BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review

Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things (1973) - Blu-ray Review

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  • Blu-ray Review

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Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things - Blu-ray Review

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5 beersConfession time, children! Gather around. Closer, please. I'm going to whisper this to you before I spend an entire review proclaiming why. Here goes: I fucking love Bob Clark.

From Porky's to A Christmas Story, the writer/director has a well-known penchant for comedy but the horror genre was his first love and – with classics like Black Christmas and Deathdream – very welcoming to him. To say he left his mark on the genre is a gross understatement. Yet, it all started with the release of 1973's Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things. This low budget cult classic has recently been rescued from the vaults and remastered for its debut on blu-ray this week.

Released by VCI Entertainment (who previously issued the film on DVD for its 35th anniversary), Clark's third feature is a seriously great cult classic about a goofy acting troupe of misfits, dressing like various members of Hanna Barbara's "Goober and Ghost Chasers" cartoon. Led by their spiteful director "Uncle" Alan ((Alan Ormsby), the group – who all hate Uncle Alan – winds up holding a séance off the coast of Florida and, eventually, resurrect a mob of zombies who were better left alone and undisturbed in their coffins.

Alright, so you're thinking that (in 2016) zombies – with heavy black eye makeup around their sockets (looking a bit like Keaton's Beetlejuice himself) might be a bit played out but the sheer entertainment value of Clark's visuals, practical effects, and direction makes the movie worth owning and, if you are anything like me, cherishing. Co-starring Valerie Mamches, Jeffrey Gillen, Anya Ormsby, and Paul Cronin, this is a balls-out fright fest of fun and filth. It's funny and awful and everything we should praise in a cult classic and, to the very end, Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things absolutely delivers an unforgettable experience.

From the mock wedding of the featured undead, Orville Dunworth (Seth Sklarey), to the mystical blue robe Uncle Alan wears, the twisting and turning stitch the narrative threads is a comically zany one. The party attendees – after traveling by boat from Miami to this graveyard island of criminals – have their night ruined by a practical joke, a severe lightening storm, and, ultimately, by the undead they unexpectedly manage to scare up.

It is a night that none could have ever planned for which, for the viewers, makes it hilariously exciting. For the first time in years, I even got chills watching as various members of this troupe try to one-up Uncle Alan by raising the dead. Nothing works but, that's the trick, of course it does. They just don't see it until it is too late and everyone is in a bit of a pissy mood.

And, after all the chomping and grinding of bones between teeth, the zombies board the boat heading back to Miami. What fun! Truly, Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things! Be the first on your block to know how come.

Watch the counter-culture get chomped. Scoop this release NOW!

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG.
Runtime:
87 mins
Director
: Bob Clark
Writer:
Alan Ormsby, Bob Clark
Cast:
Alan Ormsby, Valerie Mamches, Jeff Gillen
Genre
: Horror | Comedy
Tagline:
Experience the unexpected terror of rising rotting flesh
Memorable Movie Quote: "The ten-cent tour, which we get for only a quarter."
Distributor:
Geneni Film Distributors
Official Site:
Release Date:
June 9, 1972
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
February 23, 2016
Synopsis: Six friends dig up a corpse to use in a Satanic ritual to make the dead rise from their graves.

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - February 23, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1 widescreen
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: Dolby 2.0
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

VCI Entertainment's 1080p handling of Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things is indeed a treat. I have truly never seen this film look so engaging and crisp, yet somehow still looking fresh out of 1973. The restoration looks wonderful and does not overdue the processing like other Blu-ray releases of classic horror films. The colors in the costumes and clothing are somehow more vibrant than ever. The restoration doesn't take all of the grain and grimy-like tone of the film away. The soundtrack – released in Dolby Digital 2.0 – is a series of electronic squawks, squeaks, and globs of goo.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There is a great all new commentary with Alan Ormsby, Jane Daly, and Anya Cronin. It is fun and informative.

Special Features:

The extras on the disc are great. With three featurettes, 3 music videos, a trivia section, a trailer and a still gallery, this release – complete with a 4-page booklet – is a treasure for fans of the movie.

  • "Memories of Bob Clark" – A tribute to the late Director
  • Grindhouse Q&A
  • Confessions of a Grave Digger – Interview with Ken Goch
  • Photo Gallery
  • "Dead Girls Don't Say No" – Music Video by The Deadthings
  • "Cemetery Mary" – Music Video by The Deadthings
  • A Tribute Video to CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS – by Freak 13
  • CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS Trivia
  • Alan Ormsby Bio
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

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