This movie disturbed me when I was a child. I saw it in the 80s and it was shown on a projector at my local library (Denmark).

It was live-action, realistic, current age, but with some fantastical elements. The movie was almost certainly dubbed and I don't know the original language.

Plotwise, it was about a group of kids. I don't remember adults being in it much.

At one point some villains have abducted the kids and they turn them into some sort of gnomes, using a machine. The wrinkled faces on the kids freaked me out a lot at the time. After that, the deformed kids were set to work in a factory or mine.

At one point, there was an escape with the help from some of the kids where one or more of the deformed kids were rescued.

I believe there was a happy ending where they are sailing on a barge, singing. I don't remember if all the kids were turned back to normal at that point.

EDIT: I talked to my brother about this film. He remembered it, and thought it might have been Central or Eastern European. He said that I remembered more about the film, but that he also found it very disturbing at the time.

I also contacted the library in Denmark that showed the film, but they have no records or programmes from these events. The only idea I have left is to go the local newspaper and find out if they have archives that may contain advertisements about these movie events.

  • 2
    Where in Europe? Was it in English or in another language?
    – Rand al'Thor
    Jun 4, 2019 at 15:03
  • Welcome to Science Fiction & Fantasy! This question would be improved by going through the checklists here; How to ask a good story-ID question?
    – Valorum
    Jun 4, 2019 at 20:11
  • Rubrog, it seems you may have lost your first account. Please read these instructions to merge both accounts and regain control of that question.
    – Jenayah
    Jun 6, 2019 at 6:15
  • Everything looks normal...
    – Rugbrød
    Jun 6, 2019 at 8:11
  • Assuming your memory could be a little fuzzy, this could be The City of Lost Children if you assume the young Ron Perlman was mutated, you saw it in '95 instead of the '80s, and the kids were trapped on an oil rig.
    – Turbo
    Nov 17, 2022 at 18:19

1 Answer 1


The part of the story with the gnomes makes me think of 1979 american film Phantasm about three kids who try to stop an evil undertaker who turns the dead into zombie dwarfs.

Phantasm Original Trailer (Don Coscarelli, 1979)

  • Are the zombie dwarfs put to work? Does one of them get better?
    – DavidW
    Jun 5, 2022 at 2:28
  • "Kids movie where kids are turned into gnomes" - the "kids movie" parts does not exactly scream "Phantasm" IMO. Jul 19, 2022 at 7:48

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