Friday, October 16, 2009

345) Who Can Kill a Child? (1976)

345) Who Can Kill a Child? (1976) Dir: Narciso Ibanez Serrador Date Released: June 1978 Date Seen: October 16, 2009 Rating: 3.75/5

It'd be a damn shame to only think of the entrancingly sinister Who Can Kill a Child? as a major influence on Eli Roth's Hostel. The film is so much more suggestive in the way that it torments its pleasantly vapid British tourists with a group of inexplicably homicidal children. Which isn't to say it's any less ham-handed than Roth's film in its periodic disdain for said foreigners. Tom (Lewis Fiander), the pale, mustachioed Alpha male, is especially over-the-top in his grotesque ignorance. He takes what he wants first and asks questions later, lies constantly and, when the going gets tough, he takes the easiest way out (SPOILER: I really couldn't help but roll my eyes at him when he dumps the old man's body in that open doorway. That's not just mean, it's stupid. END SPOILER). The bitter end is a bit canned and the scenes that show how the children's maliciousness is spread could have been finessed better but I suspect this one will get better with another viewing. An effective film where horrors committed in broad daylight look that much more depraved (take that, original Wicker Man).


  1. Just watched this today. It does have its flaws, especially the hubbie not getting the Hell outta there after seeing a senior being used as a pinata and the main fact that you are with a pregnant wife on an island that seems eerily deserted ... c'mon. BUT .... this is a little horror gem with scenes that, if used today in a modern film, would be the cause of nights on end of cable news talking heads barking at each other about depraved Hollywood. The ending was a pure 70s "looking into the abyss" conclusion. Agree on the horror in plain daylight style. Wonderful. The cinematographer stated that he wanted the film to look as normal as possible .. no cliches of darkness.

  2. Interesting (re: normalcy). Don't think it looked "normal" so much as unnaturally sunny (mostly thanks to the island's white stucco walls and blue water). The sound, if anything, makes the film "natural" but again, the quiet nature of the film ruins that illusion of it being a "normal" setting.