Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (1973)

children shouldn't play with dead things poster 1973 movie
5.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 3/10
Visuals: 6/10

A successful ultra-low budget film

Horrible acting and often too dark

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things

Studio:  Geneni Film Distributors

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  February 28, 1973

MPAA Rating:  PG


Can’t a dead body rest in peace?

Alan (Alan Ormsby) is a director with a cruel sense of humor.  Forcing his cast to travel with him to an island off the coast of Florida with threats of firing, the group digs up a corpse.  Alan decides the corpse named Orville Dunworth (Seth Sklarey) is going to be part of a ritual to resurrect the dead.  Unfortunately, the spell works and the corpses are walking the island seeking flesh.  Trapped in a small house on the abandoned island, the dead are hungry and the cast is the only prey.

Directed by Bob Clark, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (sometimes called Revenge of the Living Dead, Things from the Dead, and Zreaks) is an ultra-low budget zombie picture which helped launched the career of Clark who went on to direct the horror classic Black Christmas, the teen comedy Porky’s, and the Christmas classic A Christmas Story.  The small film has gained  cult following since its release.


Pass me some of that human flesh!

Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things wouldn’t be a bad film…but due to multiple reason…is quite poor in quality.  I like zombie films (especially from this period), but other than the fun title, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things probably can be missed.

The story of Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things is rather typical, but also has its moments.  It is a “they brought it on themselves” story, but oddly enough most of the people in the movie didn’t bring it on themselves, but are forced into the witchcraft by Alan who keep forcing  them into going along with him with the fear of being fired…As actors, I think that most would be used to being unemployed and as soon as that body was dug up, they would have quit…the motivation just isn’t there for them to even be involved.  The zombies and the attack on the house pretty much follows every film.


Gives new definition to blue-haired senior

The big problem with the movie is the acting…which is awful.  Alan Ormsby is horrible as the lead director (he wrote the script with Clark).  He’s supposed to be eccentric, but it just goes beyond being eccentric to bad acting.  The rest of the crew are forgettable as well, but Ormbsy is by far worse.  Orville Dunworth is ok as the corpse which mostly gets hauled around throughout the movie and finally ends the viewers’ suffering by getting Ormsby.

Visually the movie could have been good, but the movie is shot too dark and it is often hard to see what it is going on.  With such a cheap film, the quality of the movie is just not great and any innovative visuals are taken away by poor resolution.  The colors are all off throughout the movie.

Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things is an interesting low-budget oddity.  If you are a fan of Bob Clark’s later work, you should check out one of his first films.  If zombie movies are your thing, you’ll find better ones which are more original, but you do have to respect a grindhouse style movie that managed to make it as a cult classic.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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