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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 6 7
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #25. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by bloodcult
Ahhhh, one of my almost forgotten faves. Creepy, atmospheric, and WEEEEIIIRRRDDD! I've seen two different boxes for this : one with a gaudy looking clawed hand reaching up to a tombstone with the title on it (classic!)....and another idiotic one which tried to pass this of as a "comedy" (Boooo!).
Anyone who loves horror movies and doesn't like this flick should go back to watching Scream, thankyouverymuch!
Ormsby (and Bob Clark) are gods - get Deathdream if you haven't seen it - it's just as f**ked up and really, really twisted and disturbing. Why the hell don't they make 'em like this anymore, huh?
Cheers to all at!
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #26. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by jim Brown
This one is definitely a must for B-movie horror fans.

What got me the most was the characters.It was the same thing I loved about Kellogs movies(Gila monster& the killer Shrews)

Their's just something about the way the characters interacted & seemed realistic to real life.

I don't care how good the special effects,acting,etc is.

If I hate the characters.I hate the movie.

The characters in this movie managed to real & do their job.

Which I see less & less of in the newer movies.Jim
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #27. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Swamprat
Classic title! Not really funny, not really scary, not really very good...but still just plain fascinating. One of the first movies I ever bought over the Web. I'd seen it at the drive-in years ago and when I found it on a then hard-to-find video club site I just had to get a copy for my then teenage daughter. She loves it too. Alan and Anya Ormsby went on to several other wierd projects after this little experiment, but this is the only thing I know of that's still in existance. The classical Celt inspired idea of an island graveyard is creepy enough to carry the film on its own. Alan's over the top meglo-maniac director-a***ole had us cheering for him to be eaten as slowly as possible. This is one of those movies where half the fun is what you make it...yell at the screen often. Warn the idiots even though you know they're too stupid to listen. Play the Plot Prediction Game throughout the's a very good one for that...A betting pool on how long Anya's gonna last will work as a great bad movie party game. Nifty ending too...was anyone dense enough to actually believe the zombies would be stranded on the island afterwards? C'mon!
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #28. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Ron
This movie is a Classic!!! I liked it so much that I scupted a model bust of Orville(Seth Sklarey). I sell the resin Busts on Ebay. It was especially nice when I received an email from Seth(Orville)Sklarey himself telling me he is Very impressed with the likeness. He gave me his phone number and I talked to him for quite awhile about all kinds of stuff!! Very Nice guy!! It was very interesting, being a Big fan of this movie for over 20 years now. Anyway, if anyone is interested in seeing one of my Busts, go to Ebay and type in Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things BUST or email me and i will send pics!
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #29. Posted on January 24, 2003, 10:18:24 AM by bobby romani
If you want to waste your time and watch a s**tty movie like children shouldnt play with dead things.The only reason I watch this movie is because I wanted to laugh. There is one part in the movie where they are digging up a grave. no one knows that one of the characters is burried in the grave they are digging up. the fat guy jeff is digging and is the first one to open the coffin. to his surprise a zombie pops out and makes jeff pee his pants. for the guy to be in a coffin underground is not very realistic because the guy would run out air.I thought this movie was all right when i was drunk as hell.
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #30. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by MuffinHead
This movie is on DVD? Great! I've been trying to find this movie for years. I saw it once late at night when I was a kid (before cable) and it creeped me out.
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #31. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by James Perry
Thanks for the reviews folks!  I'm a Zombie movie fanatic and will make this DVD a part of my 2003 Halloween movie marathon.  Can't wait!  The clip seems to be in widescreen...hope the DVD version is.
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #32. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Angelo
When I was a kid, my dad and I saw this at the theater when it first came out.  I thought it was comical and spooky.  I remember walking out of the theater late at night with chill bumps all over my arms.  It's good to know that good horror flicks are still around for future generations to enjoy.  
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