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Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things Reviews

This surprisingly good low-budget (under $100,000) zombie film stars screenwriter Ormsby as the leader of a troupe of eccentric actors who travel to a small, lonely island on which there is a large cemetery and a house. Armed with the Book of the Dead, Ormsby digs up a corpse and names it "Orville," performing an elaborate ritual to imbue the body with life. Nothing happens. Disappointed but undaunted, Ormsby brings Orville into the house, and the troupe proceeds to have a party with the corpse as the guest of honor. After many (too many) bad cadaver jokes, the spell finally takes hold, and the dead in the cemetery begin to pull themselves out of the ground--the decaying bodies, in a truly terrifying and effective sequence, slowly lumbering off in search of flesh to eat. Highly derivative of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and filled with amateurish performances, strained comedy, and zero production values, CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS does convey, nonetheless, an undeniable power in the rising-dead scenes and a genuine mood of unease throughout that most big-budget horror outings fail to capture. The film was produced and directed by Bob Clark, whose incredibly spotty career boasts small gems like DEATHDREAM and A CHRISTMAS STORY, as well as such garbage as PORKY'S; RHINESTONE; TURK 182; and FROM THE HIP. Screenwriter-actor Ormsby would go on to direct the excellent--but as of yet unavailable on videocassette--Ed Gein movie DERANGED (1974) and would pen the script for Paul Schrader's CAT PEOPLE (1982).