director Bob Clark
I can just hear my gran now, rasping hoarsely, “Children shouldn’t play with dead things…” and all the time, I’m wondering, “Where does she get this crazy stuff?”
In this case, maybe she got it from Bob Clark, the possibly too obscure to be the legend that he really is director of such a broad spectrum of films as Black Christmas (1974), Porky’s (1982), the ubiquitous A Christmas Story (1983), and Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004). His 1972 somewhat comic horror film, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things, is an enjoyable oddity, odd most because of its hard to pinpoint tone, which probably allowed this film to register as PG despite its moderate darkness.
An acting troupe, led by Alan (star and co-writer Alan Ormsby), romps out onto a cemetery island off the coast of Miami, to enact a mock black mass, dig up corpses, and desecrate the scene literally and theatrically. His entourage is a mixture of willing kooks and compelled companions who want to keep their jobs. It turns out that Alan and his “grimoire,” his book of dark magic, are a little more talented than they seem to be. By the end of the film, the zombies have arisen and revenge for indignities is doled out in spades.
This colorful, low-budget affair is relatively well-shot, decently written, and well-played by the cast of semi-professional actors and friends of Clark’s that he drummed up for the flick. Some of the zombies are made up better than others, but I enjoyed the effects of their rising from the graves, simple but evocative.