Written by: Paula Haifley, CC2K Horror Chick
Oh, Bob Clark. You sure know how to make a movie with no money. Your zombies are scary, they move in unusual, creepy, and, to a first time viewer, completely original ways. But do your lead actors have to be so bad?
For those of you who haven’t heard of this film, Bob Clark of Porky’s, Black Christmas and A Christmas Story fame, directed and co-wrote (with “leading man” Alan Ormsby) this little piece of bad-movie heaven: Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things. The amazingly realistic premise of this film: a troupe of actors takes a small yacht-like craft to a supposedly haunted island. The head of the troupe, Alan (played by the wretched Ormsby), has brought his gang of actors to this island to play a joke on them, to involve them in a fake Satanic ritual, complete with over-the-top gay stereotypes dressed as ghosties to jump out and scare the kiddies. Ahh, you silly children! Don’t you know that you shouldn’t play with dead things?
Two of these “actors” playing actors insult Alan and try to leave, but Alan keeps threatening them with the loss of their jobs if they bolt. And, I assume because these stage actors are paid like movie stars, the children back down and decide to stay against their better judgment. It must be the best troupe in the world, because Alan even coerces a girl to sit next to a corpse and apologize to it.
Of course, things take a turn for the worse, and those dead things start to get up! Of their own volition! And they do it very, very, unbelieveably slowly! Through repetitive shots of the same fingers wiggling and dirt loosening, these dead things come to life and go after the theatrical children, who have, of course, holed up in an abandoned house. What are they to do? How can they get off the island without being ripped to shreds by zombies? How can they barricade themselves in the house without the proper tools? How can they say their lines without any acting talent? Or frontal lobes?
For those of you who enjoy the flesh-eating good time that is zombie movies, rent this. For those of you who don’t mind bad acting and silly dialogue, rent this. If you like your movies good and jump-out-of-your-seat scary, try something else. The inevitable remake is in the works as I type, so watch the real thing before you can be horribly disappointed by the new version, and revel in just how good a bad zombie can be.