THESE ARE THE DAMNED (aka THE DAMNED)

UK, 1963 (MIFF 2017, Sci-Fi)

Director: Joseph Losey

THESE ARE THE DAMNED (aka THE DAMNED)

Atomic age paranoia meets Teddy Boy hysteria in UK legend Joseph Losey's chilling 1963 vision of wayward youth, mad geniuses and the terrifying charisma of a young Oliver Reed.

In the crumbling seaside town of Weymouth, American tourist Simon is brutally beaten by a motorcycle gang after he tries to pick up the sister of their leader – played with chilling malevolence by Oliver Reed. But when Simon encounters the girl once again, this time fleeing her tyrannical brother, they find themselves taking shelter in a nearby military base where nothing is as it seems, and a dark new future for humanity is coming to life.

Joseph Losey was not a director known for his science-fiction sensibilities, yet in These are the Damned (aka The Damned) he created what is now seen as one of the greatest works of British sci-fi ever made. Shown here in its full-length, fully restored glory, Losey's film is a jangling, hallucinatory tour of 1960s anxiety that even today packs a delightfully subversive punch.

'Chillingly effective … a strong comment about the nuclear age—while arrestingly demonstrating just how much a gifted filmmaker can accomplish with limited means.' – New York Times


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