Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things: Zombie Life Lessons

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Sometimes you find inspiration in the weirdest places. Believe it or not, horror films have taught me several invaluable life hacks. ‘Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things’ is one of those cheesy cult movies, but if you look really close, it may just be better than ‘The Secret’ or ‘Dr. Phil’.

Bob Clarks’ ‘Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things’ – Courtesy of Geneni Film Distributors

Since Friday the 13th is fast approaching, I thought what better way to celebrate than to write my first 1428 Elm article on the cult film, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things. This 1972 horror-comedy classic was written and directed by Bob Clark. Yes, the same Bob Clark of Black Christmas, Porky’s, and A Christmas Story fame.

More from Horror Movies

This movie, for me, is the beginning of my love affair with the horror genre. I remember watching this film late at night as a young kid in Pennsylvania. At the time, this tale of the undead chilled me to the very core. In retrospect, after watching it today through the eyes of an adult (well, sort of), I was struck how this campy flick paved the way for The Evil Dead and the whole zombie explosion from Shaun of the Dead to the decidedly more serious, The Walking Dead.

For those of you who haven’t seen Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things, it’s the story of a young theater troupe who sails to an island predominantly renowned for being a cemetery for disturbed criminals. They decide to engage in some hi-jinx that result in the dead delinquents coming back to life. See where this plot is going? Of course, they find an abandoned house which just happened to belong to the caretaker of the graveyard. As the night progresses, things go from bad to worse and I’m not just talking about the acting.

Despite the overblown dialogue, the obvious plot devices, the groovy wardrobe and the bonkers makeup, this tongue-in-cheek zombie film has quite a bit to offer in the way of life lessons.  I would like to share those with you.

Abandoned Houses and Derelict Cabins Are Not Ideal Vacation Getaways

Despite the fact that you don’t have to pay anything to stay there, the accommodations are less than stellar. There’s always a rodent problem, an unexplained door leading to a cellar in the living room, and a lack of turn down service. Not to mention, there’s no mini bar. What you will get is plenty of scenery usually in the form of creepy trees and unexpected guests like the occasional zombie, demon, or demented serial killer. Remember it’s the atmosphere that counts!