Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Horror Watch #35: Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things -- Bob Clark*

This was an interesting viewing experience. I was never really sure where Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things was taking me until it took me there. That's a good thing, but it made the journey sort of confusing. The main character, Alan (who would fit in quite nicely in today's society, 40 years after the movie was made), is overly obnoxious and the only thing that keeps the viewer from checking out instantly is that we all know or know of someone much like him. The fact that everyone else hates him helps, too. Alan is leading a group of actors to an island for some Satanic ritual. Apparently, he pays them to do this. It's not clear what the acting part of the job is unless they all thought they were going out to a remote area to rehearse. The whole acting troupe/getting paid part is really confusing and exists only to give Alan some power over the rest of the crew.

Eventually, they collect a corpse from a graveyard and bring it back to the old resort building they're staying in. There's all sorts of strangeness that happens with this corpse including a fake wedding and Alan going to be with it (not in the biblical sense). Crazy stuff starts to happen with thirty minutes left in the run time, which if you watched the trailer, you already have a sense of. It's an unusual film but worth checking out. Bob Clark (Black Christmas, A Christmas Story, Porky's) directs and one wishes he'd had a more impressive career. His career peaked in 1983 and amongst his final movies before his death were two Baby Geniuses and The Karate Dog. He deserved better.

*I'm fascinated by the fact that his name is really "Benjamin" but he went by "Bob."

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