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John Carpenter's
Village of the Damned

Theatrical poster
Directed by John Carpenter
Produced by Michael Preger
Sandy King
Written by David Himmelstein
John Wyndham (Novel)
Starring Christopher Reeve
Kirstie Alley
Thomas Dekker
Mark Hamill
Linda Kozlowski
Michael Paré
Music by John Carpenter
Dave Davies
Cinematography Gary B. Kibbe
Editing by Edward A. Warschilka
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) April 28, 1995 (1995-04-28)
Running time 99 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $22 million

John Carpenter's Village of the Damned is a 1995 science fictionhorror film directed by John Carpenter. It is marketed with the tagline "Beware the children."

It is a remake of the 1960 film of the same name which is based on the novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. The 1995 remake is set in the United States, while the book and original film were both set in the United Kingdom.

It stars Christopher Reeve (in his last starring role before he was paralyzed in a horse-riding accident), Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski, Michael Pare, and Mark Hamill. The remake stands out from the original due to its incorporation of graphic violence, with depictions of such things as a man falling asleep on a barbecue grill and a woman eviscerating herself with a scalpel while under the children's psychic control.

The children are much more explicitly alien than in the original film. The children become more alien in appearance as they use their powers at greater intensity. Also, a degree of conspiracy theory permeates the storyline. According to Dr. Susan Verner, it is implied that the American government is willing to allow the children to grow to adulthood regardless of how many murders the children commit. However, it is stated by Susan later that the other colonies have all been destroyed and that Midwich is scheduled to be next, which would imply that the government is not willing to allow the children to live.


The American village of Midwich was invaded by an unseen force which left ten women of the quiet coastal town mysteriously pregnant. Nine months later, the babies were born simultaneously but one was stillborn. At first, they all appeared to be normal, but it doesn't take the "parents" long to realize that their "children" are anything but normal. As they grew older, the children were shown to have pale skin, platinum-white hair, fierce intellect and steely, cobalt eyes. The emotionless children displayed eerie psychic abilities and remarkable powers, which they used with deadly consequences, unleashing a reign of terror. When they actively used their mind-controlled powers, their irises or their entire eyes glowed in different colours, mostly reddish-orange, but also green, yellow, violet, blue or pure white.

There are some story differences from the earlier adaptation. In this version, the children "paired off", but one of the children, David, lost his "partner" after she died at birth. As a result, he showed human compassion while still resembling the other children and retaining some degree of psychic powers. This led to him not fitting in well with the children. Their ruthless leader, Mara ("daughter" of a local doctor, Dr. Alan Chaffee; her mother, Barbara, committed suicide by walking off an ocean cliff), considered him less important due to his expression of emotions. Because of his childhood loss, he understood what the other children did not: pain. He and his mother (the local school principal, Jill McGowan), shared a brief conversation about this, with David understanding that if he feels pain, he can understand others pain also. When the other children experience pain, they simply use their powers to inflict the same pain on the adult responsible for the pain.

Soon the other colonies of psychotic children in foreign countries were eliminated because of their danger. The scientific team at Midwich quickly fled the town to escape the chaos. However, the lead government scientist, Dr. Susan Verner, was killed by the children after being forced to show them David's "partner", the baby that was stillborn. Susan had secretly kept it so that she could perform an autopsy on it and study it. A mob of angry townspeople attempted to stop the children, but they used their powers to kill the leader of the mob causing the other townspeople to flee quickly. The State Police and the National Guards were then sent out to kill the children, who instead hypnotized them into shooting each other in a chaotic gun battle.

In order to rid the town of the children, Alan devised a plan; to detonate a briefcase of explosives inside the children's classroom. By thinking of a brick wall, he was able to create a mental barrier and keep the presence of the bomb a secret from the children. Jill begged him to save David (because he was not like the others), and Alan wholeheartedly agreed. He attempted to do this by asking David to leave the classroom to get his books from his car. Finally, Jill showed up, but the children stopped her. David, angered by this, rushed to her defense and knocked Mara over. The children turned on David, but Jill rushed him from the building. At last, the children broke through Alan's defenses, but the explosives detonated, destroying the barn and killing everyone, including Alan.

Jill and David survived the massacre; she said that they would both move to a place where nobody knows them. The last scene was of David, riding in his mother's car, looking off into the distance.

Main cast

The sinister children.
Actor Role
Christopher Reeve Dr. Alan Chaffee
Kirstie Alley Dr. Susan Verner
Linda Kozlowski Jill McGowan
Michael Paré Frank McGowan
Meredith Salenger Melanie Roberts
Mark Hamill Reverend George
Thomas Dekker David McGowan
Lindsey Haun Mara Chaffee

External links

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