Tall, Dark, and Dead – 39 – Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things

Title: Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things
Year: 1973
Director: Bob Clark
Leads: Alan Ormsby, Anya Ormsby, Seth Sklarey

Favorite quote: “Get out of the grave, Alan. Get out of the grave and let an artist show you how to call a curse down on Satan!”

Thoughts: Favorite. Zombie movie. Ever. Even though it has demon-zombies in it. I am a creature of contradiction!

CSPWDT is a campy, yet quietly unsettling quasi-parody of the zombie genre created during the golden age of the zombie genre, and is therefore absolutely marvelous. It’s seriously one of my favorite films ever.

My deep love for this movie stems from the affectionate treatment the zombies receive. There are plenty of, “Curse you, observant zombie!” moments, as well as lots of opportunities for viewers to connect with, and perhaps even share in the emotions of, the undead hordes. Orville, the lead zombie, gets a name and plenty of sympathy drummed up for him. I am on board with this.

Overall, I think the film’s strength lies in the fact that it actually confronts, head on, the idea of respect for the dead. Alan, the film’s antagonist, views and treats the dead as mere bodies; Anya, the only survivor (at least, I see her as a survivor), apologizes to the disturbed legions and begs for forgiveness for the way her friends have treated them. Great stuff.

Additionally, the zombie makeup in this movie is some of the best I’ve ever seen – and was done on a shoestring budget, no less. Seriously, every Walker worth his or her salt should study this film like the Torah.

Links: Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things at IMDB
Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things on Wikipedia

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