By Raymond Knowby


Sometimes you can just tell from a title itself that a movie is going to be something truly special. Director Benjamin “Bob” Clark (BLACK CHRISTMAS, and later, amusingly, A CHRISTMAS STORY) unleashes a low budget midnight oddity that is pretty much a NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD clone in color, but done with love and certainly more than a bit of tongue-in-cheek.

Under the cover of darkness, a theater director (Alan Ormsby) and his students have trespassed on to an island cemetery to dig up a fresh corpse. With it, they hope to perform a satanic incantation, although unknown to all but their smarmy leader a practical joke has been set into motion. It’s just in the name of good fun, of course, being pretentious actors, but after the gag is sprung, they take things a step further and actually uncover “Orville”–a long deceased inhabitant. Following a mock wedding and auditioning tribunal with his remains, some frankly unexpected guests decide to show themselves to the party. The dead rise from their graves in gothic detail, and then corner the living inside an abandoned cabin, exacting slow revenge on their flesh for the perverse desecration.

Totally worth its weight in seventies polyester, search it out by all means and enjoy as an obscure treat. It’s grainier than an oat bag and limited on the gut pulling scenes expected of its namesake, but still manages to elicit some genuine unease in atmosphere alone. Ormsby (in a fantastically over-the-top performace that almost redefines obnoxiousness) also does the zombie make-up effects, which are amazing considering their age.

Orville attends his "coming out" party in CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS.