Monday, June 22, 2009

Satanists and Zombies, oh my!!

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things 1973
Director: Bob Clark
Writers: Bob Clark and Alan Ormsby
Starring Alan Ormsby, Valerie Mamches, Jeff Gillen, Anya Ormsby, Paul Cronin and Jane Daly

Bob Clark is one of my favorite of the 70's horror directors and Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things is the last of his classics I had yet to see. It is not on the level of Black Christmas but I would say it is just as excellent as Deathdream. It is a very campy film and if that is not your cup of tea I would stay away from this film. The acting especially by Ormsby is a hoot to watch. It has a nice goofy but somewhat somber feel to it too, as you know something horrible is bound to happen sooner or later. The dialogue is witty and fun to watch as well. It is a shame Clark and Ormsby did not make more films together.
The plot basics are this, A troupe of traveling satanic players come by boat to a secluded island which houses a decrepit cemetery. The group is led by Alan (Ormsby) who thinks he is a satanic leader and he leads the group to the cometary and digs up some bodies and tries to invoke a incantation that will raise the dead to do his bidding. He then takes one of the bodies he has dug up back to the caretakers house and he starts doing profane things with it and one of the girls Anya (Ormsby) tries to stop him, but he refuses and keep at it. Then suddenly all the dead rise from their graves and began to attack them and lay siege to the house. Now they must all fight for their lives from the growing numbers of zombies.
This was a really goofy and campy zombie film, but I really enjoyed it. The direction by Clark was really atmospheric and it set the stage well for the entire film. His zombie attack scenes were pulled off quite well. The story by Clark and Ormsby is very campy but I just love the way the story is pulled off. The dialogue for Alan is really fun as hell to watch. The actors were all unknowns, but the real standouts are the Ormsby's. Alan chews his scenes with relish and Anya as the psychic does a great job of showing the terror her character feels. The effects are adequate but it is a low budget campy film, so, the effects do not need to be that great. I highly recommend this to both 70's horror fans and zombie fans, you will get a kick out of it.
This one gets 4 out of 5

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