VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED
Like Invasion of the Body Snatchers et al, the invasion digs deeply into the social status quo. The infiltration notably comes inside the placid unit of the home but in a very British take on things it cuts right across the class board from the unwed working class mother to upper-middle class Barbara Shelley. One can only guess at the impact that the taboo lines the film crosses would have had in its time unwed pregnancies, allusions to the Immaculate Conception, patricide, infanticide. In fact, the reason that Village of the Damned was made in England was because the Catholic Legion of Decency had protested against MGMs plan to make the film in the US three years earlier.
The full scope of John Wyndhams novel is retained, resulting in a film that is intelligent and thematically audacious. Wolf Rilla creates a number of scenes that build with remarkably chilling effect the opening is a masterpiece of the inexplicable in watching the scientists trying to determine the extent of the invisible barrier with bobbies collapsing the moment they cross the line. The climactic scene with George Sanders trying to maintain the image of the brick wall in his head as the children try to break it down is also a visually striking and tensely sustained sequence.
Children of the Damned (1963) was billed as a sequel but is more a reworking of the same theme and a lesser film. The film was disappointingly remade by John Carpenter as Village of the Damned (1995).
Other John Wyndham screen adaptations were The Day of the Triffids (1962); the alternate world film Quest for Love (1971); the BBC tv mini-series The Day of the Triffids (1981); the childrens tv series Chocky (1984) about an alien visitor; and the BBC tv mini-series The Day of the Triffids (2009).