The Damned Blu-ray Review – A Disturbing Yet Compelling 1963 Hammer Sci-fi Film

The Damned Blu-ray Review Blu-ray Review

It’s time to look at the last of the films in the Hammer boxset Volume Four: Faces of Fear. The Damned is a strange sci-fi offering from Hammer films. It features Oliver Reed as a biker boy yet this is not really what film is about. So what is the story? Let’s find out, so without further ado here’s my The Damned Blu-ray Review.

  • The Damned (1963) aka These Are the Damned (USA)
  • Genre: Sci-fi
  • Directed by Joseph Losey
  • Running Time: 96/87 mins
  • UK Rating 15
  • Discs: 2
  • Released By Powerhouse Films (Indicator)
  • Part of the Hammer Volume Four: Faces of Fear Boxset
  • Blu-ray Released: 28 October 2019

Plot

Three people stumble into a remote military base on the coast that houses a dangerous secret. Nine children live there but what are the UK government trying to hide?

Style / Direction

The films directed by Joseph Losey whilst Arthur Grant is responsible for the cinematography. This is one of Hammer’s black and white films that really creates and captures an uneasy feeling.

Music / Audio Effects

The music comes from Hammer legend James Bernard and sounds familiar yet perfect for this disturbing sci-fi story.

Acting / Characters

Overall the acting is very good especially from Macdonald Carey as American Simon Wells. Oliver Reed’s performance is an odd one certainly not one of his best. In fact you could argue that Reed’s acting improved significantly after his spell in Hammer films.

The children are all excellent and that really does give the film a sad and uncomfortable feeling.

Cast
  • Macdonald Carey as Simon Wells
  • Shirley Anne Field as Joan
  • Viveca Lindfors as Freya Neilson
  • Alexander Knox as Bernard
  • Oliver Reed as King
  • Walter Gotell as Major Holland
  • James Villiers as Captain Gregory
  • Tom Kempinski as Ted
  • Kenneth Cope as Sid
  • Brian Oulton as Mr. Dingle
  • Barbara Everest as Miss Lamont
  • James Maxwell as Mr. Talbot
  • Nicholas Clay as Richard
The Children
  • Kit Williams as Henry
  • Rachel Clay as Victoria
  • Caroline Sheldon as Elizabeth
  • David Palmer as George
  • John Thompson as Charles
  • Christopher Witty as William
  • Rebecca Dignam as Anne
  • Siobhan Taylor as Mary

Conclusion: The Damned (1963) Film Review

The Damned is a strange mix of genres with the science fiction part only really becoming apparent in the second half of the film. You could say that hurts the film but actually it does all come together in an unnerving yet satisfying conclusion.

The atomic age is here and you really need to fear the future is the films ultimate message. And it’s a message that clearly didn’t go down to well with audiences upon release as it failed to do the business Hammer expected. Three different versions exist of the film which probably doesn’t help either but overall I’d say The Damned is a pretty decent science fiction movie and one that’s well worth a look.

If you enjoyed my The Damned Blu-ray Review so far you may want to check out the following films:

Conclusion: The Damned Blu-ray Review

The black and white image is absolutely flawless and the extras are thoroughly interesting especially for film fans. Overall The Damned is an excellent release as are the three other titles included in the boxset.

Extras
  • Alternative presentation 96 / 87 minute versions
  • Audio Commentary by film historians Kat Ellinger & Samm Deighton
  • On the Brink: Inside The Damned (27 mins)
  • Hammer’s Women: Viveca Lindfors (15 mins)
  • Looking in the Right Place (10 mins)
  • Children of ‘The Damned’ (24 mins)
  • Somthing Out of Nothing (7 mins)
  • Smoke Screen (12 mins)
  • Beyond Black Leather (15 mins)
  • The Lonely Shore (21 mins)
  • Isolated Music & Effects Track
  • Original US Trailer
  • Image Gallery
  • 36 Page Booklet

On to my movie rating for The Damned (1963)

Recommended Films
  • Movie Rating: WELL WORTH A LOOK
  • Blu-ray Picture: EXCELLENT
  • Extras: EXCELLENT

Amazon UK Links

The Damned (1963) is available out now on Blu-ray.

Hammer Volume Four: Faces of Fear Boxset

Film Trailer

For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…

Clip may not be representative of the Blu-ray version

That concludes my The Damned Blu-ray review, I’m aiming to review more classic Hammer films soon. What’s next? Check back soon…

Note: The Amazon links on this page are affiliate / associate links. By buying through the links we may receive a commission for the sale. This has no effect on the price you pay.

Summary: The Damned (1963) Blu-ray Review

Director(s): Joseph Losey

Actor(s): Macdonald Carey, Shirley Anne Field, Viveca Lindfors, Alexander Knox, Oliver Reed

Genre: Science Fiction

  • Movie Rating
  • Blu-ray Picture Rating
  • Extras
4.5

Summary

An equally disturbing and compelling Hammer sci-fi story.

Leave a Reply