Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things (35th Anniversary Exhumed Edition) [Import]
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Though Bob (Benjamin) Clark made his mark on Hollywood with films as diverse as Porky's and A Christmas Story, he began his career with this imaginative zombie tale. Alan Ormsby (who also wrote Paul Schrader's remake of Cat People and directed the cult horror film Deranged) penned the script and stars as Alan, a flamboyant theater director who brings his company--whom he condescendingly refers to as his "children"--to a rotting graveyard on a fogbound island. There he begins a ceremony to raise the dead, but it's all an elaborate practical joke, just another mind game by the would-be demagogue... or so he thinks. As Alan continues his midnight games of manipulation and degradation, it turns out the joke's on him as the graveyard rises to life. The acting, though amateurish, is energetic and delivered with gusto, and the awkward, theatrical dialogue becomes oddly appropriate (if somewhat stiff) in the affected presence of preening Alan. The often-slow extended introduction pays off in a carnage-riddled zombie blowout, like Night of the Living Dead compressed into a half-hour highlight reel. Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things is the work of ambitious beginners, but they deliver the goods when it counts with solid low-budget effects and a well-directed finale that turns the tense humor into unrelenting horror.
The DVD mastering is unaccountably sloppy: images jerk and intermittently slow down, the action hiccups, and in the second half red and blue flares rim the right side of the picture. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The first half drags out a little but when the movie takes off it's lots of scares. The special effects are done by Alan Ormsby of which takes the helm as lead actor. The zombies are well done and believable, not bad for a movie that only had a budget of fifty thousand dollars. This DVD also has extras which are good to check out especially being a fan of Bob Clark or Alan Ormsby.
For the first time viewer, this movie is best to watch at night with all the lights out since it all happens at night.
But what makes this movie shine is the direction. The idiot kids time and again tempt fate, and the camera zooms in on what your experience with B-movies tells you will be the subject of explosive action...and nothing happens. Over and over, you're teased to the brink of jumping out of your seat and screaming, 'Enough! Just kill 'em already!' Imagine if a couple of teens were having sex in the woods in a 'Friday the 13th' movie, with the 'cha-cha-cha' soundtrack blaring and a hand-held camera's POV--then the sated kids got dressed and walked merrily away, hand-in-hand. Brilliant pacing redeems 'CSPWDT', condensing all the action into the final moments of the film.
The fact that nearly everyone who's seen this movie saw it on TV yet were still scared is solid evidence that this movie is a must-see for mature (i.e. patient and forgiving) fans of low-budget macabre. It's not Shakespeare--the title gives that away--but it's a terrific early effort by a talented director.
This is strictly grade-Z stuff, so don't expect to see a Romero-level "Dead" epic. The acting is amateur-hour, ranging from tolerable to I-want-these-people-DEAD-sooner-rather-than-later (Alan & the shrill Anya). The first hour is interesting at times, but mostly laughable (Those loud hippie clothes!) and interminably sloooowww[...] The last half-hour makes the film worth seeing, though, as the angry dead come to life to punish their defilers. Although the film is PG, with no strong language and no gore, director Bob Clark (Later to find fame as the Director of Porky's 1 & 2, Murder By Decree, and A Christmas Story) manages to make that last half-hour as creepy as hell. (A friend of mine is unable to even look at the box art because the film scared her so badly!) I wasn't scared, but I'll tell ya: That shot of Orville getting up off of the couch is really memorable....
The DVD comes with text Bios of Bob Clark and Alan Ormsby, an ad gallery, and what must be the greatest trailer ever made. The film transfer isn't so hot, but the low price point makes it acceptable. If you have low expectations, Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things might just be for you.
Most recent customer reviews
Love the movie. I have been looking for it for a number of years. I havent had time to watch it yet but but will be soonPublished 7 months ago by Liz
Alan (Alan Ormsby) leads a group of young adults/actors on a cemetery island. Here he has staged several scares for the group. Read morePublished 11 months ago by The Movie Guy
A pastiche of night of the living dead with the unique humour touch of Bob Clark. Pretty amateurish. Bob Clark's debuts.Published on Aug. 26 2010 by Mathieu Gratton
ALTHOUGH CONSIDERED A B-MOVIE, ITS A VERY GOOD ONE.THE MOOD OF THIS FILM IS INTENSE. THE ACTING IS OK AND THE SETTING IS PERFECT.THE ZOMBIES ARE GREAT IN THIS ONE! Read morePublished on July 15 2004
and not intentionally. A fun flick to watch at least 1 just for sheer idiocy reasons.Published on June 9 2004 by Leon
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things is an oft-overlooked zombie classic from the early 1970's. Although it is a low budget effort and this sometimes shows with the effects and... Read morePublished on May 25 2004 by Bobby Dillard
A TRUE ZOMBIE BLUEPRINT!!!!!!this movie stands side by side with the GREAT ONES like romero's "NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD" & fulci's "ZOMBIE" its such a shame its not as recognized... Read morePublished on May 21 2004 by creatureart
You take away the absence of production values, amature acting, bad dialouge and you got a pretty decent horror pic. Read morePublished on April 15 2004 by J. E Magoon