This film is an embarrassment on every level and yet I remain stubbornly fond of it. Telling the tale of a school bus that drives through a toxic fog, turning all the children on board into nuclear-powered zombies with black fingernails and the ability to microwave any adult just by hugging them, The Children was and is a whole new kind of stupid. A staple of the USA Network for years during the mid-'80s, The Children frequently aired on USA's Saturday Nightmares as well as on Commander USA's Groovy Movies.
I never passed up an opportunity to watch this - mostly due to the method used to dispatch the children. Somewhere along the way, it's determined that only by chopping off the hands of the children can they be put down - not cured, but killed. By the climax of The Children, the lawn of the Last Parent Standing is littered with tiny hands. What I love about The Children is that no effort to subdue the children by non-lethal methods is considered. There's no thought to contain them so a cure might later be found.
And that the only way to kill the kids is to chop off their hands is only half as funny as the fact that this award-winning solution is only discovered after it's found that bullets have no effect on them! So only after failing to gun the children down does dismemberment look like a good idea. Luring these kids into a barn, or a basement and keeping them locked up even for a few hours is never discussed. In the world of The Children, parents have no qualms about throwing their kids under the (school) bus.
Maybe they knew what Helen and Harry Cooper had to learn the hard way in Night of the Living Dead - that when it comes to your kids turning zombie, it ain't no bedtime story. You've got to shoot 'em, burn 'em, or cut 'em into little pieces. If you don't, it's your ass.