The SET-UP: Five young kinky actors and their artistic director come to a desolate and nearly forgotten burial island, complete with a morbid history of MURDER, RAPE, CURSES and DEMONS. Alan (Alan Ormsby), the brilliant... more » but bizarre Director of the company, has brought them to this foreboding place to dabble in witchcraft; specifically to dig up a fresh corpse and use it in a ritual ceremony which is supposed to raise the dead from their graves.The PAY-OFF: It seems as though Alan has really gathered his "children" here, only to play a practical joke on them and then to party the rest of the night away. However, the joke's on Alan. His bizarre ritual ceremony really does raise the dead from their graves...only they're in no mood to party! NOTE: "BENJAMIN" CLARK is really "BOB" CLARK, the creative director behind the hit films PORKY'S, BLACK CHRISTMAS and A CHRISTMAS STORY among others. ALAN ORMSBY, though he turned in what has been described as "...one of the most obnoxious screen performances in history!", has actually made a mark for himself as the screenwriter for such memorable films as MY BODYGUARD, CAT PEOPLE, KARATE KID 3 and PORKY'S 2. Bonus Features: Scene Selection| Original Theatrical Trailer| Photo Gallery| Actor Bios. Specs: DVD5; Dolby Digital Mono; 87 minutes; Color; 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio; MPAA - PG; Year - 1972; SRP - $9.99.« less
Jorge S. (jorgito2001) from WESLEY CHAPEL, FL Reviewed on 5/4/2011...
This is the type of movie I enjoy watching on a sleepless night for some genuine B-movie "creepiness". the movie is definitely dated (gotta love 70s fashion) and the low budget is quite obvious, but it works and is better then 70% of today's zombie movies! VCI's version of the DVD contains a trailer, some lobby card art and short Bio's for Director Bob Clark (R.I.P.) and Alan Ormsby.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Mike K. from NAMPA, ID Reviewed on 6/1/2010...
This is one of the earliest zombie films I ever saw growing up. I believe I saw it in the mid 80's, in my early teens, if that. A film I would probably laugh at if I saw it now, it captivated me, yet scared me as well. Hence, it is a favorite of mine for childhood sentimental reasons, although I have not seen it for the better part of 20 some years. I think what captivated me by it is the open ended ending leaving it to the viewers imagination as to what happens. If you are a diehard zombie fan its worth at least watching, if anything else. Even if you are not a die hard zombie fan, its good for a late saturday night thriller or for halloween. Compared to today's ultra bloody scare films, this one does not have the blood and gore. It is more like the original night of the living dead in that respect. Overall, you can actually do worse than this film.
Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL Reviewed on 11/1/2008...
Classic film that any fan of modern day zombie films (1968+) should check out. Has an odd sense of humor throughout and does an effective job at capturing the horror of being surrounded by a horde of flesh eating zombies. Director Bob Clark's (Black Christmas, Porkey's, A Christmas Story) first film.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
One of My Personal Favorites - Zombies Chills + Some Humor
Peter Correnty | 12/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I own multiple copies of every version of this film available on VHS, LD and DVD. VCI's version on VHS and DVD is the most complete version I've seen (running 87 minutes, 1 - 2 minutes longer than previous pre-records) AND it's letterboxed, and nicely packaged. CSPwDT is one of those rare horror films that is truly terrifying. I've often tried to pinpoint exactly what frightens me the most about this film: the atmospheric, creepy setting; a remote, island cemetery where tufts of mist sweep across an eerie graveyard, or the weird electronic synth music with shrills and screeches, and human moaning in the background, or the incredible 'revival of the dead scenes' with some of the most effective make-up ever committed to celluloid, or the wild cinematography and lighting, ...It all works together to create, in my opinion, an impossible-to-forget masterpiece. Reportedly the film cost $70,000 to make in 1972, but it has more scares and is more effective than any recent big-budget horror film that I can remember. I'd give it 6 stars if I could. Watch it tonight alone with the lights out!"
CLASSIC OF THE 1970's
Gregg Taylor | Branchville, NJ United States | 11/12/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'd hesitated in purchasing this DVD because of the 1.5 rating the quality had received, and another review that had bashed its inferior transfer. I finally caved in and spent the bucks--and found it to be EXACTLY like the old VHS version--only letterboxed!--Which is great, and yes, the quality is dark and smudgy at times, but that's ONLY BECAUSE of the original film stock used!! Remember folks, this is/was a low-budget (somewhat independent) horror film, and the original master has suffered some fade, but it's exactly what I remembered it as being when the film was the "Million Dollar Movie" on Channel 9 YEARRRS ago. It's a great addition to my DVD collection, and a great source of some really chilling sequences! For the first hour, it's all talk-talk-talk, but there's atmosphere!--And the dialogue is pure camp--the clothes are SO 1970's--but the last half-hour (when the zombies arrive), the hair really starts to rise. Have fun with it!"
