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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 ... 7
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #9. Posted on July 16, 2000, 05:56:58 AM by Tony
I love this flick! I first saw it at a drive-in theator way back in 1972 when I was 5 years old (with my parents of course) and it literally scared the s**t outta me! I've always been into zombie movies and this is definitely one of the best, even tho Night of the Living Dead is still the master of them all. The acting here is kinda amateurish, but they still get the point across. But the thing I like best about this movie is the special effects and make-up, all done by the lead actor Alan Ormsby. I also liked the bizarre storyline and creepy atmoshere of the whole thing. And you can't beat those flesh-munching zombies! Even tho this movie doesn't really compare to latter-day classics like Dawn of the Dead, its still one of the best on the subject and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves these kinds of horror movies!
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #10. Posted on September 06, 2000, 02:19:38 PM by Dead X
I love ZOMBIES.  This movie was really good with the exception of the beginning being...REALLY...slow.  If you enjoyed this movie I recommend Carnival Of Souls.  It's weird.  It's got zomibes. It's slow...but all in's a good movie also.  Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things must be good if I added it to my zombie collection.  If you have yet to see it and you're a zombie fan...ENJOY!
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #11. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Bob Martin
Okay, this movie will never rank up there with the all time great zombie pics but, for me, it carved its own little niche that I really miss nowadays ... Creepy.  It's a creepy little film.  Creepy ain't easy to do. This movie creeps.  Those hardened on George Romero's trilogy or Fulci's horde will probably find this movie lacking and that's too bad because where unrestrained horror has its place in our weird world cinema, creepy has been overlooked.  It has to do with images and music and cuts and...a lot of stuff that swells from the shadows of the filmakers mind....Yeah, it could have profited from scenes that would have earned it an R rating but... then again ... it might have lost something ...this is a movie about atmosphere ... yes, it stole, yes, it borrowed, but in the process it created something unique that hasn't been attempted or aquired since.  Creepy!

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #12. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Aimee
This movie became one of best worst movies ever right after I had seen it!  I've been searching for information for it for ages, and I find it, of all places, in a "bad movie" archive.  For shame!

This movie hit a high point in my life when a friend and I did a home-movie remake of it, substituting a green plastic alien blow-up doll for Orville.  Quite the resemblance!!
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #13. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Cham
The worst zombie movie I have ever seen. That is not to say it isn't funny and cool. It takes some effort to watch the whole thing. Its really bad. I give it a 3/5, partly because of the title.

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #14. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Rodney
One of the greatest zombie films - no, of the greatest films ever. Alan Ormsby (the Orsen Wells behind this & Deathdream) later won an Oscar for his work on Cat People. It was the Academy's way of making up for overlooking CSPWDT.
I own a copy and, at least once a month, my wife & I watch it with all the respect that I give Midnight Cowboy & The Producers.
Alan, if you're reading this, take heart - someday there'll be film school classes devoted to CSPWDT.
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #15. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Mr. Bates
This has to be one of the creepiest zombie flicks I have ever seen. One time, I dropped some acid (tell no one), and was waiting for it to kick in. I walked into my room 20 minutes later, disappointed, and looked at my bed. Orville was sitting there staring at me. I was so f**kin' freaked out, I had just watched the film on DVD. Knowing this was a hallucination, I sat down on the bed and started to speak to him, he looked right at me, saying nothing. All of a sudden, he pulled a bottle of vodka from his ribcage, spilling what was left of his insides on my floor. He took a huge swig, smiled, and said... "I hope I didn't scare you too much dog." He talked just like me, this was definitely spawned from my mind. "No, dude." I said. "I was kind of expecting you." Orville rose from the bed, and exited the room, taking his organs with him. "Before I leave," he said, "I'm think I'm gonna snatch some food before I go, zombies get the munchies too y'know." I thought he meant me, but I was relieved to see that he had found a bag of 3-D Doritos. He opened the door and left... This is a true trip story. Needless to say, I never tripped on acid again, just weed thank you very much.
Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things
Reply #16. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by penny
I wathched this movie when I was about 6 or 7 years old.  I was/am a horror movie fanatic.  I haven't watched the movie since then (about 24 years ago) but I remember the movie vividly.  It is one of my all time favorites, along with Black Christmas and the Amityville Horror.  All of which, I watched as a kid.  Funny though, as B rate as they were,  they were the greatest..........
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