Wolf Rilla fu autore di un horror/fantascientifico di carattere
filosofico, Village of the Damned (1960, da John Wyndham),
in cui un villaggio viene terrorizzato dai bambini alieni nati in seguito
all'attacco di una nube di gas extra-terrestre.
As Gordon, a wealthy citizen of a small rural town, is chatting over the phone
with his brother, who is in the army,
all the inhabitants of his village are killed by a mysterious disease.
There are dead people everywhere: in the streets, in the fields, on the
roads, in the houses.
Alerted by Gordon's brother,
the army seals off the area. Merely getting near the area causes strange
symptoms to the soldiers. An aviator faints as he is surveying the area
and his plane crashes. But then, suddenly, everybody "resurrects": they
get back on their feet and resume their daily chores, with no memories
of what happened.
The event puzzles the military as well as Gordon.
A few days later, Gordon's wife is ecstatic to find out that she is pregnant.
The thing is that every fertile woman in town, from teenage girls to spinsters
to wives whose husbands were away, is pregnant too.
The doctor's office is super-crowded. Gordon understands that something
sinister is happening. Prompted by Gordon, the doctor takes X-Rays of his
wife's womb and realizes that the foetus is growing at an unusual pace.
All the women give birth to blonde children who grow up very quickly.
They learn quickly and show no emotion, They seem to communicate simply by
staring at each other.
They also seem capable of exerting some kind of mind control: when Gordon's wife
mistakenly hands her child milk that is too hot, she then can't resist
putting her own hand into a pot of boiling water, despite the terrible pain,
as if the child punished her. Gordon's baby is also capable of solving the
most difficult problems. Gordon quickly realizes that every other child
of that batch exhibits the same behavior: rapid growth, no emotion,
amazing intelligence and mind control. As they grow up, the blonde children
tend to band together. In the meantime, the military has been investiganting
the curious event and found that similar births occurred around the world,
exactly on the same. Scientists speculate that the children may be the product
of alien civilizations.
Gordon's child admits to his father that he can read some of his thoughts.
Gordon asks the children directly where they come from, and Gordon's child
replies that it would be better if he didn't ask. The child seems to imply
that he is expecting orders from another world.
But they can be rather cruel: when a driver almost runs over one of them,
they all stare at him, and force him to get back into the car and crash
it against a wall. The town knows that the children are responsible for his
death, but there are no proofs. When the driver's brother tries to shoot them
in revenge, their minds force him to shoot himself as well as they
force Gordon and his wife to stare helplessly.
In view of the growing control exerted by the children, who have caused
trouble in the Soviet Union too, the military is
prone on killing them, just like the Soviets did.
In anger, the people of the village try to burn down
the school where the children live, but instead the children's minds
force the leader of the posse to set fire to himself.
Gordon's child demands from his father that he helps them spread around
the world; or more townsfolks will be killed.
Gordon responds by blowing himself up in the school. But, as the flames
engulf the building, the eyes of the children fly away...