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The Children
Directed by Max Kalmanowicz
Produced by Max Kalmanowicz
Carlton J. Albright
Written by Carlton J. Albright
Edward Terry
Starring Martin Shakar
Gil Rogers
Gale Garnett
Music by Harry Manfredini
Cinematography Barry Abrams
Distributed by World Northal (USA, theatrical)
Rhino Video (video)
Release date(s) June 13, 1980
Running time 93 min
Country United States
Language English

The Children (a.k.a The Children of Ravensback) is a 1980 low budget horror film. It was written and produced by Carlton J. Albright. The movie is about five children in a small town who, thanks to a yellow toxic cloud, end up being turned into bloodless zombies with black fingernails who microwave every living thing they put their hands on. The surviving adults of the town have to try to put a stop to them.

The film is currently being distributed by Troma Entertainment.



The movie takes place in the fictional New England town of Ravensback (The state it's in is never mentioned.). After a couple of workers at a local chemical plant named Jim (J.D. Clarke) and Slim (James Klawin) decide to call it a day and head for the bar, a leak in one of the areas causes a yellow toxic cloud to form.

Meanwhile, a school bus is shown taking kids home. After dropping one kid off, there are only five kids left on the bus: Paul MacKenize (Jeptha Evans), Jenny Freemont (Clara Evans), Ellen Chandler (Sarah Albright), Tommy Button (Nathanael Albright), and Janet Shore (Juile Carrier). As the kids are singing songs and such, the bus ends up passing through the toxic cloud.

After Billy Hart (Gil Rogers), the local sheriff, finds the bus empty, now abandoned but with the engine still running and all of the kids' items still there, he radios to his deputy Harry Timmons (Tracy Griswold) (who is busy flirting with Suzie MacKenize (Joy Glaccum), Paul's older, but possibly underage sister), and Molly (Shannon Bolin), an older woman who works at the local general store and acts as a part time dispatcher for the cops. Reluctantly, deputy Harry Timmons goes and sets up a roadblock at the intersection of the main highway and the one road leading into town, recruiting a couple of local with shotguns to help.

Meanwhile, Dr. Joyce Gloud (Michelle Le Mothe), Tommy's mother's female lover, goes looking for him and wind up at the cemetery where the bus was abandoned. She finds the bus driver (Ray Delmolino) dead and burned up, and soon after Tommy comes up to her to hug her. When they embrace, Joyce suddenly starts screaming while yellow steam comes from Tommy's hands and Joyce starts to look charbroiled and eventually ends up a similar corpse to the bus driver. Meanwhile, Tommy just lets her go and moves on.

Later, Ellen is seen sneaking through the woods near a road where John Freemont (Martin Shakar), the main character and the father of Jenny, is working on his car. Sheriff Hart stops to give him a lift home. Ellen, after watching them unnoticed decides to move along and ends up going home where she meets her mother, Rita (Diane Deckard), at the door. She runs out to Ellen's outstretched arms and embracing her is killed by the gas. Then her father, Bob (Michael Carrier), comes to the door and is shocked at what he finds. Ellen just turns around and hold out her arms again for him, but he back away from her into the house while she follows.

Paul MacKenize comes home and scares his sister. Then he starts walking towards her with his arms out, but she keeps backing away from him, hitting him in the face, trying to snap him out of whatever he was in. They wind up in the workroom part of the house where, off-camera, he killed her. Then Paul's father, Cyrus (Arthur Chase), is killed too after discovering him and her body.

As John and Billy are driving, they stop when they find Janet Shore in the road just standing there, apparently pale-faced and stunned. They are able to get her into the car and start to get her home. Janet had not yet turned completely into a zombie as the rest of the kids found her, but she gradually change into one during the ride (her fingernails are shown turning black), and after they stop, she goes after Sheriff Hart. He is able to dodge her, and she simply gets out of the car and gets away.

