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The Damned (aka, These Are the Damned, 1963)
BBC2, 2.05am

Now here’s a little British gem to set your video for. From director Joseph Losey comes this bizarre sci-fi film noir set in Weymouth of all places.

Trying to escape a gang of Teddy Boy bikers, a middle-aged American sailor (Macdonald Carey of Days of Our Lives fame) and the sister of the gang leader (a very young Oliver Reed) hide out inside a highly-classified military base. Here they discover a group of radioactive children who are being groomed to repopulate an Earth devastated by atomic war. Shirley Anne Field plays Reed’s slapper of a sister, while Viceca Lindfors plays a bohemian sculptress (the sculptures are actually the work of Elizabeth Frink).

Adapted from HL Lawrence’s novel Children of the Light, The Damned is a bizarre blend of rebel youth culture and sci-fi that actually works thanks to the intelligent script – making it one of Hammer’s most unique films. Watch out for Nicholas Clay (Lancelot in Excalibur) as one of the children.

A dark and foreboding apocalyptic masterpiece.

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