WHO CAN KILL A CHILD? (1976)
aka Quien puede matar a un nino?, Island of the Damned
Article 5213 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Narciso Ibanez Serrador
Featuring Lewis Fiander, Prunella Ransome, Antonio Iranzo
What it is: Demonic children movie
An American couple takes a vacation to the island of Almanzora, only to discover that all the children on the island have become homicidal.
There have been quite a few “evil children” movies made over the years, but of those I’ve seen so far, this one digs the deepest into the theme of the inherent wrongness of the killing of children; to the vast majority of human beings, the killing of children is a moral atrocity. The movie is in some ways a variation of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, only instead of crusty cannibalistic zombies (the killing of which does not carry moral consequences, which is to some extent the reason for the popularity of the “zombie apocalypse” subgenre), we have homicidal children. The movie implies that the reason for this event happening is that it may be a revenge for the irresponsibility of adults in their management of the world and the way the children suffer most from it; the movie opens with a series of historical snapshots in which children were horribly treated (such as the Holocaust). At any rate, the movie is effective enough that I can easily see it upsetting any number of people; in fact, it certainly ranks as one of the strongest Spanish horror movies I’ve seen. It’s a bit too long and there are times where I think the characters make very poor decisions, but it does make for an interesting “what would YOU do?” viewing experience, though it’s definitely not for everybody.