Hollywood Gothique
LA Cinema Gothique

Children Shouldn’t Remake Dead Things

Forgive the title of this post – I couldn’t resist, even though it doesn’t completely reflect my opinion over the news that director Bob Clark is planning to shoot a remake to his 1970s cult movie CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS.

The news comes courtesy of an interview posted in the forum at CheesyMovieNight.Com. Clark’s more well-known horror-thriller BLACK CHRISTMAS is already being remade at Dimension Films, with Clark given the more or less honorary title of “executive producer.”

Since remakes of ’70s horror films seem to be almost automatic go-projects in Hollywood, Clark has taken it upon himself to mount remakes of his other horror titles from that era, which also include DEATHDREAM (about a guy who dies in Vietnam but comes back home anyway, because his mother prays for his return, with disastrous results). That remake was optioned by Eli Roth (HOSTEL), who was supposed to direct until his schedule bacame too busy. Instead, Roth’s partner Oliver Hudson will sit in the director’s chair.

Clark also has some non-horror remakes under consideration (he gave up the genre to make other kinds of films, including the successful PORKY’S series and the awful BABY GENIUSES movies). But CHILDREN seems closest to happening, and it might just be interesting to see what Clark can do with the project all these years later.

The original was a low-budget black-comedy spin on NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, about a troop of stage actors under the dictatorial rule of their leader (played by Alan Ormsby, who also wrote the script). Under this direction, they desecreate a burial ground, read some kind of resurrection text, and suffer the consequences when the dead rise.

Clark says the new version witll be about movie actors rather than stage actors, and it will be much bigger in scope.

“There are three battle grounds in the movie, since there are about 40 or 50 people on the island, instead of just 6 as in the original. The ghouls win, with one exception…the ‘Alan Ormsby’ character turns into a ghoul with no head; he gets his head chopped off. In the end the ghouls capture a Cost Guard submarine or a ship…”
Unfortunately, some of his comedic ideas sound dangerously close to lame.

“It’s going to have the same atmosphereic tone. It’s going to be NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD meets MONTY PYTHON… The humor will evolve in the movie. The zombies rap; they get a hold of TV’s; they start talking to each other…in strange ways, but they do talk.”
Zombie rap? Maybe Clark shouldn’t remake DEAD THINGS after all.