Who Can Kill a Child? AKA Island of the Damned (1976)

who can kill A CHILD

What can one say about “Who Can Kill a Child?” a cult 70’s shocker about a island of children who go insane and kill all the grown-ups, ruling with miniature iron fists ‘Lord of the Flies’ Style? It’s kinda funny (at least I laughed at the scene with the cornered hero (Lewis Fiander) with the Mario n’ Luigi moustache wielding a baseball bat and beating red paint out of feral tykes, although I’m not sure I was supposed to.)

Not very disturbing, besides the graphically exploitive war time footage at the beginning, which turned my stomach and seemed to go on forever. I think this film aimed to shock and disturb, but it just… fell short, to be honest. Ultimately, “How to Kill a Child?” proves to be tacky, silly, and downright pointless for the majority of it’s running time.

Is “How to Kill a Child?” influential? Maybe. Is it intriguing? Initially, yeah, sure. Is it good? Hhm… not really. The actors who play Tom (Fiander) and Evelyn (Prunella Ransome) do a decent job at conveying the couple that lands on the island’s confusion and fear, but their characters are afflicted with ‘What the Fuck Logic’ horror syndrome… in other words, nothing they do makes any freakin’ sense.

The main character, Tom, seems to be perpetually running off and abandoning his heavily pregnant wife Evelyn. In lieu of leaving your pregnant wife alone on an island inhabited solely by mad children every chance you get (“Wait right here,” he continues to say- I’d be like “Bitch, get back here… you got me into this situation, you can get me out of it!”,) there are myriad examples of bad decision-making on the part of all the characters in the movie, especially the male lead.

Also, dialogues like this-

Tom (after seeing a little girl beat an old man to death with a stick)- Why’d you do it? Why? Why?! WHY?!!

Little Girl- Mu-ha-ha-ha-ha! (laughs loudly and maniacally for a few minutes.)

Made me crack up, and not in a good way. Scenes involving young children getting their cute cherubic heads blown off and little boys stripping a corpse with erect nipples made me wonder if the child performers’ parents really couldn’t get a babysitter that day or if they just needed some quick dough.

So… I don’t like a horror classic. Boo on me. But if you want to watch an spectacularly unscary but highly regarded cult item with lots of unintentional humor, check this one out. Bring some friends. Get loaded. Count the instances of the male lead gawping in terror at small children wielding blunt objects. “Who Can Kill a Child?” is not particularly well-made or frightening, but it might be your new favorite comedy if you lower your expectations enough.

WHO CAN KILL

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