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Rated PG
Copyright 1972 Brandywine/Motionarts
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Alan - Owner of the theater troupe, he's a little sick and definitely on a serious power trip. Munched.
  • Val - Middle aged woman, she's the only person Alan takes any crap from. Also munched.
  • Paul and Terry - Two aspiring thespians in love, he was voted "most athletic." Zombie chow.
  • Anya - FREAK girl! Funny enough she's the one who best understands the zombies. Guess what happens to her? Yup, munched.
  • Jeff - Chubby guy who needs some lessons in bladder control. The zombie snack equivalent of a moon pie.
  • Roy and Emerson - Two effeminate actors hired by Alan to scare everyone, they are bit parts, they are wandering around the graveyard, they are so dead.
  • Orville - Dead guy chosen by Alan to be the life of the party.
  • The Zombies - Quick little fellows raised from the dead by Alan's attempt at Necromancy, too bad they have the munchies.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Something mom never taught me, but with all the knowledge to pass on to your kids Necromancy usually gets left out. Okay, for the record: Necromancy = bad. Got it? When Alan decides to treat his theater group to a night of frights and Satanic rituals he never guesses how successful it will be. The joke goes off marvelously, when Jeff climbs into a grave to exhume the corpse it grabs him. (Alan emptied it earlier and had Roy climb inside.) With all the fun and games finished it's time for the serious business. Alan has brought a tome of black magic and a small amount of dried baby's blood to raise some undead. Where do you get dried baby's blood anyway, Wallmart? The megalomaniac is a bit put out when nothing happens. First Alan, then Val take turns mocking the Prince of Darkness. Needless to say, doing so at midnight, in an unhallowed graveyard, in a b-movie of all things, is not advised. To make matters worse Alan insists on dragging Orville back to the old house they're using and having a wedding. There's actually a rather amusing section when they're making Orville "walk" and just let go, much like those trust building exercises. Except the corpse falls forward and nobody catches poor Orville. It's a little later when Roy and Emerson first discover the dead are rising and the two of them are appetizers. For all the overacting "Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things" is very good, but just in case you didn't read the character descriptions, don't get attached to anybody...

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Never startle a vampire.
  • Remote island graveyards are brightly lit.
  • Theater companies border on white slavery.
  • Flickering firelight is best simulated by a wavering flashlight beam on the person's face.
  • Dark blue Necromancer robes did not go with other 70's fashions.
  • You can't give cadavers a penny for their thoughts.
  • Satan has a horde of nicknames.
  • Zombies suffer from insomnia.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 3 mins - Did the zombie not pay his rent or something? Undead eviction?
  • 12 mins - Where did Alan get those pants, gads...
  • 30 mins - Anya, you are a FREAK!
  • 44 mins - Somebody hit her with a shovel, Val - shut up.
  • 54 mins - No more dead puns, I mean it.
  • 71 mins - Those must be the strongest panes of glass in history.
  • 59 mins - Two women and two men hold off a horde of zombies, but one kills Paul with no problem?
  • 84 mins - Everybody (zombies included) gives Alan the "you bastard" look.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note childdead1.wav Alan: "Uh, how many merits does an Eagle Scout get for seducing a Brownie?"
Terry: "I don't know, you'll have to check that in your Boy Scout manual."
Green Music Note childdead2.wav Alan: "The magnitude of your simplitude overwhelms me."
Green Music Note childdead3.wav Alan: "You know what you are? You're a slab of meat I hired to dress my stage and I like my sides of beef to hang quietly in the corner until I need them. So why don't you just shut up!"
Green Music Note childdead4.wav Anya: "If we respect him, he'll respect us! Look! He's trying to tell us, you can it in his face!"
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipchilddead1.mpg - 2.2m
Terry, I wouldn't stand in that doorway...

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2 3 ... 7
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #1. Posted on August 30, 1999, 08:50:55 AM by
This is quite a movie, whatever that means. I bought this movie after renting it, and if you are a zombie fan its great for the collection. I noticed something weird about this movie. All the actors use their first names as their characters in this movie. And that might imply that Anya the freak and Alan, both with the last name Ornsby, are related. (Wow! what a notion) In closing, I liked this flick.
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #2. Posted on September 25, 1999, 03:52:01 PM by
Actually a pretty cool zombie movie - suspensful and with a really creepy and opressive atmosphere.  Not funny, as the US release video box suggests.  Director went on to do the porkies movies.  The final moments of the film are as creepy as the "dead gathering at the farmhouse" sequence in Night Of The Living Dead.  
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #3. Posted on October 12, 1999, 08:23:31 PM by
I was babysitting one time when the child's newborn guinea pig died. The child cried a bit, of course, cradling the newly deceased pet. Then picked it up and showing it to me, said: "Look, a clip-on!", while moving its stiffened, front paws back & forth. I couldn't help but think of this film (esp. the title). Just wanted to share :).
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #4. Posted on October 26, 1999, 10:41:25 AM by paul westbrook
I love zombie films, I really love zombie films. This late nite fav flick met my expectations completely. Now that cardboard graveyard leaves something to be desired.
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #5. Posted on December 28, 1999, 05:33:59 PM by
One of my earliest (and most disturbing) memories
was watching this film on chiller theater up late one night way past my bed time. The nightmares that ensued were unreal...make them stop please...                                                      
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #6. Posted on February 22, 2000, 09:03:55 PM by
This is a great zombie flim, no horror movie collector should be without! The scenery is very errie and it creates a great mood. The acting is average. The zombie makeup is pretty good. great movie overall, I recommend it to all horror fans with good taste.
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #7. Posted on April 18, 2000, 02:21:19 PM by Chris K.
A thought provoking film. CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS is a weird horror film that is really inspired by NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD(1968). Chilling photography with a great sense of atmosphere combined with good make-up effects, haunting sets, moderate acting, and a fresh original script with enough polish to make it effective. If you want to see another NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD-inspired film see TOMBS OF THE BLIND DEAD(1971) and it's three sequels THE RETURN OF THE EVIL DEAD(1973), HORROR OF THE ZOMBIES(1974), and NIGHT OF THE DEATH CULT(1975).
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #8. Posted on June 05, 2000, 09:25:05 AM by geodude
I remember seeing this when I was about 10.  Scared the crap out of me.  Can't wait to go rent it.
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