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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] 4 5 ... 7
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #17. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Amber
  Anya Ormsby is right up there with Mary Henry from Carnival of Souls...the only 2 characters I've ever been able to relate to. Anya will brighten your day! Watch this movie and drink a bottle or 2 of Robitussin (you'll get the full understanding of this movie).
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #18. Posted on June 05, 2001, 10:35:46 PM by mike
this is the worst piece of trash i have ever seen.  not scary, horrible plot, awful acting and not suspenseful in any way.  anyone who likes this movie also thinks porkys 2 the next day is an academy award winner.
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #19. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by rich
i bought this video without watching it, and i was surprised at how good it actually was...while not the scariest film i've seen, it was pretty good, and i'm a zombie film critic.
definately, definately one for a post p**s up viewing.
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #20. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Sorrow-Man
I love the movie. Granted the acting isn't exactly the best I've ever seen, but hey let's face it, any horror movie worth it's grain of salt has at least one or two bad actors. I love the makeup, and Orville die for (pardon the pun). I do of course have a few complaints. The lady who is Alan's equal and her constant use of stupid one liners, the annoying Anya who is a bit over the top (found myself anticipating her death), and finally one of my complaints centers around the scariest thing about this movie...yes, I'm talking about the actors' wardrobes. I've never seen Porky's 2, but I know "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things" will always have a place among my favorite horror movies.

If you'd like to see my reviews of other movies we know and love please visit my site @

May the Horror be with you...Always
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #21. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Liquid Crap
I just watched this movie a couple of days ago. The title is what caught my attention... You can't pass up a movie that is named so. But, yeah... those pants really caught my attention. Another thing that's kind of weird is how close a massive grave site like that is to a major city like it showed in the background when the zombies got into the boat. I would expect a big grave site like that to be miles away from anything resemmbling humanity. And, why does a grave yard need a care taker? Are they afraid the bodies are arbitrarily going to up and go out for a night on the town... Well, I retract that last statement. But still... I love this film though, but I have no respect for people who can't out-run stiff-legged zombies... Thank you
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #22. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Gweneth
My first zombie picture! I saw this little number when I was around 5 years old, and it led to a lifetime obsession with the living dead. A few years ago I found it for sale on VHS and I snapped it up. Glad to hear it's now on DVD as well. I think the thing I dig the most about this movie is that it takes the time to develop the characters before killing them all off in the final 15-30 minutes. It's a different approach, and one most welcome. Though most times I have the attention span of a can of beans (I'm a child of the MTV era), the characters here are interesting enough to keep me glued. Creepy, darkly humorous, extremely odd. In my book it's a Bad Movie Masterpiece. Not to be missed.
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #23. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by Frost

How come the overweight zombies are ALWAYS the faster ones?
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #24. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Bicuitrocious
I just rented this with an evil cohort of mine after seeing a preview for it on the "Brotherhood of Death" tape I found at an Army library... We both said 'Wow, a zombie movie we haven't seen, and it's from the same era as "Vampyres" and "Psychomania!" MUST HAVE!'

It wasn't nearly as crappy as I thoght it would be. It's actually pretty damn good, I say. The zombie make-up was believable (except when we can see Orville's white wrist beyonf the green gauze-skin of his hands...) and the acting was decent (they had an excuse for being melodramatic, they're hippy actors, folks.)

Overall, it needed to prolong the fun with zombies and abuse of the dead, but this was compensated for by having evryone die. I love those endings. Especially when the people gettin' mogged down are a bunch of hippy theater-majors. Where can I get that Grimoire that Alan used? There's this dinner theater troupe I need to get rid of...
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