------Review by contributing writer Scott Baker------
CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS
Directed by: Bob Clark
Distributed by: VCI ENTERTAINMENT
Holy cow...I just watched a horror movie that came out before I was even born! And you know what? It was actually pretty good! CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS is one of those films I have seen on video store shelves for decades, but just never picked up for some reason. So when Hayes presented me with the opportunity to review it, I though “Heck yeah...this actually gives me a reason to watch it!
If you are not familiar with CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS, here is the plot synopsis from the VCI Entertainment website:
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?
I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this film. I mean, with it being so old, would it stand the test of time and be comparable to titles that have been made recently? Needless to say, I had some hesitation.
But lo and behold, the film is really fun and very entertaining. I found myself laughing one moment and being surprised the next. CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS is like a haunted house ride that veers out of control and eventually runs away with you.
The special effects look pretty good, considering how dated they are. And the zombies themselves are very reminiscent of Romero’s dead in NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. These two aspects were huge draws for me immediately. Add to that some interesting dialogue and a witty script, and you can see how this film can be entertaining.
I especially enjoyed the banter coming from director (in the movie) Alan in regard to the corpse Orville. It comes across as both hilarious and extremely creepy at the same time. And, when Orville finally gets up and seeks his revenge...well, let’s just say that Alan gets what he deserves and then some.
My sole complaint about CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS is how it ended. [SPOILER ALERT] I don’t think zombies would know how to handle a boat, let alone even have the mental capacity to consider it. I’m sure director Bob Clark was setting the film up for a sequel, but it just doesn’t work for me.
Still, CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS is a winner for me, and it should be on your To-Watch List. I would grab a couple of friends and watch it as a group; this is one of those films that invokes a lot of discussion and ad-libbing. Give this one a look for sure.
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