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1) US Titles - VCI - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) UK Title - VCI - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

(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  

 

Comparison:

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

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Anchor Bay - Region 2 - PAL - LEFT

2) VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Nucleus Films - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) VCI - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 2 - PAL

VCI Home Entertainment
Region 0 - NTSC
Nucleus Films
Region 2 - PAL
VCI
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:15:57 (4% PAL speedup) 1:26:27 1:23:00 (4% PAL speedup) 1:26:26.723
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

Disc Size: 40,670,024,294 bytes

Feature Size: 24,110,487,552 bytes

Total Bitrate:32.01 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray VC-1

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

 

Bitrate:

 

Blu-ray

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

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Commentary:

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles English HoH, none none English, 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

Release Information:
Studio: VCI

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Disc Size: 40,670,024,294 bytes

Feature Size: 24,110,487,552 bytes

Total Bitrate: 32.01 Mbps

Dual-layered Blu-ray VC-1

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary Track with Alan Ormsby, Jane Daly and Anya Cronin: accompanies the HD feature
• Bonus: Complete alternate “U.K.” version, with commentary by Alan Ormsby hosted by David Gregory, Severin Films (1:15:57)
• Memories of Bob Clark: A tribute to the late Director. (10:08)
• Grindhouse Q&A (11:27)
• Confessions of a Grave Digger: Interview with Ken Goch (9:08)
• Photo Gallery
• “Dead Girls Don’t Say No” Music video by The Deadthings (3:51)
• “Cemetery Mary” Music video by The Deadthings (3:54)
• Tribute Video (2:01)
• Original Theatrical Trailer (3:08)

• Radio Spots (4:25)
• Reversible Coverwrap with Optional Fan-Inspired 3rd Cover Art
• Liner Notes written by Mike Kenny, Mike’s Pop Culture Playhouse

 

Blu-ray Release Date: February 23rd, 2016
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 12

 

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were obtained directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: VCI - Region FREE - Blu-ray February 16': Firstly, VCI haven't done an MPEG2 transfer for 1080P! They have opted for a VC-1 (which is significantly better.) Unfortunately, this looks like an "upgrade" of the same print source which still seems inferior to the cut source Anchor Bay UK had to work with. Color balance looks more correct than the SDs - warmer and tighter. But the image is far from stellar but dual-layered with a high bitrate - probably as good as this particular source can look in HD with tighter visuals and grain textures visible.

Linear PCM (16-bit) audio exports effects reasonably well. The score by Carl Zittrer (Black Christmas, Blood Orgy of the She Devils, Porky's, Deranged, Dead of Night) is primitive but benefits from the lossless transfer. There are optional English subtitles (sample below) and the disc is region FREE.  

Many extras - including the commentary track with Alan Ormsby, Jane Daly and Anya Cronin that is found on all the digital releases compared - as are many of the supplements also found on the 2010 VCI DVD (Memories of Bob Clark, Confessions of a Grave Digger etc.). We do get a bonus: the complete alternate “U.K.” version (1 1/4 hour), with commentary by Alan Ormsby hosted by David Gregory of Severin Films. Unfortunately it looks quite poor - VC-1 but 480i (interlaced) at only 6 Gig of space and a 7 Mbps bitrate. There is a reversible coverwrap with optional Fan-Inspired 3rd cover art and some liner notes written by Mike Kenny of Mike’s Pop Culture Playhouse.

I'm encouraged the VCI have gone VC-1 (as opposed to MPEG2) which is a positive sign for their future releases - credit where credit is due. Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things is real grassroots horror and has some nostalgia in that area. The VCI is the best of the digital presentations. Those keen will be pleased with the upgrade over DVD, although, it is obviously far from a 'demo level' presentation.

***

ON THE DVDs (2012): 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)


 

 
   

 

VCI - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

 

1) Anchor Bay - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Nucleus Films - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) VCI - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Nucleus Films - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) VCI - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Nucleus Films - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) VCI - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Nucleus Films - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) VCI - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Nucleus Films - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) VCI - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Nucleus Films - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) VCI - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


1) Anchor Bay - Region 2 - PAL - TOP

2) VCI Home Entertainment (Exhumed Edition) - Region 0 - NTSC - SECOND

3) Nucleus Films - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) VCI - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Anchor Bay (although cut)/Nucleus (composite)

Sound:

Draw

Extras: Draw (different commentaries)
Menu: Nucleus

 
Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Distribution

Anchor Bay

Region 2 - PAL

VCI Home Entertainment
Region 0 - NTSC
Nucleus Films
Region 2 - PAL
VCI
Region FREE -
Blu-ray


 




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