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Hank: “Look at that hair.” Frank: “You look at the hair.” Hank: “I’m looking at the hair.” Frank: “Yeah, I’m not looking at the hair.” Hank: “She got pretty hair.” Frank: “Mm-hmm.” Would you trust Hank and Frank to protect the citizenry from the children turning everyone into crispy critters? Join your faithful Grue-Crew – Crystal Cleveland, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr – as they take a look at a Grue-Believer recommendation, The Children (1980).
Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 192 – The Children (1980)
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A nuclear-plant leak turns a bus-load of children into murderous atomic zombies with black fingernails.IMDb
- Director: Max Kalmanowicz
- Writers: Carlton J. Albright, Edward Terry
- Music by: Harry Manfredini
- Cinematography by: Barry Abrams
- Selected Cast:
- Martin Shakar as John Freemont
- Gil Rogers as Sheriff Billy Hart
- Gale Garnett as Cathy Freemont
- Shannon Bolin as Molly
- Tracy Griswold as Deputy Harry Timmons
- Joy Glaccum as Suzie MacKenzie
- Jeptha Evans as Paul MacKenzie
- Clara Evans as Jenny Freemont
- Sarah Albright as Ellen Chandler
- Nathanael Albright as Tommy Button
- Julie Carrier as Janet Shore
- Michelle Le Mothe as Dr. Joyce Gould
- Edward Terry as Hank
- Peter Maloney as Frank
- Jessie Abrams as Clarkie Freemont
- Rita Montone as Dee Dee Shore
- John P. Codiglia as Jackson Lane
- Martin Brennan as Sanford Butler-Jones
The Children is Jeff’s pick, based on a viewer/listener’s recommendation that the Grue-Crew finally found online. This one had one of Jeff’s phobias from way back (the “what if you weren’t you” trope) which always gives him the heebie-jeebies and to top it off, kid killers, kids killed, and monster kid dismemberment. Chad had a tough time getting into it. He thought The Children had a good concept but didn’t have the budget to see it through. Right off the bat, Crystal knew The Children was going to get weird because it doesn’t make any sense. Even so, she did enjoy parts of it. Bill likes The Children for what it is and suggests it would make a great, weird-kids, 1980s double feature with The Pit (1981).
This one’s for you, Evil! Though not the best film, the 80s Grue-Crew can see how The Children could definitely freak out someone who saw it when they were a kid and it’s worth a watch. At this writing, The Children is available to stream on YouTube and some PPV services and is also available as a Blu-ray from Troma
Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Bill, will be Razorback (1984). Are you ready for some Ozploitation?
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