This Day in Horror History: John Carpenter’s VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED Was Unleashed in 1995
On this day in horror history, John Carpenter’s remake of Village of the Damned starring Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley, Michael Paré, and Mark Hamill hit theaters in 1995.
It is a remake of the 1960 film of the same name which was based on the novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. It is actor Christopher Reeve’s last theatrically released film before he was paralyzed in an accident in May 1995.
In a 2011 interview, John Carpenter described the film as a “contractual assignment” which he was “really not passionate about”.
John Carpenter invited Wolf Rilla, the director of the original version of Village of the Damned, to the set. Rilla obliged and visited the set with his wife.
John Carpenter had planned to work again with Universal on their long-gestating remake of Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954), but the film’s box office failure killed those plans.
Some of the kids either wore bright platinum blonde wigs and some had their hair actually dyed if you look closely you can see the little boy David had his hair dyed and it was not a wig
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. Two of the male children were played by female actors.
A deleted scene involved all nine newborn children sitting up and looking to the side at the same time, for which three fully animatronic babies were constructed. Makeup effects artist Greg Nicotero said he remained unsure as to why the scene was cut.
Director Cameo: John Carpenter: Man at gas station payphone.
It begins ten months after the small California town is struck by a mysterious event during which everyone in the village fell unconscious at once and 10 local women give birth on the same day. As the unsettlingly calm and unemotional children grow at an abnormally fast rate, it becomes clear that they can read adults’ minds and force people to harm themselves. Local doctor Alan Chaffee and federal agent Susan Verner must team up to battle the alien children.
The film sports a 29% approval rating over on Rotten Tomatoes with a Critics Consensus that reads: With John Carpenter at the helm and an eclectic onscreen ensemble, this Village of the Damned should be distinguished by more than its improved special effects.