I’m moonlighting over on the Cultural Gutter, writing about Oliver Reed, folk horror, and atomic annihilation in a quasi-follow-up to the article about Quatermass.
These Are the Damned is a curious film that effectively pulls off the difficult stunt of starting off as one type of story but ending up a very different type. As one nears the end of These Are the Damned, one wonders how the hell it ended up where it did — but upon examining the progress of the film, it makes sense. It is equal parts crime melodrama, science fiction, and “atomic age” folk horror within the realm of pioneered by Quatermass 2. There is the remote setting, here the seaside resort town of Weymouth that despite its tourist trade still feels isolated. There’s the naive outsider in the form of American wanderer Simon Wells. There’s suspicious locals, headed up by juvenile delinquent Joan and her over-protective brother and gang leader King (Oliver Reed, who probably counts as an ancient and primeval force of nature).
Keith Allison is the chief bacchanologist at MEZZANOTTE.