Kids Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things Is A Seminal Zombie Movie – GameSpot

Director Bob Clarkbest known to horror fans today as the creator of the 1974 proto-slasher black christmasfirst turned his hand to the genre two years earlier with the micro-budget, Florida-lens clash Children should not play with dead things (released today in a 50th Anniversary 4K UHD from VCI Entertainment filled with extras). Four years prior, the Pittsburgh-based filmmaker George Romero introduced the world to the notion of cannibalistic ghouls with his equally ground-breaking, low-budget 1968 horror classic night of the living dead, ushering in the era of a new iconic movie monster. However, it wasn’t until 1972 that this pop-cultural bombshell really started to reverberate, when Clark, along with a small group of willing accomplices, directed the first subsequent film production to capitalize on Romero’s vision of the flesh-eating walking dead. . Co-writing the script with the main actor / make-up artist of his photo Alan Ormsbydirector Clark didn’t just shoot an old retread of Romero’s film. Children should not play with dead things would take this newly aggressive zombie model in a decidedly different direction, inspired by both the past and the present, and create a lasting impact all its own.

Differences between “Night of the Living Dead” and “Children shouldn’t play with dead things”

In night of the living dead, the only proposed cause for the sudden plague of ghouls is a vague discussion by government officials of a mysteriously irradiated “Venus space probe” recently destroyed while returning to Earth. This brief scientific explanation – notably absent from Romero’s later zombie movies, which treat the undead as an apocalyptic fact of life – fits comfortably into the 1960s atom-age and cold war space race. He describes the resurrection of the dead as a random accident, and the characters in the film deal with this new reality just as people deal with any natural disaster. The bizarre developments are realistically covered by the media in the narrative as an ongoing national tragedy. The film’s audience can overlay their own subtextual interpretation of the situation, Romero’s characters representing a dysfunctional American society may be overdue for such a cosmic retreat, but the film’s human survivors did not directly provoke the means. of their own destruction. The era-specific radiation threat somehow works with Romero’s monochromatic newsreel documentary style and lends itself to the sociopolitical undercurrent running through the film.

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When Clark and Ormsby decided a few years later to adapt Romero’s basic premise of flesh-eating zombies besieging a small group of bickering survivors, while making this reasonably untouched out-of-the-box setup their own, they wisely chose a different thematic and stylistic approach. Their take on the material was rooted in pure horror and loaded with their own dark sense of humor. Devoid of Romero’s science fiction leanings, it was more reminiscent in plot and aesthetic of another 20th century pop culture giant, the EC comics of the 1950s. Guillaume GainesThe EC Company (originally “Educational Comics”, later “Entertaining Comics”) produced several grim horror comics in the first half of the 1950s, with now legendary titles like Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror and The Lair of Fear. In these 10-cent publications, America’s innocent youth could gaze upon stories of terror far more graphic than anything else on the movie screens of the time. Though nightmare-inducing, however, these periodicals regularly featured a moral twist at the end of each story, in which the wrongdoers, or even the merely obnoxious, faced poetically gruesome ends. A recurring storyline in EC’s horror threads also turned out to be dead things rising from their graves, often in a much more decomposed and skeletal state than Night of the Living Dead pale but sturdy zombie extras. While the gruesome but scrupulous storytelling tendencies of the decades-old EC comics seem to have had a clear influence on their film’s storyline and visual design, Clark and Ormsby still weren’t done throwing in new sources of horror. in the mix.

Clark and Ormsby go into witchcraft

Throughout the 1960s, countercultural youth interest in any alternative to the social conventions of their parents’ generation had resulted in an exploration of esoteric religions, mysticism, and non-Western philosophies. By the end of the decade, this movement had reached its inevitable extreme, a sudden cultural fascination with the darker side of spirituality: black magic, Satanism and witchcraft. Other than a small handful of earlier films that had touched on the occult, this rich vein of horror raw material had yet to be fully exploited in a modern context. Amid the ripples of public fear stoked by the ritual murders of the Manson family in 1969, the idea of ​​an underground hippie cult practicing satanic sacrificial rites was ripe for choice by these young independent filmmakers. As they charted the direction of their script and movie, Clark and Ormsby were ready to include anything troubling, present or past, that might help their meager output stand out.

When Children should not play with dead things finally rolled out to theaters and drive-ins in 1972, while it featured a version of Romero’s newly minted nightmare of cannibalistic zombies, it was unlike anything seen on movie screens before. A small company of performing artists, sporting all the fashionable indiscretions of the time and led by their insufferably obnoxious and verbally abusive director Alan (co-writer/makeup effects designer Alan Ormsby), arrive by boat on an island isolated from the cemetery. There they happily conduct, from the pages of an ancient grimoire, a satanic midnight ritual, with the intention of calling the dead, and in the process they desecrate several graves. Alan continues to belittle and further defile an exhumed corpse, which is taken back to a nearby dilapidated shack. At the film’s climax, when the distraught ensemble realizes too late that their flippant attempt at necromancy has in fact succeeded, there appears one of the first extended sequences in cinema of a graveyard full of rotting corpses which, in the style of the great EC comics, slowly claw their way to the surface. A seat on the shack is a page straight out of Romero’s playbook, but these ghouls aren’t just random stupid hungry shamblers; this mob of supernatural and satanic zombies wants revenge against these specific individuals. It lends an unsettling sense of doom to the final sequence, a dark inevitability of sacred or unsacred justice rendered from beyond the grave.

Clark’s singular twist on the idea of ​​Romero, with his more putrefied flesh-eaters driven by supernatural evil, in a relentless hunt for the living who knowingly or unknowingly disturbed their eternal rest, influenced his own subgenre. cinematic of the living dead. A number of later Italian productions in particular seem to have been inspired to take up Clark’s approach. Lucius Fulcithe 1979 classic, Zombies 2, while it is apparently a sequel to Romero’s dawn of the dead (1978), Features more decomposed zombies, brought to life by explicitly supernatural means and bent on revenge. by Fulci city ​​of the living dead (1980) features walking and rotting corpses brought to life by diabolical and satanic forces, much like Andrea Bianchithe 1981 exercise to push the boundaries of bad taste, Graveyard, along with yet another relentless mob of vengeful undead. by Sam Raimi 1981 classic evil death, as well as its sequels, contain elements that are not dissimilar in style from the aspects of Children should not play with dead things. Clark’s film resonates even beyond horror cinema in animated television comedy, with a 1992 Halloween episode of The simpsons featuring a zombie outbreak caused by an ancient black magic spellbook. While Romero’s 1968 film is rightly credited with bringing the flesh-eating undead archetype to cinema, the film’s direct influence is felt in the many subsequent zombie movies that incorporated scientific causality. : uncontained radiation, endemic virus, chemical spill. Although they regularly include gruesome and gory scenes, these movies, at their core, can be more accurately classified as sci-fi/horror. Children should not play with dead things was the ancestor of its own line of cinematic descendants, a subgenre of pure horror films, filled with evil, rotting undead stimulated by sinister, supernatural forces and obsessed with devouring the living. At the time of Clark’s death in 2007 in a tragic car accident, he was working to revisit his early horror roots with a Children should not… remake/sequel, so it clearly felt there was life left in the premise. Clark’s groovy and macabre little zombie flick certainly isn’t as well-known or celebrated as Romero’s iconic classic, but nearly every horror fan knows at least some of its cutscenes. children.

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Kids Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things Is A Seminal Zombie Movie – GameSpot

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