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MOVIE REVIEWS

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things (1972)


TAGLINE
You're Invited To Orville's "Coming-Out" Party...It'll Be A Scream...YOURS!!!

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things on DVD
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There's nothing like watching a low-budget zombie flick from the 70's. While watching this one, I kept expecting a disco ball to lower from the trees and the zombies to start layin' down the disco to "Saturday Night Fever". I'm talking about the clothes these people used to wear back then, what were they thinking!? It's not like you can blame the costume designer, that's just the way people dressed in 1972, unfortunately for them. All 70's clothes aside, this movie was a very pleasant surprise.

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things centers on an acting troupe following their not-completely-right-in-the-head director (Alan Ormsby) to a remote burial island. What some people won't do for a big break in Hollywood! I guess it was a good idea at the time..."Hey, let's go to a remote island that's used as a big cemetery. And since we're here, why don't we dig up a corpse?" Alan, the director, is bringing them there to play a big joke. I won't give away what the joke is, but let's just say that there would a pretty boring movie if something didn't go wrong. Alan does his best impression of a warlock and tries to raise the dead while he's there (hey, who wouldn't!). Does he succeed? Just take a guess.

I wasn't very impressed at the beginning of the film, but it definitely grew on me. And once I stopped staring at Alan's multicolored pants, you can really get into the feel of the movie. As if under some kind of voodoo charm given off by my TV, I started liking this movie. The cemetery setting that was unimpressive at the start was now getting spookier. The actors playing actors seemed to come into their own. And the music score which had initially annoyed me...well, it still irritated me. Oh that's right, the score never really got any better. It's the only real downer, I think with a better one it could have added to the film's creepy factor.

Alan Ormsby's performance of the director was once described by a critic as "...one of the most obnoxious screen performances in history!". I think it's a bit harsh. He indeed was obnoxious, but in a B-horror flick good kinda way. He does a pretty good job of getting the audience to dislike him. He's more of a dictator then a director, and treats everyone around him like slaves...but of course they let him, so I can't feel sorry for them. The actors are looking for their big break, so hey, what's a little grave robbing if it will further your career. That makes it okay, right? The rest of the crew give good decent performances, but nobody else steps up and makes you take notice. Overall, I give a thumbs up to the acting.

Thumbs go up for the zombies in the film as well. The makeup and effects were pretty good for the low budget and the fact it was 1972, so no complaints there. You get to see zombies with a little bit more strength then you're usually used to. And in the end scene, you see a glimpse of intelligence, or maybe they just lucked up (You'll know what I mean when you see it). If you're a fan of lots of gore, you're not going to get it here. They're just evidently wasn't enough room in the budget for it on this one, as there was little of it. While I'm a fan of well-placed karo syrup and animal entrails as the next guy, it's refreshing to see that to make a decent film you don't need a lot of gore.


RATING

(Out of 5)


DEAD KEV'S ADVICE
Pick this bad boy up, the DVD is dirt-cheap these days so it's worth it. And remember kids, don't try this at home...and especially not in your neighborhood graveyard.
ZOMBIE LESSONS LEARNED
The lessons from this movie should really be common sense...
1. NOBODY should ever play with dead things!
2. Don't screw with Satan! Just don't mess with that stuff, it will bite you in the ass every time.
FAVORITE QUOTES
-"The dead are losers. If anyone hasn't earned respect, it's the dead.
-"I peed my pants!"


DIRECTOR
Bob Clark (Porky's, A Christmas Story, Black Christmas)
WRITERS
Bob Clark
Alan Ormsby
PRODUCERS
Bob Clark
Gary Goch
CAST CHARACTER
Alan Ormsby Alan
Valerie Mamches Val
Jeff Gillen Jeff
Anya Ormsby Anya
Paul Cronin Paul
Jane Daly Terry
Roy Engleman Roy
Robert Phillips Emerson
Bruce Solomon Winns
Alecs Baird Caretaker
Seth Sklarey Orville
PRODUCTION COMPANY
Geneni
STUDIO
Geneni
VCI Home Video (DVD)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
United States
RUNNING TIME MPAA RATING
87 mins PG


INTERESTING TIDBITS
The film's budget is estimated to be between $40,000 and $70,000.
Six of the actors used their real names as their character names (why not, it's easier that way!).
AKA : Revenge of the Living Dead (1972) [USA: reissue title]; Things from the Dead (1972) (USA: reissue title); Zreaks (1972) [USA: working title]
AROUND THE WEB
Interview with Seth Sklarey - Badmovies.org


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