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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Revenge of the Living Dead" or "Things from the Dead")

 

directed by Bob Clark
USA 1973

 

A low-rent Florida theatrical troupe lead by Alan (Alan Ormsby, who also designed the "dead things") travel to a small cemetery island to raise the dead. They dig up Orville Dunworth (Seth Sklarey), but Alan's hammy necromancing ritual is a dud; so he and the others take Orville back to the island's cottage for some fun. Too late do they realize that the ritual was a success when the dead rise from their graves to feast on living flesh and the group barricade themselves NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD-style against the not-so-recently-dead ghouls. A color version of the filmmakers' remembrance of the Romero film (with a bit of intentional and a lot of unintentional camp) seems to have been the intent, and the film does precede both Romero's DAWN OF THE DEAD as well as the Spanish/Italian THE LIVING DEAD AT MANCHESTER MORGUE (not to mention Lucio Fulci's ZOMBIE). In spite of (or because of) its low budget charms, CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS has become a cult item of a different order from the aforementioned zombie classics. Performances are not objectively unfocused (and possibly misguided) with Ormsby and his then-wife Anya (particularly memorable) applying their craft to interpreting over-the-top characters (Valerie Mamches provides the right degree of camp). Although there are plenty of laughs to be had, the film also has its share of atmospheric and creepy moments; yet it doesn't quite live up to its memorable title (or its poster art - also created by Ormsby).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 28 February 1973 (USA)

Reviews        More Reviews            DVD Reviews  

DVD Comparison:

Anchor Bay - Region 2 - PAL vs. VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Nucleus Films - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the Screen Caps!

(Anchor Bay - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Nucleus Films - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)

DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 2 - PAL

VCI Home Entertainment
Region 0 - NTSC
Nucleus Films
Region 2 - PAL
Runtime 1:15:57 (4% PAL speedup) 1:26:27 1:23:00 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

1.87:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.99 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.75:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.69 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.79:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.25 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Anchor Bay

 

Bitrate:

 

VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition)

 

Bitrate:

 

Nucleus Films

 

Audio English DTS 5.1; English Dolby Digital 5.1; English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

Subtitles English HoH, none none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.87:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with actor Alan Ormsby, moderated by David Gregory
• EASTER EGG: Interview with Alan Ormsby (4:3; 18:38)
• Stills Gallery
• Biographies
• Film Notes

DVD Release Date: 22 August 2005
Amaray

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio: VCI Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.75:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with Alan Ormsby, Jane Daly, and Anya Cronin, moderated by David Gregory
• Memories of Bob Clark (4:3; 10:05)
• Grindhouse Q&A with Bob Clark (16:9; 11:39)
• Confessions of a Gravedigger (16:9; 9:11)
• Photo Gallery
• Dead Girls Don't Say No music video (4:3; 3:51)
• Cemetery Mary music video (4:3; 4:20)
• A Tribute Video to CSPWDT (4:3; 1:57)
• Alan Ormsby Biography
• Trivia
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 3:07)
• Easter Egg (4:3; 0:08)
• Start-up Trailers for DON'T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT, DON'T OPEN THE DOOR, and THE STITCHER

 

DVD Release Date: 8 May 2010
Amaray

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Nucleus Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.79:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with Alan Ormsby, Jane Daly, and Anya Cronin, moderated by David Gregory
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:58)
• Still Gallery
• Start-up trailer for VIDEO NASTIES: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE

• Liner Notes Booklet by Julian Grainger
 

DVD Release Date: 21 May 2012
Amaray

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Nucleus' progressive, anamorphic edition (on a dual-layer double bill with DEAD OF NIGHT/DEATHDREAM) proves to be a composite of the cut Anchor Bay master and the current uncut master (also used on the Exhumed Edition). As such, Nucleus' compromised version is the best version of the three in terms of picture quality (the colors certainly are not as hot as they are on VCI's interlaced presentation); and the switch in quality provides an index to what was missing from the Anchor Bay version. VCI have expressed an interest in doing a Blu-ray edition, but they are in the very preliminary planning stages and have not yet located the original negative (and a different print source is definitely needed for an HD remaster if their current print is all the licensor can provide). The DTS and 5.1 options on the Anchor Bay disc are occasionally effective, but they mainly spread out some of the louder sounds to the rear channels (like the opening scare) and seems to be more of an upmix than a remix. The UK discs both offer optional English subtitles.

Extras-wise, the Exhumed Edition is stacked; however, I found the commentary track to be the most entertaining extra, and that is included on the Nucleus disc as well (the Anchor Bay disc features a solo track by Ormsby, also moderated by David Gregory, that is also worth a listen). The Ormsby interview on the Anchor Bay disc is an Easter Egg, and is such because of the poor recording conditions.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


DVD Menus
(
Anchor Bay - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT vs. VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Nucleus Films - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 
   

 


 

Screen Captures

(Anchor Bay - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Nucleus Films - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Anchor Bay - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Nucleus Films - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Anchor Bay - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Nucleus Films - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Anchor Bay - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Nucleus Films - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Anchor Bay - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Nucleus Films - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Anchor Bay - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Nucleus Films - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 


(Anchor Bay - Region 2 - PAL - TOP vs. VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - MIDDLE vs. Nucleus Films - Region 2 - PAL - BOTTOM)

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Anchor Bay (although cut)/Nucleus (composite)

Sound:

Draw

Extras: Draw (different commentaries)
Menu: Nucleus

 
DVD Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 2 - PAL

VCI Home Entertainment
Region 0 - NTSC
Nucleus Films
Region 2 - PAL


 




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