Thursday, April 9, 2009

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

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things

CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS - Alan Ormsby zombie flick - movie poster

Written by Bob Clark & Alan Ormsby
Directed by Bob Clark

Alan Ormsby .... Alan
Valerie Mamches .... Val
Jeff Gillen .... Jeff
Anya Ormsby .... Anya
Paul Cronin .... Paul
Jane Daly .... Terry
Seth Sklarey .... Orville Dunworth

Alan is the rude, arrogant and very poorly dressed stage director who takes his cast and crew to a deserted island for a little illegal fun. There's a graveyard on the island that is said to possess vast amounts of evil power, and Alan seems to think that digging up a body is a great way to spend the evening. Not only that, but by donning a purple Merlin robe and clutching a leather-bound clerical tome, he thinks that he can resurrect the corpse, a long-dead fellow by the name of Orville.

CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS - Alan Ormsby zombie flick - Absurd fashion

The acting troupe seems relatively unfazed by the idea and thinks that Alan's behavior is strictly theatrical. In fact, after the utterly acrimonious and acrid alliterative incantation is complete, nothing happens and it seems that their assumptions were correct. Still an unfulfilled sick puppy, Alan hauls Orville's rotting corpse to a nearby cottage for a rather disturbing wedding ceremony and a game of house.

After a whole lot of dialogue and a whole lot of nothing happening, the spell finally kicks in and Orville rises, along with all of his pasty-faced pals. Unimaginative as they are, the troupe barricades themselves in the cottage like a third-rate Night Of The Living Dead.

Just kick the damn door in, Orville, and let's get this party started!

CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS - Alan Ormsby zombie flick - We now pronounce you zombie and wife

When the movie first began rolling, I actually thought this flick may have some promise. Good looking kids, black magic, an island, zombies. How can you go wrong? Well, for one you can wait for more than a full hour before the first zombie appears, and then when he does appear make him look like an actor who dipped his face in Elmer's Paste. You can also throw in entirely too much ridiculous dialogue and non-stop “witty” banter that is anything but.

For zombie freaks only.

Rated PG
87 minutes
United States

"Get out of the grave and let an artist show you how to call a curse down on Satan! "


  1. This is one of those films that definitely requires a rewatch for full appreciation; it is sort of like the Napoleon Dynamite of horror. After getting past the ridiculous dialogue and realizing that it is entirely intended to be that terrible, I was able to enjoy the film much more. The zombie sequences at the close of the film are also pretty sweet, but I completely agree with your first impression (assuming this is the first time youve seen it) of the film, I felt the same way but it stuck with me after seeing it.

  2. All right, my good man. Since you are such a faithful follower, commentator, and fellow horror fanatic, I will attempt to set aside some time to give this bad boy another viewing. It has actually been a while since I watched it the first time.

    But I still say that there was no excuse for Alan's wardrobe!


  3. I take full responsibility if you still dont like it after the second time lol.. Thats the beauty of the flick though, everything is so ridiculously out of place, much like in Troll 2. You are 100% right that Alan's wardrobe is absurd, and to compliment it the rest of the cast seemingly decided to wear each of the primary colors in a bold and stupid fashion statement =D

  4. Alan was pretty damned hip for his day. I remember begging for the same wide collar, puffy sleeve Mod style pants and shirts when I was a wee monster.

    If you think his wardrobe is absurd, take a peek at some of the old photos you'll one day post on FB with the comment "What was I thinking?"


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