Monday, October 11, 2010

Who Can Kill a Child? (1976)

Director: Narciso Ibanez Serrador

Starring: Lewis Fiander, Prunella Ransome

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Suddenly . . . They were the only adults left alive on the island.

Plot: A couple of English tourists arrive on an island where all the children are playfully murdering the adults.

My rating: 9/10

Will I watch it again? Count on it.

I have so many movies that it's enjoyable (and frustrating) as hell trying to find 'the right one' for the mood I'm in and every once in a while I blindly stumble across a film that blows me away. WCKaC struck me pretty hard. I hoped for a better-than-average 70s Euro horror and nearly two hours later I emerged from a masterpiece.

The core to what works is the slow pacing and the children. They're not all that menacing. It's that when they kill they treat it like a game, as if they're frolicking in the park are playing at a birthday party. That's frightening as hell. The two adult leads do a great job, trying to comprehend what's going on and struggling to do what has to be done.

Which brings me to one more aspect that gets right to the core - the beautifully haunting score by Waldo de los Rios. The main theme is first heard over the opening title sequence introduced to us by a young girl. What follows is footage of tragic events in recent history (like the holocaust) that involve violence toward children which is a brilliant way to open. It shows you how cruel we can be to the most innocent of society and it intercuts with the titles.

And the ending...oh boy. It's one of the all time greats. Remember that crappy Stephen King movie, CHILDREN OF THE CORN (1984)? This will make you forget that it ever existed. It's THAT good!

It was recently released in the U.S. on DVD. I beg you to seek it out. The European disc I have has both an English dub and a Spanish one. If given the choice you must watch the Spanish dub with English subs. I'd hate that a shitty dub would take away from your experience. It's a remarkable film and it deserves to be seen. Now go get it.

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