Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things (also known as Revenge of the Living Dead, Things From the Dead, and Zreaks) is a 1972 comedic horror film directed by Bob Clark. It later became a cult classic. This low-budget zombie film is the third film of director Bob Clark, who later became famous for directing the films Black Christmas, A Christmas Story, and Porky's. The film was shot in 14 days on a budget of $50,000. Clark employed some of his college friends on it.
The story focuses on a theatre troupe, led by Alan (Alan Ormsby). He is a mean-spirited director, who travels with the others by boat to a small island that is mainly used as a cemetery for deranged criminals, to have a night of fun and games. Once on the island Alan tells his group, which he refers to as his "children"— numerous stories relating to the island's history and buried inhabitants. he leads them to a cottage where they are supposed to spend the night. He then opens a chest they had brought with them, puts on a mystical robe and says that they are to prepare for the summation at midnight. Alan takes sheer delight in torturing his cast with threats of firing them if they do not do as he pleases which always makes them go along with his plan. At midnight using a grimoire, Alan begins a séance to raise the dead after digging up the body of a man named Orville Dunworth (Seth Sklarey). Though the original intent of the ritual may have been solely as a joke, Alan appears disappointed that nothing happens.
Afterwards the party continues and Alan goes to extremes to degrade the actors, using the corpse of Orville for his own sick jokes. Then, however, animated by the fell ritual, the dead return to life and force the troupe to take refuge in the old house. Unfortunately for the group, the dead get their revenge, and in the movie's closing credits we see the group of corpses boarding Alan's boat with the lights of Miami in the background.Alan Ormsby as Alan
Valerie Mamches as Val
Jeff Gillen as Jeff
Anya Ormsby as Anya
Paul Cronin as Paul
Jane Daly as Terry
Roy Engleman as Roy
Robert Philip as Emerson
Bruce Solomon as Winns
Alecs Baird as Caretaker
Seth Sklarey as Orville Dunworth
Encyclopedia of Horror concludes that given the budget and the number of personnel involved, the special effects by Alan Ormsby are "surprisingly effective".
As of January 2015 the film holds a score of 45% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 11 reviews, with an average rating of 5.2/10.
Although previously available on VHS, a 35th anniversary special edition DVD was released in 2007 by VCI Entertainment. It features the uncut version of the film, a photo gallery, and a cast commentary. The same content was briefly made available on VHS through Anchor Bay Entertainment.
In November 2010, Gravesend Film Enterprises confirmed they would produce a remake, set to begin filming in Spring 2011 although this never came to pass.