Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things

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Overview

Bob Clark's horror film Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things comes to DVD with a widescreen transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. There are neither subtitles nor closed captions on this release. Supplemental materials include a photo gallery, a trailer, and biographies. This is a fine release from VCI that should be of value to genre enthusiasts.
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Overview

Bob Clark's horror film Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things comes to DVD with a widescreen transfer that preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital Stereo. There are neither subtitles nor closed captions on this release. Supplemental materials include a photo gallery, a trailer, and biographies. This is a fine release from VCI that should be of value to genre enthusiasts.
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Special Features

Cast information; Movie trailer; Photo gallery
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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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/22/1999
  • UPC: 089859820823
  • Original Release: 1972
  • Rating:

  • Source: Vci Video
  • Region Code: 0
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Mono
  • Sound: monaural
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:25:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alecs Baird Caretaker
Paul Cronin Paul
Jane Daly Terry
Roy Engelman Roy
Bob Filep Emerson
Jeff Gillen Jeff
Valerie Mamches
Valerie Mauches
Alan Ormsby Alan
Anya Ormsby Anya
Robert Philip
Seth Sklarey Orville
Bruce Solomon Winns
Technical Credits
Bob Clark Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Benjamin 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
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Movie night entertainment!

    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!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Creepy and fun!

    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.

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