From what I’ve read, 1964’s Children Of The Damned isn’t a direct sequel to 1960’s Village Of The Damned, but they were intended to kinda/sorta exist in the same cinematic universe. For all intents and purposes, Village was conceived to be a filmed adaptation of the John Wyndham novel “The Midwich Cuckoos” published in 1957, and Children states that it was crafted to serve as a thematic sequel to it. Reviews were apparently mixed – follow-ups can be a tricky business, as we all know, and I can imagine assembling a follow-up that wasn’t exactly a follow-up may’ve confused both critics and audiences of the day – but a quick review of some of what’s been written online shows that this chiller has its own sort of appeal, much of which is likely owed to the creepiness of its central stars.
Anton Leader was brought in to direct the film, and – from what I’m seeing on IMDB.com – it looks as if his only legitimate genre contribution prior to this was helming two episodes of Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone. He’d go one to direct episodes of Lost In Space, It’s About Time, Mr. Terrific, Star Trek (1968’s “For The World Is Hollow And I Have Touched The Sky”), and Get Smart. John Briley wrote the screenplay, and – interestingly enough – he’d kinda/sorta revisit the realm of mental powers when he adapted the 1973 novel by Peter Van Greenaway “The Medusa Touch” for the silver screen (in 1978). That flick starred acting heavyweight Richard Burton, and it received a Saturn Award nomination in the category of ‘Best Horror Film’ in 1979 … so maybe – just maybe – the second time’s the charm, not the third.
In any event, here’s Children’s plot summary as provided by the good people at IMDB.com:
“Six impossibly intelligent children from all over the world with dangerous psychic powers hide in a church in England after the military tries to experiment on them. Besieged, they warn the military to back off before carnage ensues.”