5.5/10
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Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things (1972)

PG | | Comedy, Horror | 9 June 1972 (USA)
Six friends in a theatrical troupe dig up a corpse on an abandoned island to use in a mock Satanic ritual. It backfires with deadly consequences.

Director:

(as Benjamin Clark)

Writers:

(screenplay collaboration), (as Benjamin Clark)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Valerie Mamches ...
Val
Jeff Gillen ...
Jeff (as Jeffrey Gillen)
Anya Ormsby ...
Paul Cronin ...
...
Roy Engleman ...
Roy
Robert Philip ...
Bruce Solomon ...
Winns
Alecs Baird ...
Caretaker
...
Bob Sherman ...
Ghoul (as Robert Sherman)
Curtis Bryant ...
Ghoul
William R. 'Bob' Smedley ...
Tallest dead thing (as Robert Smedley)
Debbie Cummins ...
Ghoul
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Storyline

An acting troupe led by Alan Ormsby go to a graveyard on a remote island to perform a necromantic ritual. The ritual works too well and soon the dead are walking about and chowing down on human flesh. The dwindling group of survivors struggle to escape. Written by Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 June 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Revenge of the Living Dead  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$70,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (2.0)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jane Daly was still a senior at the University of Miami when she acted in this film. See more »

Goofs

Alan claims the book of spells etc is in a direct line from the Druids, but the Druids never had a written language. See more »

Quotes

Paul: You mean this whole thing was a gag?
Alan: No, these are couple of real ghouls! They've just had a change of heart!
Emerson: Yeah, we're trying to go straight!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Director Bob Clark is credited as "Benjamin Clark" in the opening credits. See more »

Connections

Featured in Fright Night (1985) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fast Forward to a Great Ending
3 May 2007 | by See all my reviews

Bob Clark was always more interested in comedy, even when making horror. The problem has always been, for me at least, that his sense of humor was too stupid and infantile to ever be funny, or even believable when coming from the mouth of anybody over the age of ten. And so in 'Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things' we have a bunch of grown adults behaving like elementary school children – pouting, whining, giggling and taunting their way from one pointless scene to another. Though the characters' childishness is supposed to be a plot point (hence the title), it's so tedious, repetitive and irritating as to make the first 2/3 of the movie almost unwatchable. Writer Alan Ormsby, badly miscast as the lead character, delivers one of the most embarrassing and cringeworthy performances I've ever seen. And don't get me started on the ridiculous caricatures of two gay men that pop up half way through.

It's worth sitting through all the Scooby Doo bullsh*t for a final act that seems like it was plucked from another, and far superior, movie. Sure, it's a complete rip-off of 'Night of the Living Dead', with everyone trapped in a house under siege by the undead hoards, but after such an appalling first hour, even blatant plagiarism is a welcome relief. But anyone expecting Tom Savini-style blood and guts will be sorely disappointed – 'Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things' is rated PG for a reason.

The hand-held camera-work is a nice touch, and the dark and grainy film stock lends a certain low-fi analogue appeal, but such aesthetic niceties are rendered redundant thanks to Orsmby's incompetence as both a writer and actor. There are a couple of scenes that are genuinely arresting – the sight of the undead scrambling out of their graves to the accompaniment of a raucous ambient industrial soundtrack works well, and one of the final shots, of zombies tumbling in to an upstairs bedroom in slow motion has a certain raw and gritty realism about it.

'Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things' is an ultra low-budget, played-for-laughs, light-hearted zombie flick whose great final act is not compensation enough for an hour of risible and tedious nonsense. But maybe I'm missing the point. Maybe Clark intended this to be the first ever zombie movie for kids. As such, it may be of great value as a preschool introduction to the genre before advancing to better examples.


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