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

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

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

📅23 March 2016, 20:06

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Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (1973) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Bob Clark
Starring: Alan Ormsby, Valerie Mamches, Jeff Gillen
Rated: PG/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from VCI Entertainment

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Led by a mean-spirited director, Alan (Alan Ormsby), a theater troupe travels by boat to a small island graveyard for buried criminals. Using a grimoire, Alan begins a séance to raise the dead. The group finds more than they bargained for when the dead return from their graves, forcing the troupe to take refuge in an old abandoned caretaker’s house. Can they stay put until daylight against the undead onslaught, or do they flee into the pitch black night? Will anyone survive?

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I want to say right out of the gate here that I found this to be a Blu-ray that as a total package is a sure sign of VCI stepping their horror Blu-ray game up. I feel they’ve been doing this for a while now, but the release of something as sought after by horror fans as this is a sign that they are willing to go that extra mile with a horror release. From the different covers to the clear case to the extras, this one is what you’d want to take notice of presentation and package wise. Now I’ve heard a few different things about audio and I will admit that I saw a few spots where the audio was slightly out of sync a bit, but I honestly didn’t feel it was out of sync enough to hurt anything. I know people will still complain about it and they will feel if they forked over money for something it should be in the best possible form, but I don’t think the audio sync hurts it THAT much. As far as I know they have yet to address this, but I don’t think they have plans to do anything and if not, I don’t think the sync issue is that big of an issue given the level of it. I also think the movie looks great or at least as great as a movie like this can look. I admit this isn’t a five-star transfer, but I do see detail and I think it captures the mood and look well and certainly better than the older DVD VCI put out did. If a movie was ever about atmosphere it was this classic zombie flick here. The film is also a comedy at heart as well and packs some rather humorous moments; these things all play a part into the slower build of the film. It is a slower build but a slow build that does lead to a very spooky and cool ending. Now we don’t get an all-out gore explosion, but what we do get is fitting and perfect for the time.

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This is the type of film that tricks you in its presentation. You might think based off how characters act that you will be able to guess who will be the first to die and who will be the last one standing. I am here to tell you that you will probably be wrong. That is called unpredictable and it is very welcome in horror films. And based off the time frame of this movie it makes it a bit of a trend setter for its time. If you are making a play-list of films for the Halloween season this would be a great one to add to the list. Again, I will stress the fact that this is a movie that does do a very slow build. Some may not be able to survive the slower portions of this, but this is a movie that I feel ends far better than it starts if you can just stick with it until the really cool stuff starts. You can see in places where a movie like this could have influenced many zombie movies that came out after it and that is something I will happily give credit to and acknowledge about this Bob Clark classic. Is it his best movie? Not even close, but it is a good movie and a moody movie. Sync issue or not, if you want to watch Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things, this is the version to see right now.

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Extras

– Liner Notes written by Mike Kenny, Mike’s Pop Culture Playhouse
– Reversable Coverwrap with Optional Fan-Inspired 3rd Cover Art
– Complete alternate “U.K.” version, with commentary by Alan Ormsby hosted by David Gregory, Severin Films
– Commentary with Alan Ormsby, Jane Daly, and Anya Cronin
– Memories of Bob Clark
– Grindhouse Q & A
– Confessions of a Grave Digger
– Photo Gallery
– Dead Girls Don’t Say No Music Video
– Cemetery Mary Music Video
– A Tribute Video to the movie
– Trivia
– Alan Ormsby Bio
– Trailer

Quality of Transfer: 83%

3brains

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