VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED-United States-99 Mins. 1995


Christopher Reeve as Dr. Alan Chafee in Village of the Damned

Christopher Reeve as Dr. Alan Chafee in Village of the Damned

Kirstie Alley as Dr. Susan Verner in Village of the Damned

Kirstie Alley as Dr. Susan Verner in Village of the Damned

Linda Kozlowski as Jill McGowan in Village of the Damned

Linda Kozlowski as Jill McGowan in Village of the Damned

Michael Paré as Frank McGowan in Village of the Damned

Michael Paré as Frank McGowan in Village of the Damned

Directed by John Carpenter.

Screenplay by David Himmelstein.

Based on the book “The Midwich Cuckoos” by John Wyndham and the 1960 film and screenplay by Wolf Rilla, Stirling Silliphant and George Barclay.

John Carpenter’s Village of the Damned is a somewhat boring affair that is interesting solely for the common bond it shares with a handful of his better efforts.

A dark shadow passes over the town of Midwich and everything-man, woman, child and animal-faints. They soon awaken, or at least the fortunate ones do; there is the matter of the man who passed out over a hot grill and the other guy who is the hapless victim of a fiery collision. A few months afterward a handful of the women of Midwich (ten in all including a post-Crocodile Dundee Linda Koslowski) become pregnant and the date of conception is traced right back to the day of the fainting incident. Of the ten, including a virgin (Meredith Salenger-go figure), nine give birth and one infant is stillborn. To say these children are different is quite the understatement. Five boys and four girls, they all sport blonde hair, have blue eyes and are devoid of human emotion. They can also read our minds and can persuade us to do horrible things regardless of our reluctance. This leads to several suicides and the film’s gorier moments. It’s up to the town doctor (Reeve) and a government scientist (Alley) to stop the little buggers before the entire town is wiped out. Can Superman and Rebecca from Cheers save the day?

Village of the Damned is based on the book “The Midwich Cuckoos” by John Wyndham and the 1960 film directed by Wolf Rilla. This is all irrelevant; Village of the Damned is a John Carpenter film through and through as it shares two common threads-an alien being(s) that hide themselves behind a human guise (The Thing, They Live, Starman); and the conquest of earth via enslavement/assimilation. It’s great to see Carpenter come back to these themes. It’s also great to see Christopher Reeve in what would be his final role before a horseback riding accident left him paralyzed for the remaining nine years of his life. The common thread that would have made me, a fan of Carpenter’s work, happy would have been for Village of the Damned to be good but alas, it is not.


In the scene with the crowd bearing torches, the words that the minister’s wife scream are all from the Book of Job.

Whenever the kids are walking or sitting together, they are lined up 2 by 2 with boys on the left and girls on the right.


Christopher Reeve also appears in Superman the Movie and Street Smart.

Kirstie Alley also appears in Look Who’s Talking and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Linda Kozlowski also appears in Crocodile Dundee and Almost an Angel.

Michael Paré also appears in Bad Moon and The Philadelphia Experiment.


BAD MOONUnited States-1996

Michael Pare as Uncle Ted

Directed by Eric Red

Screenplay by Eric Red

Based on the novel “Thor” by Wayne Smith

Don’t go around tonight/Well it’s bound to take your life/There’s a bad moon on the rise-Creedence Clearwater Revival

After watching (suffering through) the debacle that was Red Riding Hood, I had to put myself back into familiar and welcome territory for the next installment of my werewolf movie reviews. Bad Moon has gotten a lot of bad press ever since its release in 1996 and I really don’t understand why. I personally think that the film appeals to many levels of movie lovers. The film is a mix of horror and family drama that would make lovers of both The Howling and The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin quite proud.

Michael Paré (Eddie and the Cruisers) is Uncle Ted, an explorer in the jungles of South America along with his girlfriend, Marjorie. Marjorie is attacked and killed by a werewolf and Ted is injured by the beast. We all know what that means. Pretty soon, Ted is back in the United States continuing his wicked, wolfie ways. Ted is invited by his sister Janet (Mariel Hemingway-Star 80) to come live with her and her young son, Brett (Mason Gamble of Dennis the Menace fame). As far as werewolves go, Ted is living pretty high on the hog. Seeing as how Janet and Brett live near the woods, Ted has his share of hikers to feast upon. If he runs out of that, he has Janet and the kid to feed on as a midnight snack. There’s just one little 0ne hundred and five pound catch; the family dog, Thor.

Being a werewolf movie fan, it’s always good to see the beast tear into the characters that deserve to have their asses, as well as the rest of their body parts handed to them. That doesn’t always mean I want to see the beast win. Bad Moon is one of those films where I am definitely pulling for the non-furry humans and their little dog, too. Seeing as how I own a gorgeous German Shepherd named Bella (not named after the character in Twilight, so put that shit out of your minds right now), it did my heart proud to see Thor kick some major werewolf ass. But that’s the entire deal with Bad Moon. The film boils down to the loyalty between man and beast. Ted is loyal to his mistress, the moon. Thor is loyal to the Boy and to the Woman. They are his friends, his family, and his pack.

Yes, Bad Moon comes off looking like a SyFy channel original movie. Yes, it’s overacted. But that doesn’t make it a horrible movie. What amazes me about the film is that it was clearly made on a shoestring budget and it still manages to be an effective little horror film. Red Riding Hood was made for millions of dollars and we got millions of dollars of shit.


In the scene in which Janet makes breakfast, her son Brett is watching Werewolf of London on the television, and he and his Uncle Ted argue about werewolf lore. Actually, the lore that Brett argues that “everyone knows about”, such as details about silver bullets and wolfsbane, comes from The Wolf Man, which Curt Siodmak totally made up.

A few seconds of sex and gore was cut from the opening scene in oder to avoid an NC-17.