Friday, October 17, 2014

The Children (1980)

Director: Max Kalmanowicz

Writers: Carlton J. Albright, Edward Terry

Composer: Harry Manfredini

Starring: Martin Shakar, Gil Rogers, Gale Garnett, Shannon Bolin, Tracy Griswold, Joy Glaccum, Jeptha Evans, Clara Evans, Sarah Albright, Julie Carrier, Michelle La Mothe, Edward Terry, Peter Maloney

More info: IMDb

Tagline: ...thank God they're somebody else's!

Plot: A busload of children has disappeared from the quiet New England town of Ravensback, and Sheriff Billy Hart is on the case. A short while later, he manages to track down the kids, but unfortunately they seem to have been transformed into murderous zombies by a cloud of radioactive gas.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Sure, if a widescreen print turns up.

Here's a nice little low budget horror/thriller I'd never heard of.  It's pretty darn good.  I might have given it a 7 or better if the print I saw was better.  As it is, it's just a crappy VHS rip and packaged with a bunch of 70s/80s drive-in type films put out by Fortune 5 called Grindhouse Classics Volume 3.  This picture is one of the best in the set.  The acting is good considering the budget and all.  There are some questionable performances but it doesn't take away from the film. The director did a fine job overall.  Now you're not going to get a lot of gore in this one but there are quite a few kills.  All the kids have to do is hold you and you're dead but the flipside is to kill the kids you just have to whack off their hands.  It's got a great ending, too.  No spoilers but the camera moves around and away from two characters so that it doesn't take long before you're seeing the countryside and hearing what's going on with the pair keeping you in total suspense.  It's incredibly well done, effective and patient.  I loved it.  Composer Harry Manfredini did this film between FRIDAY THE 13th (1980) and FRIDAY THE 13th PART 2 (1981).  It's a shame there's not a nice widescreen print of this film available.  I've heard even the Troma DVD is utter shit.

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