Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (50th Anniversary 4K Edition Review)

Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things (50th Anniversary 4K Edition Review)

If you are a dedicated fan of the Horror genre, sometimes you go digging deep to find a hidden gem that time might have forgotten. You were either the type of person who loved to browse the Horror section at your local video store looking for some eye-popping art to catch your eye, or scanning for a title that sounded so good, you just had to check it out! Then the age of the internet was born and as the decades have passed, we have changed how we treasure hunt for films.

Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things movie still

In the year 2022 this hunt can sometimes seem overwhelming and near impossible with the over-saturation of content at our fingertips. Over-stimulated yet under-inspired, fortunately, there are companies like VCI Entertainment who understand the struggle and do a fine job of digging up films lost somewhere in time to bring them to you in good old fashioned physical format. Doing just that, on October 25th VCI Entertainment (in conjunction with MVD Entertainment Group) delivered Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things.

 

A title so compelling that even a novice’s curiosity might be struck, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things certainly falls under the category of ‘Obscure Horror flick.’ Initially released in 1972, the film has a few interesting footnotes worth mentioning. First and foremost, it is a very early piece of work from late Filmmaker Bob Clark; the same guy who directed such classics titles as 1974’s Black Christmas, 1981’s Porky’s, and 1983’s A Christmas Story. Second, it was shot in just two weeks on a minuscule budget of $50,000. Lastly, it was released post Night of the Living Dead (1968), but before Dawn of the Dead (1978) or the many other zombie themed films that followed. All these factors in mind, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things has an abundance of history behind it and beckons you to give it some attention.

Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things movie still

Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things’ newest release receives the royal treatment… and rightfully so. Released in three formats – a 50th Anniversary DVD, Blu-ray, or 4K UHD Collector’s Edition – if you have the means, it is recommended you invest in the latter. Most importantly, the 4K UHD Collector’s Edition offers a new 4K-UHD Restoration from the 35mm archival print of Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things; and this is the most enticing aspect, because anyone who has ever seen other transfers of this film on other home video formats know it is so poorly lit and gritty as hell. Which leads us to the big question – can a 4K restoration even help a super low budget film that is over 50 years old and filmed in the dead of night with less-than-ideal lighting? The answer is yes. Now, do not expect the film to magically be bright, colorful and ultra-crisp, because technology can only do so much. However, what you can expect is certainly more clarity than has ever been seen before with this film and that in itself is pretty exciting.

Other aspects of the Collector’s Edition worth mentioning is that it is a 3-disc set which includes a 4K UltraHD disc, Blu-ray disc, and a special features disc. For the special features you get a 90-minute video documentary taking a closer look at Bob Clark’s filmmaking, a new interview with film star Alan Ormsby (the same guy who wrote such screenplays as 1982’s Cat People), as well as in interview with Clark’s longtime Assistant Director Ken Goch, among other content. Additionally, you get a really nice liner notes booklet giving you some history about Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things.

Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things movie still

All in all, this is the ultimate and most complete release of Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things to date. The packaging is solid, the features are thoughtful, and the transfer cleans up the film’s presentation quite well. And if you are someone who has never seen this film, yet were drawn in by the title alone, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things is best described as a morbidly humorous and quirky movie that possesses some of the more eerie and atmospheric imagery ever caught on film within the Horror genre. A weird, fun Horror film well worth dusting off, Cryptic Rock gives Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things: 50th Anniversary 4K UHD Collector’s Edition 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things 4K Ultra HD Artwork/ VCI Entertainment

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