Quin puede matar a un nio? (Who Can Kill a Child?)(Death is Child's Play)(Island of the Damned) (1976)
In this horror thriller, the children of the world begin to get revenge on grownups for the horrors their political conflicts have wreaked on them. Beginning with a small group on a tiny island, the children kill almost all the adults there and are discovered by an English couple who are at first unable to defend themselves; after all, "who can kill a child?"
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Critic Reviews for Quin puede matar a un nio? (Who Can Kill a Child?)(Death is Child's Play)(Island of the Damned)
Audience Reviews for Quin puede matar a un nio? (Who Can Kill a Child?)(Death is Child's Play)(Island of the Damned)
a powerful film but... were those scenes from the holocaust and other war-torn regions in the opening really necessary? that felt exploitative to me. and it's ¿quién puede matar a un niño?More
Ok, so the film isn't anywhere near the quality of an underground cinema classic that I was hoping that it could be. Starting off with the footage that opens the movie during the credit sequence and everything leading up to the hour and fifteen minute mark is an absolute wasteland of pure and utter boredom. Nothing happens in the story for over an hour. I guess it's meant to serve as a build-up in tension and character development, but both of those concepts fail tremendously. It's not that there isn't some semi-interesting things going on, but the problem is they're not given much attention. I can understand the focus of the film is primarily the idea of harming children and what effect that has on us as adults and why it would be so difficult to bring that harm if you're fighting for survival, but the archival footage of children in death camps and starving countries during the credits really does nothing to serve that focus. After all, we're supposed to be hating these little bastards, right? I mean they're murdering all of the adults and using mind control of some sort (a bit that's never explained) to control each other. The focus is so ambiguous in narrative that it makes the entire film an uneasy and boring sit-through. Why am I watching this? What's the point? In other words, questions that are never answered. I don't mind things being left open to intrepretation, but when the focus is so out of itself that I can't follow simple plot devices then I know I'm watching something that didn't have a specific vision. I can't even care about the pregnant couple and the ordeals that they're subjected to. It takes them an entire hour and fifteen minutes of screen time to figure out what's going on, and that is just exruciatingly painful to watch. On the plus side, the final 20 minutes of the film are actually the most interesting and powerful, but it takes so long to get there that it's hardly worth the effort. There are some interesting ideas laid out in the film (even with the now cliche'd evil killer children storyline). However, the water is so muddied that it's hard to see through to the bottom. I can't say that I recommend this, unless it's for those wanting to see what all of the controversial fuss was all about and why it was never released in the US in its full uncut form. Now that it has, check it out, and see if you're just as perplexed and indifferent as I am.More
I love the topic and the hilarious brutality of the film. It's a great idea, from what I can tell it gained a lot of inspiration from Lord Of The Flies. It's a what if scenario and the execution was nearly perfect. It felt like Hitchcock, then Polanski and trailed off into its own feel.More
The first (very disturbing) five minutes of this film consists of actual archival footage of the atrocities of war, famine and genocide and is more horrific then most of the scenarios presented in any fictional story.
Once you get past that, what you'll find is a pretty solid piece of horror / thriller film making. Think "Children Of The Corn" meets "Village Of The Damned".
While it suffers a bit from the HORRIBLE 1970's "special effects", it redeems itself with the (rare but impressive) 1970's "anyone can die, including children" mantra which I'm a big fan of. I find it ammusing that although films continue to get more graphic and realistic in regardes to the HOW people are killed, the very idea of a dead child is for some reason too hard for us to comprehend? Not that I'm promoting child murder in reality, but (if presented in a non-gratuitous manner) it can be a very powerful tool for telling a story.
I'm also always ammused when (in a foreign film) a "national" plays American or British (with no attempt at even an English accent). I guess it's pay back for all of the Brits (and American) actors who throughout film history who have played everything from Nazi's to Spanish Kings with the same lack of authenticity.
Over all this was a very nice surprise and well worth a watch for horror fans.
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