April 29, 2009

DVD Review: Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things (1972)

Meh, this one is nowhere near as good as I remember it being... 

In Attendance- Me, Eryn and VG.
Cast Members of Note- Alan Ormsby. Directed by all-time great Bob Clark.

Evil overlord and melodramatic theater boss, Alan, drags his inept thespian group to a deserted island to mock the Prince of Darkness, and constantly threaten their jobs. He's assisted by two overly-flaming gay guys, Roy and Emerson, who dress up as a vampire and a zombie to scare everyone, and show them that Alan is above them all.

Relax folks, they're married. It's completely natural.
For the next hour or so we get to listen to Alan talk down to people, marry a corpse, yell, self-pontificate, rant, rave and carry on like an odoriferous scalawag. The best part of it all is that for all of his condescending and lording, he doesn't realize he's wearing the worst pair of pants ever; they're like a multicolored, striped-Lycra portal to hell that you can't take your eyes off of... or stop laughing at.

Those pants are not groovy, nor are they far-out.
After an impromptu black magic ceremony, all hell breaks loose; I won't spoil any more of the movie for you here, but suffice it to say that the zombies only show up for about 20 minutes towards the end.

This movie is so dull that even the zombies fell asleep.
I remember this movie so fondly from my childhood; not only were scenes from the flick used along with a Led Zeppelin song to make up the creepy opening to the Saturday afternoon Creature Features show that I loved, but it also scared me to death. Looking at this film again now, I have no idea why. Once things actually get going, about an hour and ten minutes into the movie, they work fairly well for what they are. The zombies look cool, though they're pretty light on the blood.

I can say nothing better about this movie.

The terrifying 'Sitting' scene.
Watching this movie is like having someone beat the hell out of your for an hour and five minutes, and then turn around and take you for ice cream.

"Can we please just get our ice cream now?"
The late, great Bob Clark was a great director, giving us classic flicks like Black Christmas, Murder by Decree, Porky's I & II, and a movie that is an all-time classic in many people's hearts, A Christmas Story. I was also partial to Rhinestone too. He only hints at his genius here, which is sad, because this movie had so much potential; I guess that's why it's being remade.

Once things actually start to happen in this movie, we get some gore, but it's fairly tame by zombie flick standards.

if you stay to the right of this zombie, he'll never see you.
No, and with the quality of chicks on display in this movie, I'm fine with that.

"I peed in my pants!"

Not to play with dead things if you're a child. Also, everyone in the 70's deserved to die.

What is he, a clown?
I want to recommend this one, I really do, but most of it is so painful to watch that even the cool zombie-filled ending doesn't completely save it. Check it out if you love cheesy 70's Horror or zombie flicks, but other than that, you're not missing much.


Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things is available now on DVD.


The Supernatural episode of the same title was much better than this movie was.

1 comment :

  1. Took me two watches nearly back to back to appreciate the film, wasnt what I expected but once I came to terms with the ridiculousness of it all I liked it a lot better =D