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Who Can Kill a Child? (1976)

  Tags: 70's, based on book, island, island of the damned, killer kids, Narciso Ibáñez Serrador, small town, spain, who can kill a child

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Narciso Ibáñez Serrador
90 minutes
Lewis Fiander, Prunella Ransome

Before Stephen King's Children of the Corn made killer children so famous within the genre, there was a little Spanish film called Who Can Kill a Child? Although there are very few good pics in the killer-kids sub-genre I'm still a fan of it, and this movie was something that I've been meaning to get around to watching for a few years now. I finally found the time to actually sit down and watch it and I have to say that I really wish I had seen it a lot sooner, because this was a great addition to normally bland and cliched sub-genre.

Also known as Island of the Damned, the flick follows a married couple vacationing to a small undocumented Spanish island, which is supposedly only inhabited by a mere 200-or-so people. In hopes of getting away from the big city, the couple soon discovers that the small town within the island is a little too peaceful, as there appears to be literally no one there, with the exception of a small group of kids.

Assuming that everyone in town is simply on another part of the island as part of some sort of festival, the couple think nothing of it. That is, until they start noticing how strange the local kids are acting towards them and things quickly turn for the worse when they witness a young, seemingly innocent little girl cane an old man to death. Now, the couple must fight to get off the island before the dozens of kids murder them like they did with the rest of the adults in the town.

Although the movie is a little slow paced, I really dug it. Witnessing the dumbfounded couple walk around the town trying to piece clues together as to where everyone was kept my interest. Plus the menacing kids looming over them every now and then gave us hope that the sheet was going to hit the fan very soon.

The movie opens with some shocking real footage of dead and emaciated children, who were victims of war throughout the years and serves as a possible key factor into why the children turned on the adults, because we're never really given any straight-forward answers here. This is fine with me since some films like to shove answers down our throats, when it's sometimes best for the viewer to just come up with their own.

The flick doesn't hold back on the violence, even against the children in the movie. When the time came, the leads spared no expense in taking them out, especially considering the fact that the wife was pregnant. Sadly, the wife proved to be your stereotypical frantic woman and became rather annoying at times (for me anyway). My only gripe with the film would be how the husband handled the situation with the kids at first. It just seemed like they could've attempted an escape off the island much sooner, but then again we wouldn't have a movie now would we? 

A good and underrated killer-kids flick. Slow paced, but interesting and doesn't hold back on the violence towards adults or kids. Worth a check if you're a fan of the sub-genre.

Posted on November 23, 2009 - 8:55pm | FrighT MasteR