Welcome, children of the night! This Blog is for fans of vintage horror films as well as those who are just beginning to discover the joy of these classic movies. I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things (1972)

Some critics really love this film and consider it to be a campy horror classic.  I'm not one of them.  However, this does not mean that Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things is without merit.  First of all, it has a great title.  Secondly, the zombies [when they finally arrive after what seems like an eternity] look really great thanks to make up artist Alan Ormsby and his crew.  These are not the ominous gut munchers of Night of the Living Dead (1968) but they have a sense of playfulness and creativity that cannot be denied.  The soundtrack is also really quirky and, at times, is quite effective.
The bad news is that the script is a rip-off of Night of the Living Dead.  All of the zombie action takes place in a remote house that, conveniently, has a graveyard attached to it.  People are trapped in the house as the zombies attack.  Sound familiar?  The only difference is that Children's zombies are brought to life through Satanic ritual rather than simply coming back to life by some unknown force.  Furthermore, the acting is terrible and it's painful to watch actors who are unable to master their craft.  I found myself longing for the talent George Romero was able to find on an equally limited budget.  [Duane Jones, where are you?]
It's my secret hope that someone will do a remake of this film.  It has potential but it is unable to reach it.  Unless you're a diehard fan of zombie films, avoid this one like the zombie apocalypse!
Rating: Fair.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.