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Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things
     

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things

4.5 2
Director: Bob Clark, Alecs Baird, Paul Cronin, Jane Daly

Cast: Bob Clark, Alecs Baird, Paul Cronin, Jane Daly

 

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In Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, an above average slasher/horror film, a group of amateurs decide to experiment with witchcraft with deadly results. This film has a small cult following, due to some extent to the fact that one of the lead characters is played by writer and makeup effects artist Alan Ormsby. Ormsby gives one of the three or four most

Overview

In Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, an above average slasher/horror film, a group of amateurs decide to experiment with witchcraft with deadly results. This film has a small cult following, due to some extent to the fact that one of the lead characters is played by writer and makeup effects artist Alan Ormsby. Ormsby gives one of the three or four most obnoxious screen performances in history as Alan, the leader of a troupe of actors who try out a voodoo ritual on a corpse only to find out that it has worked on all the corpses in the graveyard. The acting is terrible and the special effects are obvious and cheap, but the film somehow manages to overcome all of this and be quite entertaining, but only for those with strong stomachs.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Bob Clark's Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things (1972), done when he was still known as Benjamin Clark, was one of the more inventive zombie movies to come out in the wake of George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead. It clearly owes a debt to Romero (who, in turn, owed something to such predecessors as Edward L. Cahn, not to mention early '50s horror comics), in terms of its images and the basic setup, and also to such distant antecedents as Reginald Le Borg's Voodoo Island (1957) -- and in some respects, it's also the very (very) distant thematic antecedent to Shadow of the Vampire. Where Clark's earlier Deathdream was a horror movie with a serious political message concerning Vietnam, Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things is a more playful exercise in horror filmmaking, having fun at the expense of horror moviemakers and their audiences, and positing the question -- what if it were suddenly for real? Clark and star Alan Ormsby (later the author of My Bodyguard and the 1982 Cat People) deliberately set up the most inept and obnoxious semi-pro film company in the history of cinema, similar in nature to the awkward college students studying the occult in Jack Woods' Equinox (released a year earlier), and then have great fun disposing of them in all kinds of grisly ways. Ormsby himself is about as convincing as any of those actors in the 1960s version of Dragnet were in trying to portray obnoxious hippies and other underground denizens of late '60s society. The rest of the acting is generally inept, just a cut or two above the work in Equinox or such low-budget releases as The Witchmaker, and Clark's directing has more than its share of defects, including a leaden sense of pacing that makes the film much too static in various shots and scenes -- in that regard, Clark here seems like an amateur compared to Romero. The payoff comes in the second half, when strange things happen in the graveyard, beginning with a rotting corpse whose fingers seem to start to move, and a grave marker that shakes slightly, while two crewmembers in zombie makeup are digging around the cemetery. Hands reach up and soon animated bodies are rising erect out of the ground, and from there on, everything about this movie works like a live-action version of an early '50s EC horror comic -- or a color version of Night of the Living Dead, which isn't ideal but comes out better than one would expect.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/19/2010
UPC:
0089859858321
Original Release:
1972
Rating:
PG
Source:
Vci Video
Region Code:
0
Time:
1:27:00
Sales rank:
30,661

Special Features

All new commentary with Alan Ormsby, Jane Daly and Anya Cronin; "Memories of Bob Clark" - a tribute to the late director; Grindhouse Q&A; Confessions of a grave digger - interview with Ken Goch; Photo gallery; "Dead Girls Don't Say No" - music video by the Deadthings; A tributte video to CSPWDT - by Freak 13; CSPWDT trivia; Alan Ormsby bio; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alecs Baird Caretaker
Paul Cronin Paul
Jane Daly Terry
Roy Engelman Roy
Bob Filep Emerson
Jeff Gillen Jeff
Valerie Mauches Actor
Alan Ormsby Alan
Anya Ormsby Anya
Robert Philip Actor
Seth Sklarey Orville
Bruce Solomon Winns
Valerie Mamches Actor

Technical Credits
Bob Clark Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Forest Carpenter Art Director
Gary Goch Editor,Producer
Jack McGowan Cinematographer
Alan Ormsby Makeup Special Effects,Screenwriter
David Trimble Set Decoration/Design
Carl Zittrer Score Composer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things
1. Moonlit Sailing [7:54]
2. The Island [6:06]
3. Caretaker's House [6:30]
4. "Give the Devil His Due" [7:50]
5. Preparations [4:21]
6. Summations [8:24]
7. The Curse of Val [4:43]
8. The Corpse Bride [7:21]
9. Hysterical Anya [8:16]
10. The Dead Arise [4:00]
11. Zombies Attack [8:35]
12. No Escape [12:28]

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Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
shakainMI More than 1 year ago
Bear in mind, the rating is for those of you who LOVE bad movies, do not mistake this stellar rating for an Oscar winning movie. "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things" is a classic in every sense of the word when it comes to bad movies. A movie replete with overacting, inexperienced performers, and interesting staging, "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things" is a movie not to be missed. Watch it late at night with a group of friends and experience the campiness of an acting troupe visiting a cemetery to "experiment" with voodoo, and experiment that goes sadly, horribly, wrong. Watch it for the cliffhanger!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A fine early effort from director Bob Clark(A CHRISTMAS STORY,PORKY'S) that horror fans will want to see.Like a cross between EVIL DEAD and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD with a strong dose of campy humor this film carries an eerie mood all the way through.A group of drama students unwittingly raise the dead and then the film turns suitably creepy.PG-rated,so don't expect gory violence,but you'll like it.