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Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things - 35th Anniversary Exhumed Edition (1972)

Alan Ormsby , Valerie Mamches , Bob Clark  |  PG |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Alan Ormsby, Valerie Mamches, Jeffrey Gillen, Anya Ormsby, Paul Cronin
  • Directors: Bob Clark
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Original recording remastered, Restored, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: VCI Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2010
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003L1YESE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,777 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things - 35th Anniversary Exhumed Edition" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Led by a mean-spirited director, Alan (Alan Ormsby), a theater troupe travels by boat to a small island graveyard for buried criminals. Using a grimoire, Alan begins a séance to raise the dead. The group finds more than they bargained for when the dead return from their graves, forcing the troupe to take refuge in an old abandoned caretaker s house. Can they stay put until daylight against the undead onslaught, or do they flee into the pitch black night? Will anyone survive? ....Muhah hahahh! Bonus Features: All New Commentary with Alan Ormsby, Jane Daly and Anya Cronin, Memories of Bob Clark A tribute to the late Director, Grindhouse Q&A, Confessions of a Grave Digger Interview with Ken Goch, Photo Gallery, Dead Girls Don t Say No Music Video by The Deadthings, Cemetery Mary Music Video by The Deadthings, A Tribute Video to CSPWDT by Freak 13, CSPWDT Trivia, Alan Ormsby Bio, Original Theatrical Trailer. Product Specs: DVD9; Dolby Digital; 87 minutes; Color: 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio; MPAA PG; Year 1972; SRP - $19.99.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
I own multiple copies of every version of this film available on VHS, LD and DVD. VCI's version on VHS and DVD is the most complete version I've seen (running 87 minutes, 1 - 2 minutes longer than previous pre-records) AND it's letterboxed, and nicely packaged.
CSPwDT is one of those rare horror films that is truly terrifying. I've often tried to pinpoint exactly what frightens me the most about this film: the atmospheric, creepy setting; a remote, island cemetery where tufts of mist sweep across an eerie graveyard, or the weird electronic synth music with shrills and screeches, and human moaning in the background, or the incredible 'revival of the dead scenes' with some of the most effective make-up ever committed to celluloid, or the wild cinematography and lighting, ...
It all works together to create, in my opinion, an impossible-to-forget masterpiece. Reportedly the film cost $70,000 to make in 1972, but it has more scares and is more effective than any recent big-budget horror film that I can remember. I'd give it 6 stars if I could. Watch it tonight alone with the lights out!
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FUN! FUN! FUN! July 29, 2004
I saw this at the theater when it first came out. It was great then and it's still great now. I've read reviews complaining about the picture quality on this DVD but I really don't think it can be much better than it is. It was obviously shot cheap and this is what you get. The mood and the atmosphere that this sets up at the very beginning is genius. The film really delivers at the end. In my opinion there were so many great horror movies made in the early seventies and this is one of them.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC OF THE 1970's November 12, 2000
I'd hesitated in purchasing this DVD because of the 1.5 rating the quality had received, and another review that had bashed its inferior transfer. I finally caved in and spent the bucks--and found it to be EXACTLY like the old VHS version--only letterboxed!--Which is great, and yes, the quality is dark and smudgy at times, but that's ONLY BECAUSE of the original film stock used!! Remember folks, this is/was a low-budget (somewhat independent) horror film, and the original master has suffered some fade, but it's exactly what I remembered it as being when the film was the "Million Dollar Movie" on Channel 9 YEARRRS ago. It's a great addition to my DVD collection, and a great source of some really chilling sequences! For the first hour, it's all talk-talk-talk, but there's atmosphere!--And the dialogue is pure camp--the clothes are SO 1970's--but the last half-hour (when the zombies arrive), the hair really starts to rise. Have fun with it!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So bad it's good! August 28, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things" is a campy cult classic. It contains many, many flaws, but it seems to be this bad on purpose. Without a huge budget or an extensive track record, the makers of this cult classic dove right in and made a spectacularly bad, yet at the same time, really excellent movie. Though the story is a composite of successful films of this genre, the script is silly, the dialogue is atrocious, the acting is at times touch-and-go, and the film stock is of questionable quality. But these elements all come together into a viewing experience fans of cheap horror films should really love.

The story's rough outline: Ambitious film director Alan Ormsby (the characters have the same names as the actors portraying them) has plans for his small film troupe. He doesn't respect them, but they are obviously the only actors he has encountered who are willing to tolerate his pompousity and his nastiness. This guy is a real turd, by any definition. If you look in Vincent Bugliosi's book about the Manson case, "Helter Skelter," there are pictures of Manson during his beatnik stage (the part where he's called a "changeling") which look alarmingly like Ormsby in this film. Alan is insulting, cocky, arrogant, pretentious, belittling, and verbally abusive. You could say he's a psychological bully. He takes his actors to some small burial island to perform a mock Satanic ritual, possibly to test the loyalty of these people, to see just how far they will go when he tells them to do something he knows they won't like.