Eventually, Ellen, Tommy, and Paul wind up meeting up and continued walking together. They are discovered by Deputy Timmons, who radios in the discovery, but is soon after roasted to death by one or all of them. Then the three converge at the general store where Molly, in sheer bliss, come out to hug them and is likewise scorched.

Meanwhile, John and Billy are checking out other homes in the town, finding the occupant dead in much the same way. Upon hearing of these discoveries, they head to John's home where his pregnant wife, Cathy (Gale Garnett), and his younger son, Clarkie (Jessie Abrams), are. They both arrive and are relived to see that both Cathy and Clarkie are unharmed. John begins to give orders , but does not divulge any information to Cathy or Clarkie.

As they're in the house, all five kids come around and are simply wandering around, converging on the adults once they're in sight. Jenny tries to hug Cathy, but John pulls her away in time. Paul gets on top of the house and is let through the window by Clarkie (who doesn't know what happened to him and it is revealed would've been zombified had he not stay home from school sick that day). Once in, they both play a quiet game of tag, and after Clarkie hides in his closet, Paul follows and kills him.

From outside and inside, Billy tries shooting the kids one by one with his pistol, but the shots did little more than knock the children impact of the bullet, who would then get back up and continue. Cathy, still not knowing what has happened to the kids, knocks Billy out for shooting at them. She also discovers Clarkie's roasted remains, and tells John, who goes upstairs and put Clarkie's body in his bed, tearfully

Suddenly, Paul tries to come after them all, and by instinct, Billy picks up a replica katana and chops off both Paul's hands at the same time killing Paul while the fingernails on his severed hands turned back to normal. Ellen also tries to break into the house through on of the windows, and gets the hand she used to break cut off, causing her to fall to her apparent death. Then Billy and John go out, with sword in tow, to find the rest of them. The other three, Tommy, Janet, and Jenny, converge to the upper level of the barn on the property, where they are found by John and Billy and, despite Jenny's pleas to John, are promptly dismembered and killed. After that, they both walked out tired and beat. While John collapse in the barn, Billy goes to his car to radio for help. While he's doing that, Ellen rises from the back seat, grabs Billy by the neck, and roasted him to death. John hears Billy's screaming and runs over with his sword to finish the job on Ellen. Then flings his sword in disgust, and collapse next to Billy's corpse and ends up falling asleep there.

The next morning, Cathy yells out to John that "it's time", and he wakes up and runs frantically into the house to help her deliver their third child. While we hear them both trying to deliver the baby, the camera pans over all of the dead bodies (except Clarkie's) showing Sheriff Hart's corpse, all five of the unfortunate children laying there peacefully. After the baby is deliver and John and Cathy finished talking, John goes wide eyed as he discovers that his newborn child has black fingernails.[1]


  • Martin Shakar John Freemont
  • Gil Rogers Sheriff Billy Hart
  • Gale Garnett Cathy Freemont
  • Shannon Bolin Molly
  • Tracy Griswold Deputy Harry Timmons
  • Joy Glaccum Suzie MacKenzie
  • Jeptha Evans Paul MacKenzie
  • Clara Evans Jenny Freemont
  • Sarah Albright Ellen Chandler
  • Nathanael Albright Tommy Button
  • Julie Carrier Janet Shore
  • Michelle Le Mothe Dr. Joyce Gould
  • Edward Terry Hank
  • Peter Maloney Frank
  • Jessie Abrams Clarkie Freemont
  • Rita Montone Dee Dee Shore
  • John P. Codiglia Jackson Lane
  • Martin Brennan Sanford Butler-Jones
  • J.D. Clarke Jim (hardhat)
  • James Klawin Slim (hardhat)
  • Arthur Chase Cyrus MacKenzie
  • Suzanne Barnes Leslie Button
  • Diane Deckard Rita Chandler
  • David Platt Chauffeur
  • Ray Delmolino Bus driver
  • Michael Carrier Bob Chandler
  • X. Ben Fakackt Newscaster voice


External links



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