The Children (1980) (25th Anniversary Edition) (DVD Review)
Directed By: Max Kalmanowicz
Starring: Martin Shakar, Gil Rogers, Gale Garnett
Rated: R/Region: 0/1:33/Number of disc: 1
Available from Troma
Released in 1980, The Children went on to become a box office smash and one of the top grossing films of that year. Lost for over two decades, Troma Entertainment, with the assistance of Writer/Producer Carlton J. Albright, has gone to great lengths to track down one of the only surviving original prints to create an exclusive new digital transfer of this legendary cult classic!
You might think your children are jerks, but I assure you they aren’t the group of a-holes like these children you find in Troma’s film (they at least put this DVD out), The Children! So, we got some happy kids riding a bus in a small town. They are singing lovely songs about the bus driver until they enter a yellow smoke cloud (what the heck is it actually?), then next thing you know, the sheriff and his small crew are trying to find these little bastards, only for the children to now be come sorta zombies that nuke everyone they touch. I think they are also supposed to glow, but it is hard to tell with this transfer. Now, I won’t lie, if the wrong person watches this they could very well hate it. It is weird, there isn’t much in the way of plot development, and it can be sluggish. Me on the other-hand, I realize all these things and still really dig the flick overall, despite the flaws. Hell, maybe the flaws make me like it just a bit more overall. I figured heading into this I’d be seeing a movie that could fit into the old “so bad that it is good” category and that was exactly what I got with The Children.
This odd 1980s films fits about any definition you might find for a midnight movie. The look of this transfer might even make you feel as if you mistakenly walked into some sticky-floored grindhouse theater, not that it is either here nor there or even matters, but that is the vibe this movie brings. At least here you can enjoy it without the weirdo masturbating in the corner of the room. You get ideas of what might be going on, but you never really are told, point for point what the heck that is actually. I don’t mind that and feel some of the most strange and interesting horror films I have seen are a lot like that. There is also a great deal of funny moments here. I’m unsure if they were planned or just sort of happened, but some stuff here really did end up making me laugh. All in all that makes for a fun and campy horror film. Not that I’d expect anything less coming from a Troma release, but at least it turned out to be about as good as I had hoped that it would be. Not for everyone, but for those you do enjoy this stuff, you should love it.
– Audio Commentary with Writer/Producer Carlton J. Albright
– Interview with Carlton J. Albright
– Interview with Actor Gil Rogers
– Interview with Production Managaer David Platt
– Intro by Lloyd Kaufman
– Lots of Tromatic Extras