Tonight, MeTV takes us on a trip to a small English town that experiences a strange and frightening phenomenon- followed by even more astonishing developments- in a film that has many unsettling moments, thanks to a group of children with shocking mental powers who turn a quiet bucolic little burg into the “Village of the Damned”!
On a normal-seeming day, everyone within the city limits of Midwich suddenly falls unconscious- as does anyone who tries to enter the village. The military moves in, but is unable to escape the weird situation, with even a soldier in gas mask and containment suit falling into this odd sleep as he crosses the line. In about four hours- everyone awakens- with no apparent effects.
That changes within a mere two months- when all the women of child-bearing age in the village discover that- they are pregnant! This leads to suspicions and accusations among the townsfolk – until the strange nature of the pregnancies is discovered- with accelerated development of the fetuses, and all the women giving birth on the same day! The children born have an odd similarity, including white-blond hair and “unusual eyes”.
The children grow and develop at an amazing rate- and are revealed to have some kind of psychic bond- and almost a “hive” mentality. They tend to travel in a group- and seem very cold and frightening to everyone, even their parents. They begin to show signs of having mind control with the ability to make people do things against their will.
Professor Gordon Zellaby, whose wife Anthea was among the women who had one of these children, tries to find answers to this mystery- and is informed by British Intelligence that the same phenomenon has occurred in other nations around the world. Just in Midwich alone, there have been unexplained deaths- and the villagers are starting to think the strange children are responsible. Zellaby endeavors to become a teacher to the children (including his own son David) and possibly learn more about them- as there are more deaths- and anyone who crosses the offspring becomes an endangered species!
This 1960 movie, based on John Wyndham’s novel “The Midwich Cuckoos”, is truly frightening- and was so successful, it even spawned a sequel. One of the most unnerving effects is the children’s eyes turning white when they use their mental powers. We’ll explain how that was done, as well as introducing you to the cast, which includes Barbara Shelly and George Sanders. We also have a new song, and an interview with one of the men who put Svengoolie in the Dick Tracy comic strip- artist Joe Staton!
“Village of the Damned” will be on MeTV tonight at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central time- for information on where and when it airs where you are, please check your local listings ,or at www.metv.com . Fans continue to live-Tweet during the show on Twitter, using the hashtag #svengoolie - so, feel free to join in. Chicago area viewers can get one more look at Vincent Price in the “House of Wax” at 11 am on WCIU, the U.
If you’re in the Berwyn area next weekend (yes, BERWYN) you can meet Sven at the big Route 66 event, with a car show, music , and more right where the mother road begins! Look at the post under our “appearances” tab for details!
More Sven 40th anniversary news coming soon!
Join us and become one of the “Village” people- but beware of the children tonight on MeTV!