Director – Narciso Ibanez Serrador (The House That Screamed, Blame)
Starring – Lewis Fiander (Doctor Who, The Agatha Christie Hour), Prunella Ransome (Warship, London’s Burning), and Antonio Iranzo (Gentleman Killer, Original)
Release Date – 1976
Rating – 3.5/5
Blu Release – 4/5
Tagline – “Suddenly…they were the only adults left alive on the island”
I get a lot of movies in to review that I have never heard of before. Before I joined Horror Society I thought I was well versed in the world of horror but I was very wrong. Looking back I can see that I was a fucking idiot that did not know a damn thing about the genre.
Sometime ago I was sent the Spanish horror film Who Can Kill a Child? on blu from Mondo Macabro that was originally released in 1976. This looked like an interesting film but I had no idea that I would love it as much as I did. Thank you Mondo and CAV for sending this one my way!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows a young married couple expecting their first child. They travel to a small Mediterranean town to photograph the scenery with plans of visiting a small secluded island nearby. When they arrive on the island they are greeted by a group of children and after doing some exploring they are in dismay when they are unable to find other adults. However, they finally find an older gentleman walking down an alleyway but is soon attacked and killed by a little girl with a cane. Things quickly spiral out of control when they realize that all the adults on the island have been murdered by the youth and now they must fight them or flee.**Spoiler Alert**
I went into this one with a bit of curiosity and walked away feeling panicked and anxious. I had no idea what this film had in store for me and I can honestly say that I was not expecting it to go the way that it did. I did not want this one to end.
The acting in this one is solid. Stars Lewis Fiander and Prunella Ransome work very well together and their characters make the film as enjoyable as it is. The story just molds around them and their wellbeing becomes the viewer’s concern. I’ve seen so many movies recently where you want the protagonist to die. They were horribly written or the viewer has a difficult time liking them. This is not the case. You want to see them survive. The supporting cast is not on the same level. Most of the remainder of the cast struggles to find their footing. Their dialogue is forced and their characters are almost painful to watch.
The story for this one will draw many to compare it to King’s classic short Children of the Corn which was published in Penthouse of 1977. One year after Who Can Kill a Child? was released. Both films follow a young couple who travel through a small town that has witnessed the death of all the adults at the hands of children. With that being said, I personally enjoyed Who Can Kill a Child? more. The story feels more bleak and the potential of the children taking over the whole world is more frightening when compared to a religious cult operating in silence. The pacing works and the tension builds perfectly.
Finally, the film has a few deaths. The practical effects are solid but the use of the bright red blood does take away from the overall effect. I know they didn’t want to make it extremely gruesome due to the children but the bright red blood does take away from the gag. Overall, Who Can Kill a Child? was not the movie I was expecting and I loved it. The evil children and the carnage they leave in their wake was brilliant and chilling. This is a film I will be revisiting several times over. Check it out now on blu from Mondo Macabro.
Brand new 4k transfer from film negative
Version Española – documentary about the film
Interview with cinematographer José Luis Alcaine
Interview with director Narciso Ibáñez Serrador
Kim Newman on Killer Kids
Audio commentary by Samm Deighan and Kat Ellinger
Alternate Island of Death title sequence
English/Spanish audio choice
Alternate US audio dub
Original trailer and radio spots
Newly created English subtitles
Mondo Macabro previews