Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things
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The SET-UP: Five young kinky actors and their artistic director come to a desolate and nearly forgotten burial island, complete with a morbid history of MURDER, RAPE, CURSES and DEMONS. Alan (Alan Ormsby), the brilliant but bizarre Director of the company, has brought them to this foreboding place to dabble in witchcraft; specifically to dig up a fresh corpse and use it in a ritual ceremony which is supposed to raise the dead from their graves.The PAY-OFF: It seems as though Alan has really gathered his "children" here, only to play a practical joke on them and then to party the rest of the night away. However, the joke's on Alan. His bizarre ritual ceremony really does raise the dead from their graves...only they're in no mood to party! NOTE: "BENJAMIN" CLARK is really "BOB" CLARK, the creative director behind the hit films PORKY'S, BLACK CHRISTMAS and A CHRISTMAS STORY among others. ALAN ORMSBY, though he turned in what has been described as "...one of the most obnoxious screen performances in history!", has actually made a mark for himself as the screenwriter for such memorable films as MY BODYGUARD, CAT PEOPLE, KARATE KID 3 and PORKY'S 2. Bonus Features: Scene Selection| Original Theatrical Trailer| Photo Gallery| Actor Bios. Specs: DVD5; Dolby Digital Mono; 87 minutes; Color; 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio; MPAA - PG; Year - 1972; SRP - $9.99.
Though Bob (Benjamin) Clark made his mark on Hollywood with films as diverse as Porky's and A Christmas Story, he began his career with this imaginative zombie tale. Alan Ormsby (who also wrote Paul Schrader's remake of Cat People and directed the cult horror film Deranged) penned the script and stars as Alan, a flamboyant theater director who brings his company--whom he condescendingly refers to as his "children"--to a rotting graveyard on a fogbound island. There he begins a ceremony to raise the dead, but it's all an elaborate practical joke, just another mind game by the would-be demagogue... or so he thinks. As Alan continues his midnight games of manipulation and degradation, it turns out the joke's on him as the graveyard rises to life. The acting, though amateurish, is energetic and delivered with gusto, and the awkward, theatrical dialogue becomes oddly appropriate (if somewhat stiff) in the affected presence of preening Alan. The often-slow extended introduction pays off in a carnage-riddled zombie blowout, like Night of the Living Dead compressed into a half-hour highlight reel. Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things is the work of ambitious beginners, but they deliver the goods when it counts with solid low-budget effects and a well-directed finale that turns the tense humor into unrelenting horror.
The DVD mastering is unaccountably sloppy: images jerk and intermittently slow down, the action hiccups, and in the second half red and blue flares rim the right side of the picture. --Sean Axmaker
- Uncut Theatrical Version
- Photo Gallery
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If this isn't the worst, there's a second part to the double feature: "The Undertaker & His Pals", which reuses a familiar plot device that murdered or otherwise dead people's body parts are being served up to unsuspecting diners. In this case we have a trio of ninja motorcyclists who abduct, murder, then dismember the victim for specific limbs or other parts. The restaurant gets the missing parts and the funeral home gets the remains (and the funeral fees). Typical example is when "Miss LAMB" is murdered, and her LEGS missing, she ends up as the special of the day. Get it?
This is a great double-feature DVD deal, and a must for collectors of really bad horror and sci-fi flicks.