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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Who Can Kill a Child/ Island of the Damned



STATS:
Who Can Kill a Child?
(Island of the Damned)
1976
Director: Director: Narciso Ibanez Serrador
Writer: Juan Jose Planz, Narciso Ibanez Serrador (They’re from Sweden.)
Starring: Lewis Fiander, Prunella Ransome

WHA’ HAPPENED?
A young-ish British couple expecting their first child take a vacation on a Spanish island that’s been overrun by inexplicably homicidal children. They wander around the island trying to figure out what happened. Then they start running for their lives when they see the first of several murders. I won’t tell you how it ends (awesomely) or if anyone survives (nope). I will tell you that the film toys with our sympathies, making us question whether we deserve to be viciously murdered by our children. It’s an interesting thesis.

After careful deliberation, I’d say no.
We don’t deserve to be viciously murdered.

WHAT YOU SAY?
“A normal child is not capable of killing an adult!”

“The baby inside me is KILLING MEEEEEEE!”

ISN’T THAT SPECIAL?
This film has built up high levels of mystique, solely due to the fact that it hadn’t been released on video or DVD for decades.

Unlike some films, which get released every month.

Also, a remake is coming out with Diego Luna.

Nuff said.

SHIRTS AND SKINS:
The two main characters are chronically sunburned British tourists. Most everyone else is underage and homicidal. It’s a good thing there’s no nudity.

BLOOD AND GUTS:
Pretty constantly. Unlike those crazy kids from Children of the Corn, these guys are constantly stabbing, shooting, and bludgeoning piñata-style any adult who crosses their path. Seriously, the piñata murder is more harrowing than the piñata scene from Problem Child. (I didn’t want to include a photo, because I’d just creep myself out again.)

OK. IS IT GAY?
Horror movies involving psycho children can either be campy (The Bad Seed, the Rosemary’s Baby TV-movie sequel with Patty Duke) or decidedly not (The Children, Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest).

Seriously. This sh!t is harrowing.

From its sensational title to the end credits, this film is more confrontational than campy, which seriously lowers its gay cred. Then again, this is a film where a mother is murdered from the inside by her unborn fetus, so maybe there is some camp value.

God I love this film.

In addition, the film had ample opportunity to comment on the traditional family dynamic, which would have definitely been of interest. Instead, the writer/director made the wife helpless and whiny, and the husband cocky and controlling. There are definitely political undertones to the movie, but not in any gender-studies-type way.

All-in-all, nothing struck me as particularly queer, but this is a solid, interesting movie that raises some previously unasked questions about parent/child relationships. Because it’s entertaining without being explicitly gay, I’d give this a good ol’ Tom Hanks.

Oh. Wait.

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