posted 00/00/2008

Directed by:
Narciso Ibáñez Serrador

Lewis Fiander ... Tom
Prunella Ransome ... Evelyn
Antonio Iranzo ... Father of Crying Girl
Miguel Narros ... Guardacostas 1

Country: Spain
Runtime: 107 min
Original title: ¿Quién puede matar a un niño?
AKA: Island of the Damned,
Island of Death,
Lucifer's Curse

Who CAN kill a child? The immortal question. Hopefully the answer is no one, but if you were in this movie, then you'd be forgiven, I think. And what's with people always going to abandoned islands? Haven't they ever watched a movie before? Don't they realize how bad a sign it is to be somewhere where everyone who used to be there is gone? These people need to watch more movies to keep themselves aware of what can happen to them if they go about acting stupid all the time! If you want to survive a weekend at an abandoned island, then I suggest you watch this film before doing so.

Narciso Ibanez Serrador brings us this 1976 classic about an expectant couple's trip to a previously inhabited island. They wander around calling out for anyone, but no one answers. Slowly but surely, they realize that the only people on the island are children. Where their parents have gone, we can't tell. But soon we start to realize, if not immediately by the creepy aura the kids are giving off, that all the adults have been killed off because the kids have suddenly gone berserk and become homicidal. So now Tom and Evelyn, the couple, are trapped on this abandoned island with all these crazy psycho kids, and are eventually forced to barricade themselves into the police station, where they find guns (thank God!).

There are three great moments in this film that are unforgettable. One happens near the first turning point, when we see the kids using an old drunk man as a human piñata. The second happens while they are trapped in the police station. One of the smaller kids has been hoisted up and manages to crawl through a window small enough for him to fit through. Tom, spotting the kid, does not hesitate and shoots the little guy in the head. It is both cruel and spectacular at the same time. But what else could he do. The third great moment involves the change that takes place in the child baking in Evelyn's oven. That's right folks, a fetus kills its mother. There's a first for everything!

The film eventually runs into a downbeat ending, that was actually pretty perfect. It really couldn't have ended any other way, if you think about it. It is a long film, and it does take a while for it to really get its legs under it, but when it does, it becomes a breathless and realistic horror film. If you haven't seen this one, then go out and rent it, or buy it (its now available on DVD). If not for the palpable suspense and ominous setting, it teaches you one thing: if you have to kill a crazy, homicidal psycho child, do it any which way you can!

  - Jose Prendes


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