Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things

1972

Action / Comedy / Fantasy / Horror

1
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 42%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 41%
IMDb Rating 5.5 10 3497

Synopsis


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616.21 MB
1280*704
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 27 min
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1.3 GB
1920*1056
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 27 min
P/S 0 / 1

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Rainey Dawn 7 / 10

Dead Awful But Good

This is one of those Indie B Films that is so awful that it's good. Remember that it's a COMEDY-Horror when watching - it is not a pure Horror flick.

It takes the first hour of the film to build the story and suspense before the zombies arise. That first hour is my favorite part of the film.

I was born in 1972 and grew up with the 70s humor - stupid dark humor like in this film - so it's right up my alleyway. This is the first time in years I've seen this movie and it's great to watch again - even though it's a mess of a film.

7/10

Reviewed by TheRedDeath30 5 / 10

It's an EC Comic Come to Life

If I was judging this movie on the final act, it would be one of my favorite horror films ever. Amateurish and a little silly, absolutely, I'll not argue that point, but the look, the music, the style, the subject matter, all of it combines for something that is right up my wheelhouse. That's all the final act, though. The first hour of this movie, though, leaves a lot to be desired and that's what, ultimately, drags the score down for me.

Let's make no mistake, fellow horror fiends, this movie is not going to be for everyone. In fact, I would say that it is not going to be for most people, but I love this style of film. To begin with, there is a very unique niche of movies that filled the early 70s. Horror was really finding its' ways. The days of the Gothic monster movie, crusaded by the House of Hammer, were dying out. Vietnam had brought an end to the innocence of the 60s. Then, Romero released NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and the game changed. The mix of brutal horror with a social message sent other horror directors searching for something similar. In the wake of that classic came several imitators, such as this movie and LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE, that each brought their own spin on the newly created zombie sub-genre.

This movie has a lot in common with NOTLD as far as the creative team behind it. This movie was in no way created by professionals. This is, basically, a homemade movie with a group of friends "acting", so it takes a certain patience for bad dialog and bad acting. Many of the lines feel improvised and made up on the spot. The characters are not so much developed and polished as much as being one step above what you and your childhood friends would create when playing "make believe". The main character, played by Alan Ormsby, is probably the most obnoxious part of the movie. He's that guy you went to high school with that was far too impressed with his "acting skill" and thought he was funny, or clever, and by the end of an evening you just wanted to punch him in the face. Yeah, that's him. The rest of the cast is not much better.

All of it is preamble, though, to a fantastic finale. This is the sort of movie that really fits into my personal aesthetic. We each have a style and a taste developed by our unique personal background. For me, born in the mid-70s, growing up on comic books and monster movies and a steady diet of Scooby Doo, this movie is divine. It's an EC Comic book come to life, full of technicolor monsters, hellbent on destroying the fools who have tampered with forces they didn't understand. The makeup is incredible. It's so amateur and homemade, yet so lovable. This isn't Romero's blue tone creepers or Fulci's rotting stalkers. These monsters look like something straight off a comic book page and have a look to them that is so unique to this movie. The scenes of the zombies crawling from their graves, combined with a screeching score, create a nightmarish vision. Admittedly, some sections border on silly. The monsters can be a terrifying force one moment, eviscerating their victims and eating the victuals, the next moment they are reaching blindly for people a foot away from them and being pushed around by 80 pound women. Yet, the horde will not be stopped and, in the end, have their vengeance.

If you like SHOCK WAVES, Fulci's zombie films, or any other pre-80s zombie flicks, then this is required viewing.

Reviewed by Mark Turner 8 / 10

Updated version of a drive-in classic

It wasn't until the VHS boom that I was finally able to see this film. I watched it and wasn't all that impressed having built up my expectations based on a poster I'd seen and word of mouth on the movie. Sure it was a decent horror film but by this time I'd seen three George Romero zombie films and countless others as well. This movie lacked the fine tuning of those when it came to quality of production, screen writing, etc.

So now the movie comes out from VCI in Blu-Ray format. They've released it earlier in standard DVD format but this was a special edition. Has it improved in the 44 years since it was first released? Truth be told, yes it has. I was surprised at how much better it seemed after all this time. Not only that but the quality of the print here, remastered by VCI for this edition, actually made a difference as well. No washed out tones, not scenes too dark to see in and sharper than before, enough so that the titles seemed to pop off the screen.

The movie is definitely 70s material with a hip acting troupe taking a small boat out to a mysterious island that director Alan (Alan Ormsby) says is haunted and filled with the dead bodies of murderers and criminals. The island does have a huge graveyard in it, one that we saw a gruesome ghoul of a creature digging in and attacking the caretaker. Alan moves his group through the wooded areas of the island, across the graveyard and to an old abandoned building that they break into.

He has brought the troupe here with the intent of raising the dead with a book of demonic spells calling upon Satan to help him. At the same time what might be his bigger objective is to insure that all members are put in their place, beholden to him for a paycheck and willing to do whatever he tells them to. Their inclusion in this ceremony is just an example of his control over their lives.

The group heads to the cemetery and digs up a grave, Alan speaks the spell in the book andÂ…well I'll leave that surprise for those who haven't seen the film. Once that finishes he orders the group to take the body that was in the grave back to the house where he talks to it, ridicules it and basically tempts fate with his desecration of a corpse. Stereotypical characters surround him from the diva to the handsome lead actor to the Trippe backstage assistant who seems to see something mystical in all things. Eventually all come together when the spell that Alan uttered actually raises the dead and people begin to fall under their attacks. Just who if any will survive and how they can fight this evil waits to be seen.

The first thing many should know about this film is that it was directed by Bob Clark, listed here as Benjamin Clark. If that name sounds familiar it should. Clark went on to direct the cult classic horror film BLACK Christmas, then created/directed the PORKY'S movies, the great Sherlock Holmes movie MURDER BY DECREE and eventually A Christmas STORY, that perennial favorite come Christmas time. When this film was made he was just starting out having directed only two other features by this time. What he accomplished here with a minuscule budget and an aspiring cast is quite good actually. There is some dialogue that is questionable when it comes to being believed but much of it rings true. You can actually believe that these characters are saying what was written. The hippie/Trippe portions that are found might seem dated at best but there were plenty of movies using that same style of dialogue at the time.

The movie itself offers a few jump moments and actually does have some truly scary parts that will be sure to haunt the dreams of young viewers who are allowed to watch. The movie is unrated and doesn't include any nudity but the gore effects (quite well for the time) and mentions of Satan will make this a movie parents will want to offer supervised if at all. For most it will be a harmless creature feature, one that terrified their parents years ago but might seem mild for kids these days.

Look, I grew up with the drive-in as a source of entertainment with new movies twice a week. Some were the best Hollywood had to offer at the time, some were low budget films that were coming out and many of the second features were movies that were there just to offer a second film. Those movies were made by people who loved movies, who wanted to make the attempt at creating something original and who wanted to see their efforts on the big screen. That the people behind this went on to make bigger films (those noted by Clark as well as Ormsby going on to write MY BODYGUARD, CAT PEOPLE and THE SUBSTITUTE) shows that in some of the smallest films there is talent waiting to explode. That they could make a movie this good with no budget speaks volumes as well. Kudos to VCI for making sure that a movie like this isn't lost and has received such caring treatment. If you love horror movies then this is a must have for your collection.

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