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Cult Fiction Underground: Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things

When: Oct. 12-13, 8 & 10 p.m. 2012

Before Pee Wee’s battle with Beulah Balbricker, before Ralphie’s dreams of a Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle, there was the arrogant leader of a theater company whose practical jokes with corpses went horribly, predictably, awry in the 1973 comedy-shocker Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things. Writer-director Bob Clark, credited here as Benjamin, is better known for Porky’s and A Christmas Story, but his turn at raising the dead is worth a look. The production is small — actor Alan Ormsby pulls triple duty as co-writer, makeup artist and leading man — but surprisingly effective. The story isn’t new, and the walking dead don’t have any special tricks up their moldy sleeves, but Clark’s trademark camp makes it a fun ride.

Stephen Trageser

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