365horror

Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things

by on Mar.28, 2010, under Daily Review

This is something of an oddity really. 1973, a good few years prior to the real floodgates of Zombie films hit the screen. We’d already had Night, but this introduces something else to the genre which has later become the stable stock of this and many other sub genre horror flicks: The Teen agers. You can see tis as a grounding of many of the later great Zombie flicks, but I wonder how many have actually been influenced by this or whether it’s pure coincidence. Flesheaters, Evil Dead, even Friday 13th and the Burning and a host of other kids in the forest style films.

Bob Clark seriously got it right with this film; one of his early movies, prior to his brilliant Black Christmas and his Porky’s teen films. Why he never followed up this of BC with other genre films is a crime in itself.

The plot is as follows. A group of college kids head off for a camping weekend on a deserted island, staying in an old lodge. Their plan is to dig up an old grave and perform a black mass with the corpse, Orville (Seth Sklarey), but as the title of the film says, Children shouldn’t play with dead things and it’s not long before Orville’s dead friends are climbing out of the graves looking for revenge. Alan & Anya Ormsby and Valerie Mamches show great potential here. Great performances.

This is quite something. The acting is all very promising.  The script is perfect and works well with the cast, but Clark can really shot a film. He’s not overly adventurous but shoots pristine with well balanced scenes and nice depth of field used sparsely. This is all great, but it’s the subject and inventiveness of the plot which works so well. It’s obviously influenced by Night, but takes the basic story that step further. Of cause, the idea has now been done to death, but here it works well. What is also surprising is the effects. The actual zombies themselves are really bloody creepy and in abundance. Good makeup with a slow staggering, relentless style zombie. They surround the lodge as the kids barricade themselves in.

The highlight has to be the final ten minutes which are truly harrowing. Great shot in the final minutes resembling Nosferatu.

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