Either you swear by it....or swear at it
Michael Kramer | Menominee, Mi. | 07/11/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw this movie on a late night horror show called "Chiller Theater" when I was about 12 or so back in 82 or 83. I remembered clearly the one zombie with the sport-coat and tie and imposssibly big mustache climbing out of the grave, which gave me chills then..and still does. Heck, I didn't remember this being a dark comedy back then, but it sure is.
You can look at this movie in two different ways: one being it is a cheesey, low-budget, poorly done film. Or 2: A bunch of college kids, seriously inspired by George Romero, who took a shoe-string budget and a lot of imagination and delivered a truly bizarre horror classic.
Sure, the dialog is pathetic and the Ormsby is very annoying in the lead role..but that's how he's supposed to come off. It's a 70's film and nothing more or nothing less. It's fun to watch and , at times, scary along the way.
The transfer of the film to dvd is just plain lousy. I doubt if any big companies like Universal, Fox, or even Anchor Bay would buy this and digitally remaster it but, let's hope they do.
This little gem of a movie is a classic and should get the respect it deserves. The sound on the film is ok at best. The video is horrendous: lots of drop-outs, many artifacts, and it looks like they got the worst possible film stock to transfer from.
So, if you are a hard-core zombie fan..this one should not be missed. If you are in the market for an all-out scream fest, you won't find it here. This is the perfect Late, Late, Late Show movie. I give it an all out A."
One of Bob Clark's Earliest and Finest
Dead Kev | www.allthingszombie.com | 06/07/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There's nothing like watching a low-budget zombie flick from the 70s. While watching this one, I kept expecting a disco ball to lower from the trees and the zombies to start layin' down the moves to "Saturday Night Fever". I'm talking about the clothes these people used to wear back then, what were they thinking!? It's not like you can blame the costume designer, that's just the way people dressed in 1972, unfortunately for them. All 70s clothes aside, this movie was a very pleasant surprise. Legendary director Bob Clark cut his teeth on this film as one of his first, and would later direct such cult-classics as BLACK CHRISTMAS, PORKY'S, and A CHRISTMAS STORY. He would also team up again with writer/actor Alan Ormsby on the film DEATHDRAM (aka DEAD OF NIGHT).
CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS centers on an acting troupe following their not-completely-right-in-the-head director (Alan Ormsby) to a remote burial island. What some people won't do for a big break in Hollywood! I guess it was a good idea at the time..."Hey, let's go to a remote island that's used as a big cemetery. And since we're here, why don't we dig up a corpse?" Alan, the director, is bringing them there to play a big joke. I won't give away what the joke is, but let's just say that it would a pretty boring movie if something didn't go wrong. Alan does his best impression of a warlock and tries to raise the dead while he's there (hey, who wouldn't!). Does he succeed? Just take a guess.
I wasn't very impressed at the beginning of the film, but it definitely grew on me. And once I stopped staring at Alan's multicolored pants (admittedly, that doesn't sound good), you can really get into the feel of the movie. As if under some kind of voodoo charm given off by my TV, I started liking this movie. The cemetery setting that was unimpressive at the start was now getting spookier. The actors playing actors seemed to come into their own. And the music score which had initially annoyed me...well, it still irritated me. Oh that's right, the score never really got any better. It's the only real downer, I think with a better one it could have added to the film's creepy factor.
Alan Ormsby's performance of the director was once described by a critic as "...one of the most obnoxious screen performances in history!". I think it's a bit harsh. He indeed was obnoxious, but in a B-horror flick good kinda way. He does a pretty good job of getting the audience to dislike him. He's more of a dictator then a director, and treats everyone around him like slaves...but of course they let him, so I can't feel sorry for them. The actors are looking for their big break, so hey, what's a little grave robbing if it will further your career. That makes it okay, right? The rest of the crew give good decent performances, but nobody else steps up and makes you take notice. Overall, I give a thumbs up to the acting.
Thumbs go up for the zombies in the film as well. The makeup and effects were pretty good for the low budget and the fact it was 1972, so no complaints there. You get to see zombies with a little bit more strength then you're usually used to. And in the end scene, you see a glimpse of intelligence, or maybe they just lucked up (You'll know what I mean when you see it). If you're a fan of lots of gore, you're not going to get it here. They're just evidently wasn't enough room in the budget for it on this one, as there was little of it. While I'm a fan of well-placed karo syrup and animal entrails as the next guy, it's refreshing to see that to make a decent film you don't need a lot of gore."