Village of the Damned (1995)
A Review by: Feind Gottes
Directed by: John Carpenter
Written by: David Himmelstein (adapted from the book by John Wyndham and the 1960 screenplay by Sterling Silliphant, Wolf Rilla and Ronald “George Barclay” Kinnoch)
Starring: Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski, Michael Paré and Mark Hamill
The Gist: All the women in a small town become pregnant at the same time (YIKES!) giving birth to children who turn out to be as weird as the pregnancies themselves.
Feind’s Review (ish): Spoilers Ahead, DUH! This review is going to be difficult to get through without making too many Christopher Reeve jokes but I’ll try to let it stand on its own two feet… shit… so it begins! Thankfully there isn’t a horse riding scene or I’d never be able to get through it! So this review is on the 1995 remake by living legend John Carpenter but I would highly recommend you check out the 1960 original film since, while dated, is an excellent film. I would say check out the book by John Wyndham also but that would be advice to myself since I haven’t read it either. Speaking of ‘50s & ‘60s sci-fi horror I also highly recommend the 1953 film Invaders From Mars (there was a remake in 1986 but I like the original better) which is in a similar vein as Village of the Damned but I suppose I should get on with it. Continue Reading
From another planet comes the Invisible Invaders!
How can you stop what you don’t see?
The dead will destroy all the living!
The living dead threaten all life on earth!
I know, Invisible Invaders? you say. Aliens, you must be joking. Certainly, Tommy, anything Romero-esque would be post 1968 and here you have a review for Fright Fest: Zombies with a film released back in 1959. What gives? Well, I’ll tell you. Yes, the rules still apply, though truth be told this one does kinda skirt the line a bit. The reason I wanted to include Invisible Invaders is due to the ambiance of the film and how obscure it has become in recent years despite its obviously forgotten importance to the history of zombie lore. As per the “rules” and as per the formula of Romero films, the zombies or ghouls or walking dead are not living persons controlled through magic or voodoo, though I do enjoy that variation, it doesn’t quite fit within the spectrum of Romeroism. The rule is simple enough, a person dies, they get up and attack the living, that living person dies and they get up and attack the living, etc. etc. Continue Reading
Where will you be when the world ends? When it comes to apocalyptic movies, the beginning has always been my favorite part. Sure, its fun to see the aftermath, what the world looks like when the dust settles, but what I find absolutely intriguing is what happens in those defining moments when normalcy if flipped on its head. This is a huge reason why I’ve always enjoyed George A. Romero’s films. Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead (arguably) are about how the world ends in the moment. Day of the Dead and Land of the Dead are films about how people are doing after-the-fact. Good movies, but they’re missing that special punch. The defining factor which begs the question: What will you do when the world ends? Continue Reading
Dr. Deborah Lipstadt’s famous work, “Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory,” is one of the most disturbing pieces I’ve read thus far connected with the history of the Holocaust. The rhetoric of Holocaust deniers that she describes, in detail, is sinisterly reminiscent of Germany’s modus operandi concerning anti-Semitism during the Third Reich. At base, the commonalties are linked with “classic” beliefs regarding Jewry: worldwide Jewish conspiracy for economic control and a cold denial of the rational obvious. The denial seems to be, for those in the Third Reich, similar to reporting’s Joseph Goebbles had given about the deportation of European Jewry to concentration camps, which as stated by the Minister of Propaganda, not about annihilation, but “rehabilitation.”
For the more modern denier, doubt has been cast over many different facets, such as: rejecting that there were six million Jews in Europe, the gas chamber itself, purpose (Zionist conspiracy), and perspective (dealing with “enemies” of the state) and so on. However, both for the Third Reich and for modern deniers, the denial itself is simply, at root, anti-Semitism masked behind the clever guise of pseudohistorical interpretation. Both those of the Third Reich and modern-day deniers brush aside the annihilation of six-million Jews simply because of an inherently human predisposition to deny our own capacity for horrendous acts. Instead of facing the truth, despite how difficult the facts are, deniers consciously reject the account as some far-fetched Zionist-tall-tale, because somehow conspiracies are much easier to accept then anything resembling the truth, which is: the Holocaust was real and six million Jews really did suffer and die, either by being rounded up and shot by the Einsatzgruppen or through selection, ushered into the crematoria, or by starvation and disease in the camps. Underneath, the deniers are “invective about Jewish power and influence and… [are convinced] that Jews have the most sinister intentions.”
We could, of course, simply laugh away the claims deniers are making, for as students and teachers of history, their claims are so obviously ridiculous; however, we need to consider that we are now, as of 2013, two generations removed from the events of the Holocaust. The memory of survivors and first person testimony will soon fall into the realm of ancient history. General knowledge regarding the Holocaust has already stared to decline. According to Lipstadt, the Gallup poll conducted during the 1990’s, to ascertain the public’s general knowledge of the events that happened during the Holocaust, 38% adults and 24% high school students “incorrectly [explained] what is meant by ‘the Holocaust.’” This poll was taken during the 90’s, nearly twenty years ago; no doubt that the percentages of Holocaust ignorance have increased. The real danger than becomes, as Lipstadt’s title has implied, a growing assault on memory. Unfortunately, unless something changes in our educational standards, the way we educate, the natural inclination we have to deny the most heinous acts of man and the general lack of historical knowledge will allow Holocaust denial to grow more influential in the years to come. Deborah Lipstadt sums the issue best in saying:
“Those of us who make scholarship our vocation and avocation dream of spending our time charting new paths, opening new vistas, and offering new perspectives on some aspect of the truth. We seek to discover, not to defend. We did not train in our respective fields in order to stand like watchmen and women on the Rhine. Yet this is what we must do. We do so in order to expose falsehood and hate. We will remain ever vigilant so that the most precious tools of our trade and our society – truth and reason – can prevail. The still, small voices of millions cry out to us from the ground demanding that we do no less.”
Deborah Lipstadt, “Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory,” Penguin Books Ltd. January 1994.
Thomas S. Flowers writes character-driven stories of dark fiction ranging from Shakespearean gore feasts to paranormal thrillers. Residing in the swamps of Houston, Texas, with his wife and daughter, his debut novel, Reinheit, was published with Shadow Work Publishing, along with The Incredible Zilch Von Whitstein, Apocalypse Meow, Lanmò, The Hobbsburg Horror, and FEAST. His veteran focused paranormal thriller series, The Subdue Series, including Dwelling, Emerging, Conceiving, and Converging, are published with Limitless Publishing, LLC. In 2008, he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army where he served three tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2014, Thomas graduated from University of Houston-Clear Lake with a Bachelors in History. He blogs at machinemean[dot]org, where he reviews horror and sci fi movies and books and hosts a gambit of guest contributors who discuss a wide range of strange yet oddly related topics. You can follow Thomas at a safe distance by joining his author newsletter at http://goo.gl/2CozdE.