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Actors led by Alan Ormsby go to a graveyard on a remote island to perform a necromantic ritual. The ritual works and soon the dead are walking about and chowing down on human flesh. Written by
Director Bob Clark (III) was planning to do a remake of "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things" in 2007. Tragically though, Clark died in an automobile accident before production plans could get underway. See more »
Alan claims the book of spells etc is in a direct line from the Druids. The Druids were a preliterate culture. See more »
Silence! The magnitude of your simplitude overwhelms me!
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Director Bob Clark is credited as "Benjamin Clark" in the opening credits. See more »
Is that what youngsters get up to at the local graveyard?
"Film strives for yucks, frequently succeeds. A late night fave, sporting some excellent dead rising from their graves scenes as well as a selection of groovy fashions." Cult Pics & Trash Flicks
"Campy, gory, sick and funny in about equal doses," Nigel Burrell. Is It Uncut.
There are many bad reviews written about this film that include its bad points, but here I'll focus on some of its merits
Tongue in cheek, little slapstick, creepy cemetery sequences by filmmakers with potential to prolong their careers, Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things is a bad film, but a good bad film. Obviously ripping-off Night of the Living Dead ("That's not very original, Anya."), but perhaps inspiring The Evil Dead that would also feature a group of foolish kids awaking evil forces with the aid of an old book. Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things was directed by Bob Clark when he worked with cult icon, Ormsby. Together they also collaborated on the moody, Monkey's Paw' inspired Dead of Night (Deathdream). After co-directing Deranged with his co-star of Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things, Jeff Gillen, Ormsby went on to screenplay the alluring Cat People ('82) and silly Popcorn ('91). Before Clark moved on to comedies like A Christmas Story and Porkies, he directed the excellent Black Christmas ('74) and the interesting Murder by Decree ('79).
The obnoxious director, Alan (played by Ormsby himself), threatens his group of actors with unemployment unless they accompany him to a deserted island to perform some satanic rituals. After two thirds of the film, by now the cast have exhumed a corpse and attempted talking each other to death, incidents reach a peak as one of the women has a sudden break down (cue some overacting). The actors decide they've had enough and demand to leave the island immediately. It's too late to escape though, at this point you find yourself wondering if the film even feature the zombies promised in the title. The flesh hungry living dead close in on them and we're treated to the old boarding up the windows and doors routine and defending themselves from the growing horde of creatures outside.
Those merits I spoke of earlier? In my opinion, a true fan of old horror cannot truly hate this film. This predates Carpenter, Hooper, Craven and most other popular genre directors of today. It maybe difficult, but if you try overcoming the evident low budget, squinting to see what's happening past the abysmal lighting and photography and the laughable dialogue, then you'd probably enjoy the film a lot more. Ormsby himself has said that he's barely able watch Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things anymore as he hates himself acting in it, but admits that it does have some appealing attraction, hence the cult following.
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