There is a lot of dissention, as they really think this is a bad idea. And they were right. Unintended consequences happen in films of all types; it's a staple of all films, no matter what kind you like.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To cut or not to cut... September 23, 2007
Got this Friday and I bear bad news. But first, I'll give the good.

This film has NEVER looked better on DVD or on any other format in the U.S. - the colors are vibrant, black levels are deep, hues and skin tones are even - the only flaw in the whole transfer is once in a while the film jumps a bit. Considering the age and the lack of preservation prints must have, this is probably the best VCI had to work with. Hey anything beat their atrocious 1999 DVD.

The extras on the disc are great, a full length commentary, two featurettes, 3 music videos, a trivia section, a trailer and a still gallery. All bearing their own merits of awesomness!

Now with the bad...the film is nearly 5 minutes. There's only one snippet of zombie footage missing, the caretaker's death is cut and the close up on Emerson's dead body is missing as well, and the rest missing is dialogue from the beginning. Now most of you might be saying that's no big deal since the film moved slow anyways but c'mon people, we've been waiting nearly 10 years for this disc and it's cut!? What is that???? The scenes that are cut on the original DVD are in pretty good shape and one scene from this edition looks like it was taken from that source as the blacks go back to the gray they were prior. So there's no excuse why they couldn't replace the rest of the missing scenes from the older print as well.

Unfortunately, VCI has no plans to fix this error so this is the disc we'll have to make due with for another 10 years if they decide to do a 45th anniversary edition or maybe we'll get lucky and they'll do a 40th anniversary edition uncut. We'll see but at this point, nothing's being said or done about this and I don't think anything will for a while.

So overall presentation is great but having the film cut really brings this one down for me.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Gay / necrophile marriage in 1971? . .. Talk about "sexual...
This film is basically the story of a gang of "jaded young deviates" who invade a cemetery, desecrate the graves, conduct a satanic "summation" to resurect the dead, take an... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Creepy Skulldini
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
An old movie but a goodie! Very morbid , don't watch it alone! I waited for this to come to DVD for years.
Published 6 months ago by S scissors
4.0 out of 5 stars scared my oldest son
My son is obsessed with zombies. I seen this movie years ago and thought he would like it. It scared the wits out of his older brother when he was young.
Published 7 months ago by Karen Bennett
2.0 out of 5 stars Not like I remember
I saw it first back in the 70's on late nite TV. Seemed scary and unique
at the time. Now it just seems cheaply produced and poorly acted. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Smooth Charlie J
4.0 out of 5 stars LET'S GIVE THE DEVIL HIS DUE
Alan (Alan Ormsby) leads a group of young adults/actors on a cemetery island. Here he has staged several scares for the group. Read more
Published 9 months ago by The Movie Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars Bringing Back The Dead Goodness
A funky 1970's horror movie that's both funny and scary. A fun movie to watch late at night with the lights off.
Published 11 months ago by Mike Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute classic!!
Received it just a couple of days after ordering and took me right back to my childhood. I SO love this movie! This is what zombie films are meant to be! Read more
Published 13 months ago by Chris
4.0 out of 5 stars Cult Classic brings back memories
If you have never seen this movie, you might not like it. It's really a poor quality film but was quite entertaining in the 70's. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Blackstar5
5.0 out of 5 stars Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things Is My Favorite Movie
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things. 1973. Not only is this my favorite zombie movie, but it's my favorite movie of all time. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Thomas L. Vaultonburg
3.0 out of 5 stars bad good movie
This 70 horror movie has stilled acting weak direction but its funny as hell. You cant wait for the zombies to start eating them! A movie for a raining afternoon
Published 16 months ago by cab
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This flick has the scariest scene EVER!!
They drag that dead body (Orville?) around and 'humiliate' it. It is laying on the bed. Cut away. Cut back to the bed in the background and IT is sitting up on the edge of the bed.

It's been many years since I saw this on tape (1979?) yet that image is still the scariest moment on film to me.
Mar 21, 2009 by Gepetto 3D |  See all 3 posts
Has anyone,ever seen or even heard of this old "ghoulish"movie?!?
Just taking a shot in the dark cause you said "TV movie", but it's not "Midnight Hour" is it? Don't know if that helps, thought I'd take a shot though.

Best of luck
Jan 17, 2008 by JBizzle |  See all 5 posts
Please help me remember what this wierd zombie movie was called
I think it may be called "Hell of the Living Dead." Go to the Terror Trap web site ( - reviews database - T). It concerns a chemical plant on an island that has a spill and turns workers into zombies. I hope this is it. Good luck!! Reply if it is. I'd be curious...
Mar 11, 2008 by J. B. Hoyos |  See all 5 posts
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