BEWARE OF CHILDREN: 10 KILLER KIDS FLIX
We’ve all seen movies that feature deranged monsters, ghastly ghouls and inhuman freaks but there are other kinds of fiendish characters that may be the most frightening of all. The reason is because they’re around us everywhere in society, screaming and complaining, breaking things in your house, having accidents in their pants, and drooling in their food. No I’m not talking about your grandparents, these are the kids who kill!
The Omen (1976, Dir: Richard Donner) What happens when your innocent child turns out to be the Anti-Christ? I’m sure most parents can relate to the question, but this is the real thing and just what this supernatural horror thriller is all about. A US ambassador (Gregory Peck) and his wife (Lee Remick) dont know that their son Damien (Harvey Stephens) is the spawn of Satan and it really messes up their lives. Soon people around them begin dying in strange ways like the maid hanging herself in front of hundreds of people or a priest being impaled by a spike. Meanwhile Thorn is slowly learning the truth about the evil in his midst and the potential threat to the world. He must then decide the fate of his young son. This movie is truly one of the creepiest devil themed films after THE EXORCIST, in fact those two movies would make the perfect Demonic Double Feature.
It’s Alive (1974, Dir: Larry Cohen) Frank (John Ryan) and his wife Lenore (Sharon Ferrell) have a baby that upon exiting the womb goes on a killing spree as it makes its way to back the Davis home. Frank along with the local police try to stop it as it leaves a bloody trail of bodies behind. I’ll say right now this thing is the ugliest baby in cinema history. The hook of the movie is the fact we don’t really see it, just quick shots of its face or the aftermath of its mayhem. The score by famed composer Bernard Herrmann who was famous for working with Alfred Hitchcock brought another aspect to the film that increased its suspense and gave it more shock value. An interesting bit of trivia about this 70s low budget horror film is that Director Larry Cohen’s girlfriend at the time actually played the deformed mutant baby. The special FX for the mutant baby were created by the great artist Rick Baker who would go on to work on a variety of hit genre movies. The film had two sequels: IT LIVES AGAIN, IT’S ALIVE III: ISLAND OF THE ALIVE as well as a remake in 2008.
Devil Times Five (1974, Dir: Sean MacGregor) When the bus they’re riding in crashes, five mentally deranged kids make their way to a lodge in the mountains. They soon become the guests of some unsuspecting vacationers who are partying and having flings. Each of the youngsters have bizarre personality disorders such as the military obsessed Brian (Tiere Turner), a wannabe nun (Gail Smale), a creepy crossdressing snot David (Leif Garrett) and two other severely psychotic girls. The kids appear to a bit eccentric but soon they wreak bloody havoc on the adults by murdering them in graphically violent ways. The movie’s score by William Loose is an eerie childlike melody which contrasts perfectly with the horrific sequences taking place. FILM GEEK NOTE: The film was released under several titles including: Peopletoys, Horrible House on The Hill and Tantrums.
Bloody Birthday (1981, Dir: Ed Hunt) Three kids from Meadowvale, CA, Curtis (Billy Jayne), Debbie (Elizabeth Hoy) and Stephen (Andy Freeman) were born during a unique solar eclipse in 1970 and 10 years later they have suddenly become the epitome of evil. The terrible trio begin killing their neighbors, parents, siblings and other kids in a variety of ways, most of which look like accidents. Like Devil Times Five, the film does an especially good job of showing how children can get away with murder just because of their innocent appearances and that what is perceived as normal rascally behavior can actually be something much more dark and deadly. I really like how the film mixes shades of black humor with the acts of terrorism the kids commit. Look for an early film appearance by Julie Brown (MTV, Earth Girls Are Easy) as Debbie’s older sister who loves looking at herself in the mirror.
Village of The Damned (1960, Dir: Wolf Rilla) One day in the British village of Midwich all of the adult citizens lose consciousness. When they later reawaken they learn that the women of child bearing age have suddenly become pregnant. When their babies are born they grow at an unusual rate and have albino like features with pale skin/white blond hair. The kids turn out to be highly intelligent, prove to possess telepathic abilities, and stay together at all times. They also seem to have no conscience or ability to care for the people they come in contact with. In simple terms: they’re damn scary freakazoids. When the children later are accused of murdering different villagers and are feared to be evil (who knew?), a professor, Gordon Zellaby (George Sanders) tries to use a mental trick to block the children from seeing his plan of destroying them. The film was remade in 1995 by John Carpenter. Of course it’s not as great as THE THING (1982), but it’s a well made update.
