Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things (1973)
Director: Bob Clark
Writers: Bob Clark, Alan Ormsby
Starring: Alan Ormsby, Valerie Mamches, Jeff Gillen, Anya Ormsby, Jane Daly, Seth Sklarey
"I peed in my pants!"
Alan and The Funky Bunch
Sometimes it takes a few years and a second chance. First impressions aren't always reliable. Sometimes our reactions are colored by the audience we're with at the time. So seeing something alone is a must for an accurate assessment of a film.
The film opens with a fog shrouded graveyard. A lone caretaker spies a strangely dressed man standing over a open grave. When he moves toward the man a ghoul lurches at him from out of the fog. Cut to Alan (Ormsby) and his troupe of actors on a charter sailboat heading to an island somewhere of the cost of Florida. Alan is a controlling and sleazy little director who wants to do a little black magic on the island. It turns out the island is used for a burial site for some of the less then desirable elements of society. Though the group protest at first they go along with Alan's bizzaro shenanigans, in fear of loosing their jobs. Nothing happans. Not satisfied Alan has them take the corpse of the freshly dug up Orville (Sklarey) back to the caretaker's cabin. There Alan stages a mock ceremony were he marries Orville! The two ghouls from the opening turn out to be cohorts of Alan's, who've tied up the caretaker. As the two filling in a open grave, whilst the poor caretaker looks on all tied and gagged the dead finally rise. The dead shamble out of their graves and trap Alan and the gang in the cabin. Will anyone make it out alive? Will the dead get their vengeance? Will Alan and Orville slip away for their honeymoon? Have you managed to stay awake?
All the fixins
Well I've only seen Children once before. A friend had it on VHS (That'll tell you how long ago it was!) cassette. I watched it with a group of friends and found it boring. At an hour and a half we're not treated to any zombie goings on till the last thirty minutes. There's really no likable characters (Alan is one of horror cinema's all time prize winning dicks.) to care about. The thing is at the time I couldn't appreciate the weird and wacky world of 70s horror. Many, many moons later I really love the stuff! In fact the more bizarre the better. Children isn't for everyone. It takes it's sweet ass time getting to the goods. But there's ample strangeness and bad fashions to get us over the hump. If your a fan of the stranger side of 70's horror, dodgey acting and zombies Children is a good way to go. I definitely plan on visiting Alan, Orville and the gang again sometime on that foggy island graveyard.
Ready for his close-up
Bob Clark had a long and varied career in film. A Christmas Story, Porky's, Murder by Decree, Deathdream and of course Black Christmas. You were taken too soon in 2007 Mr. Clark, we miss you!