CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS (1972, d: Bob Clark)
In one of the darker, danker recesses of the now-distant past, there lies a small island whose only occupants can’t decide on which side of eternity they belong.
And here comes a pseudo-groovy theatre troupe, rowing in boats, grotesquely posturing and deriding their grim whereabouts. A cemetery is no place to play. Death will not be mocked.
And so we witness Alan (Alan Ormsby), their leader—a slithery, loathsome, imperious fiend bent on defiling everything sacred—gleefully ham it up while conducting a mock-séance to raise the dead. Give a man a warlock’s robe and it goes straight to his head every time.
|Alan Ormsby, Esq.|
But be ever-careful what you wish for, dear boy. Alas, Alan is so obnoxious he even manages to offend the people buried in the ground, who have little to no business taking offense to anything.
The cemetery is rumored to be stocked to the gills with perverts, maniacs and murderers, so Alan’s randy assemblage of actor-y ne’er-do-wells will feel right at home.
“It takes an artist to deal with the devil, not an insurance man with delusions of grandeur!” - Val (Valerie Mamches)
And though it takes many mouthfuls of stilted dialogue and operatic delivery to rile the pasty residents of this chilly, lonesome isle, I won't further excoriate this masterpiece of no-budget horror humdingery with details of its inherent short-comings...let us skip ahead to the part that gave me nightmares when I saw this on TV at the age of 5 or 6.
And so our beleaguered band of talky, maladroit misfits head to a cabin next to the cemetery to pontificate the meaning of life—or to at least figure out what the hell Alan is talking about.
|"Look, we may not be poets, but we still have a right to know what's going on here."|