Monday, October 2, 2017

Review #2: Village of the Damned

There's a lot of different kinds of horror movies.  Some are about villainous humans, some about evil monsters, some about psychotic children, and some about evil villainous psychotic monster children.  The first of these sorts of movies came around in 1960, and was called Village of the Damned.  There was a remake in 1995 called, amazingly enough "Village of the Damned."  Guess what?  That's our movie reivew of the night!  :-D  I know.  You're surprised, and thrilled.  No, don't thank me.  I am just reviewing for the lulz.

Village of the Damned (1995) is about a small village called Midwich, probably somewhere along the upper northwest coast of the U.S. (the original village of the damned in 1960 was in england, I think).  Midwich is a pretty quiet town, with a local doctor, a school, and a typical assortment of small-town characters.  Midwich is in the middle of getting some sort of fall festival started when SHAZAM!  Everyone falls asleep.  Or faints.  Anyway, they are all unconscious.  Everyone in the whole town.  Even the canaries, even the cows.  A local handyman is returning from picking up some helium for the balloons when he passes over the town line, and ZAPOW!  He falls asleep at the wheel, smahes into another truck and KABOOM!  The truck blows up.  There are other fatalities, like the poor sap who fainted on top the hot dogs he was grilling, and SASSIZZLE MY MANIZZLE!  Yeah, he was even more overdone than his hot dogs.  Then, 6 hours later, everyone wakes up, and they're fine, except the ones who died.  Well, not quite fine.  It seems that 12 women who were knocked out, have also been...  knocked up.  Nine months later, the "children" are born...

Heh, I did that "..." thing again!  Love that.  Just love it.  Right.  So, Village of the Damned!  The original creepy kid movie!  Lots of stars in this movie, or at least, they were stars back then.  Christopher Reeve (RIP the best Superman, ever) plays Dr. Alan Chaffee, the local doctor, who was out of Midwich the day of the incident, but his wife is mother to one of the children.  Kirstie Alley (back when she was still pretty popular) plays Dr. Verner, the government representative put in charge of keeping an eye on the kiddies.  Linda "Crocodile Dundee" Kozlowski and Michael Pare (too many B movies to list) play one of the other couples, the school Principal and her husband.  Mark "The Last Jedi" Hamill plays the local priest, and Meredith Salenger (who I believe is now engaged to Patton Oswalt, good for them!) plays a local teen.  George "Buck" Flower (that's his real nickname, not a movie title) plays the school janitor, and he was literally the awesomest extra ever.  RIP, Mr. Flower.  RIP, indeed.

Acting is excellent, as these are all veteran actors in their prime (at the time).  Plot was almost exactly like the original village of the damned, so no big changes there, as the plot was good enough the first time around.  Special effects were even better, of course, as this movie was done 35 years later.  Would I watch it again?  Shit, I seen it a dozen times already and I was willing to watch it again.  If that doesn't tell you how good it is, I don't know what does.  Plus, you can see a younger Kirstie Alley and a teenage Meredith Salenger in a bath towel!  How can you say no to that?  I should say this movie was very well done, as evidenced by the excellent cast and overall good production values.  Special effects are minimally well done, and haven't seemed to age a bit since this movie came out.  I caught this movie on HBO2 last week or so, so if you want to watch it yourself, that's probably the best place to start.

I honestly think Mark Hamill missed his calling when it comes to acting.  His success as the voice of the Joker in the animated series of Batman, and his turn in "Village of the Damned" as a creepy Pastor just sends chills down my spine.  There's a scene in the church about halfway through the movie when one of the mothers is sitting in a pew, looking for guidance, and Mark Hamill looks over and sees her.  "Melanie?" he breathes.  I'm sure he meant it to sound surprised, and concerned.  What it sounded like was the lustful gasp of a serial killer who has just found out his prey dropped into his lap unexpectedly.  It sounds like the pastor has been spending a lot of time thinking about Melanie, and he wasn't quite sure she was actually in his church, or if he was just imagining her again.  I suspect it was the fact that she actually had clothes on this time, that made him realize it was the real Melanie, come looking for help in her time of need.  I am sure I am just imagining most of this, but there was so much feeling in that "MELANIE?" that you could pretty much read anything into it.  Well done, Mark Hamill, you villainous scoundrel, you!  Well done!  You should totally play creepy villains from now on.  You'd be awesome at it.

Now, let's recap some of those series that are premiering this time of year.  I just caught "The Gifted" which is about Mutants (like the X-Men) trying to survive in the early days of the Sentinel Program.  If you are not a comic book reader, let me recap the setting of the X-man storyline for you.  Mutants are different, so the human government cracks down on them.  Supposedly, this is in response to the wars between the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (led by Magneto) and the X-Men (who have apparently now disappeared).  So, this poor schmuck's teenage kids turn out to be mutants, and in the sudden appearance of their mutant powers, there's some vandalism.  The kids are instantly labelled as criminals and the agents of the Sentinal Program (a government watchdog group put together to hunt down mutants) go after them.  There's some other stuff going on, and I won't go into details in case you DVR'd it, but the show itself looks pretty good, and there's ubiquitous use of mutant powers (and special effects, making it the opposite of the Inhumans).  So far, The Gifted looks interesting, and the chicks are hot, so I'm going with it.  It's on FOX mondays at 9 pm, right after Lucifer (which I might as well watch again, until something better comes on).  Oooh, the Gifted also has Stephen Moyer (True Blood) and Amy Acker (too many awesome series to list), who I was so surprised to see, I think my jaw is still on the floor. 

Something that's been on a few weeks now, which I should have mentioned before, is The Orville.  It's on Thursday nights, not sure what channel right now, but it's not a bad show.  It's not Star Trek, but since the only Star Trek is now behind a paywall, I'm going with the Orville.  Seriously, it's enough like Star Trek that you probably won't notice a difference, mixed with a little Red Dwarf (though keep in mind, I've never actually seen Red Dwarf, so that might be completely wrong).  There's some funny parts, but it's mostly serious, and again, hot sci-fi chicks.  You really cannot go wrong with hot sci fi chicks.  Geeks everywhere love Sci Fi, and for a geek, hot sci fi chicks are like the combination of two of their favorite subjects.  Cannot go wrong there.  Nope.  Just can't.   Mmmm.  Hot.  Sci Fi.  Chicks.  Yeah.

That's all for tonight.  Been a busy day and still got things to do.  Catch up with you guys tomorrow night with another review.  Until then, watch all the horror movies you can!  It's October, dammit!  Enjoy the fear!  :-D

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