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Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things (1973)

5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 2,610 users  
Reviews: 103 user | 75 critic

Six friends dig up a corpse named Orville. They use it in a satanic ritual to make the dead rise from their graves. Look out!!!

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(as Benjamin Clark)

Writers:

(screenplay),
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Title: Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things (1973)

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Cast

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

Storyline

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 Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

island | graveyard | actor | occult | cult film | See more »

Taglines:

Experience the unexpected terror of rising rotting flesh... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 February 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Revenge of the Living Dead  »

Box Office

Budget:

$70,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| (2.0)|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Alan claims the book of spells etc is in a direct line from the Druids. The Druids were a preliterate culture. See more »

Quotes

Alan: Silence! The magnitude of your simplitude overwhelms me!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References Mr. Wizard (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

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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