1972 - 87m.
My Uncle Tim had some crazy stuff in his house. I used to love to visit because he had this massive record collection and I was allowed to look through it and play whatever I wanted. It was through this freedom that I discovered Jimi Hendrix, Warren Zevon, The Ramones, and much more. He also had a fair share of movies and the two that I most remember seeing way back when on dubbed tapes were The Omega Man and Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things.
With a title that is not easily forgotten, I can still recall putting this into the VCR and not knowing what to expect. I think this actually may have been one of the first true independent horror pictures that made their way from the poor quality tape to my brain. Star Alan Ormsby must have had a big effect on me because although I first saw this when I was probably nine or ten, I can still recall clearly what this loudmouth bearded man looked like. Unfortunately for me, I forgot about all of the zombies.
Ormsby plays Alan, an obnoxious director who brings a group of actors over to an island so that they can dig up a corpse and bring it back to life. This is more-so a ploy to spook everyone than to actually reanimate a dead person but I suppose when you play with a spell book in a horror movie, you had better expect the worst. The group end up finding a body and Alan gets more and more offensive as he degrades the corpse and power trips over his little gang. Eventually they bring the cadaver to an old house where people are tiring of Alan's antics and one of the girls, Anya, gets a little freaky with her crazy eyes and wacky talk. Just when they are about to head back to shore, more corpses start crawling out of their graves and things get interesting.
I don't know how I could have forgotten about the whole zombie sequence in this movie as the resurrection scene brought to mind Return Of The Living Dead, Zombie, and Michael Jackson's Thriller video and is one of the better scenes of its kind that I can recall. I am thinking that maybe my dad saw what was going on on the TV and stopped the movie and gave poor old Uncle Tim a talking to. Nevertheless, this was a great low budget zombie flick that really got going in the last third with an extended zombie attack that was noticeably loud in it's execution with the zombies banging on the windows and proving to be very unsettling. The cast all did a great job but the real star here was Ormsby in an obnoxiously over-the-top performance that made me think of what Jim Carrey would be like in a 70's zombie movie. Although the film seemed to have an excessive amount of dialog at the beginning, this was all necessary for the payoff at the end. My only complaint was the poor lighting but it retrospect, I think this may have added to the feel of the film.
Director Bob Clark went on to do Black Christmas, Porky's, and A Christmas Story. His follow up to Children, entitled Death Dream, featured a few of the same cast members including Anya Ormsby, Jane Daly, and Jeff Gillen in a small part. Alan Ormsby also did the make-up effects on Children, wrote and directed the Ed Gein movie Deranged, and went on to write a number of popular films including My Bodyguard, Cat People, and The Substitute movies. Rumour has it that Clark will be remaking Children in the next year or two. (Josh Pasnak, 2/15/06)
Directed By: Bob Clark.
Written By: Bob Clark, Alan Ormsby.
Starring: Alan Ormsby, Valerie Mamches, Jeff Gillen, Anya Ormsby.