy
  • Skip Richardson … Deputy
  • Tony Haney … Doctor Bush
  • Sharon Iwai … Eye Doctor
  • Robert Lewis Bush Robert Lewis Bush … Mr Roberts
  • Montgomery Hom … Technician
  • Steven Chambers … Trooper #1
  • Ron Kaell … Trooper #2
  • Lane Nishikawa … Scientist
  • Michael Halton … Harold, Gas Station Attendant
  • Julie Eccles … Eileen Moore
  • Lois Saunders … Doctor at Clinic
  • Sidney Baldwin … Labor Room Physician
  • Wendolyn Lee … Nurse #5
  • Kathleen Turco-Lyon … Nurse #3
  • Abigail Van Alyn … Nurse #1
  • Roy Conrad … Oliver
  • Dan Belzer … Sam, Young Husband
  • Dena Martinez … Cindy, Young Wife
  • Alice Barden … The Woman at Town Hall
  • John Brebner … The Man at Town Hall
  • Ralph Miller … Villager
  • John Carpenter … The Man at Gas Station Phone (as Rip Haight)

Filming locations:

California and New Mexico

Technical credits:

  • 98 minutes
  • Audio: DTS-Stereo | DTS | Dolby SR | Dolby
  • Aspect ratio: 2.39: 1

Leave your comment here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.