THESE ARE THE DAMNED (1963)
The purpose of this Movie of the Week feature is to give you, the reader, some suggestions to keep in your head next time you’re at the video store or browsing through Netflix. The limitation of that format, though, is that I can only recommend something that you’re likely to find in those places, i.e. something that’s been released on DVD. Well, today I’m throwing off the shackles and I’m telling you about a movie that’s never been released on DVD and is more than a little difficult to find on VHS. 1963’s These Are the Damned is a science fiction thriller produced by Hammer Films but it displays little of the gothic phantasmagoria that is associated with that label. Its story, which encompasses an American tourist, a gang of street toughs and a whole bunch of children living in captivity, is cerebral and weird with a constant, oppressive sense of threat to it. So keep an eye on the listings at your local revival house and, hell, start a petition to get this film on DVD. It’ll be worth the effort. And we if can’t get the film, we should at least campaign to have an mp3 of the movie’s theme song, “Black Leather Rock.” Once you hear it, you’ll never forget it.