Children of the Corn (1984, Dir: Fritz Kiersch) Based on the 1977 short story by Stephen King, a young couple Vicky (Linda Hamilton) and Burt (Peter Horton) who are moving out West, find themselves the sole pair of adults in the small town of Gatlin, Nebraska. They soon learn that it has been overtaken by a cult of children led by an evil preacher named Issac (John Franklin). Along with his brainwashed followers who worship the demon “He Who Walks Behind the Rows”, the self proclaimed voice of Law Isaac and his second in charge Malachai (Courtney Gains) make sure all outsiders and adults are executed or sacrificed. Burt and Vicky begin to investigate what happened while evading the murderous wrath of the youths who are out to get them and armed with sickles and other deadly weapons. The two also try to convince the children that Isaac is just a false prophet but little do they know that the supposed spirit that lives in the cornfield is in fact actually real.
The Pit (1981, Dir: Lew Lehman) A Canadian production (which was actually filmed in Wisconsin) about a 12 year old boy named Jamie (Sammy Snyders) who is an outcast and disliked by his classmates. Jamie’s only true friend is his teddy bear who talks to him (nice, eh?). Jamie’s way of getting back at the other kids is to bring them to a secret pit he found which is inhabited by mysterious creatures. Jamie lures his victims to the edge of the crevasse and after they fall in they’re eaten by the “Tra-La-Logs” (as he calls them). When Jamie’s parents go on a business trip he’s left with a babysitter Sandy (Jeannie Elias), a pretty young college student. Since he’s starting to go through puberty Jamie develops a heavy crush on Sandy and begins to flirt with her. He decides to bring her to the pit, but she accidentally falls in and Jamie lowers a rope down to try to help her, but this lets the creepy Tra-La-Logs escape after which they go on a rampage through the town.
The Other (1972, Dir: Robert Mulligan) I first saw this film years ago and wasn’t sure what kind of movie I was watching. It is set in New England in the 1930s and focused on a young boy named Niles Perry (Chris Udvarnoky) and his twin brother Holland (Martin Udvarnoky). The two are always talking and playing games around the farm house where they live. What’s odd about their relationship is Niles seems to only communicate with Holland in secret, whispering things and bickering with him. Niles and Holland appear to be All-American kids, but as we later learn, there is something wrong. An evil poisons the idyllic family life Niles and his twin have and the manner in which it occurs is more disturbing than most hardcore horror movies I’ve seen. I’ve always felt psychological thrills (if executed right) are much better than the most bloody, Special FX driven kind. This is a prime example of the type of movie that draws you with its innocent whimsy then suddenly pulls the rug out from under your feet.
The Children (1980, Dir: Max Kalmanowicz In the fictional New England town of Ravensback, two chemical workers leave the plant for the day. What they don’t know is there’s a gas pipe leak, causing a large yellow cloud to form. A local schoolbus with only a few children left onboard passes through the toxic cloud. The police find the schoolbus empty and begin to search for the driver and kids. When the children later reappear they have black fingernails and are in a zombie like state. To make matters worse, whoever they come in contact with they burn to crisps because of their highly radioactive infused bodies. These little brats give the term “microwave” a bad name!
The Good Son (1993, Dir: Joseph Ruben) For those of us who were introduced to the boisterous, wise cracking Macaulay Culkin in movies like UNCLE BUCK (1988) and the HOME ALONE series this film was quite a departure for him. Culkin plays Henry a youngster who tries to draw his cousin Mark (Elijah Wood) who is staying with the family as a guest, into his games and pranks. When Mark sees Henry’s twisted jokes are turning deadly he begins to thwart his plans. The situation becomes a family struggle of good vs evil and a fight to the death. Henry even tries to frame Mark and get everyone to think it was him behind all of the various accidents and deaths that’ve occurred. Macaulay Culkin does an exceptional job as the psychopathic Henry, in fact its one of my favorite performances by him in a non comedy role.
We hope you enjoyed our latest list. Let us know some of your favorite killer kid movies in our comments section!