Children of the Living Dead (2001)
By: Mr Intolerance on February 3, 2007  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
DVD
Force Entertainment (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 4:3. English DD 2.0. 86 minutes
The Movie
Credits
Director: Tor Ramsey
Starring: Tom Savini, Martin Schiff, Damien Luvara, Jamie McCoy, Sam Nicotero, Heidi Hinzman, Philip Bower, Tom Stoviak, A. Barrett Worland
Screenplay: Karen L. Wolf
Music: Alan Howarth
Tagline: They're Walking Again…
Year: USA
BAAAA-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! The best the cretins who brought this abomination unto the lord into existence could think of to entice the bewildered public into parting with their hard-earned loot: "From the Executive Producer of A Nightmare on Elm Street". Not the Executive Producer!! Wow!! This must be a sure fire hit!!

I'm starting this unabashed flame job by telling you the spoilers start here. After guest star and all-round god among mortal men Tom Savini's character dies about fifteen minutes in, this film loses any credibility, interest, or indeed entertainment factor. You may as well see if you can find the opening sequence on YouTube, because if you shell out for this disc, your next purchase will either be something to induce amnesia, or a hairshirt and something to flagellate yourself with as punishment for having subjected yourself to one of the most worthless films of any genre ever. Yes, it's that bad.

We start fifteen years in the past with an obvious reference to Night of the Living Dead - a sort of "sweep and clear" operation being conducted against the zombies. Some children are being held captive by Abbott Hayes, a child murderer with a mother fixation. Hayes is killed and lurks in his house as a zombie for a number of years, while the children become the kind of late teen/early twenties numbskulls we've seen in US horror films since time immemorial.

Later, the now grown-up kids are on their way to a concert, and while passing Abbott Hayes' house, and indeed Abbott Hayes himself, manage to drive off a cliff and die. Before aspiring graverobbers can do much to their miraculously intact corpses, wouldn't you know it? Our boy Hayes brings 'em back to life.

I'm boring myself re-telling this.

At the same time, we have nice girl Laurie, and all-American boy Matthew falling for each other, and Matthew's father is building a car lot over the Hayes place and the attached graveyard – but he's just digging up the bodies and dumping them, not re-interring them as he promised, thus making it easier for Abbott Hayes to control them and send them after the living. Blah, blah, blah – inevitable zombie siege, and everything works out for the nice kids.

Yawn.

What have we got here? John Russo, one of the producers of this fetid pile of turds, yet again trying to milk the Night of the Living Dead cash-cow without giving us anything decent in return. He must really hate fans of that movie because he so regularly insults their intelligence by foisting worthless bilge like this on them. Have you read that comic he had out recently, Escape of the Living Dead (fuckin' title didn't make any sense to begin with…)? I wanted to dig out my eyes with rusty hooks after issue one. If you ever had it Russo, you lost it a long time ago.

Why am I attacking this film with such malice? Because it's sloppy film-making, it makes absolutely no sense (why does Abbott Hayes retain some kind of intelligence, while no other zombie is anything more than an appetite on legs), it's poorly written (my favourite line being: "Let's be careful out there or we'll be joining the ranks of the walking dead!"), the acting (Savini aside, and he's not great) is execrable, the special effects are certainly nothing to write home about, it makes itself out via the title and the opening sequence to be some kind of alternate sequel to Night of the Living Dead (you bastards – how dare you), and it's an all-round insult to the intelligence. I don't think that anyone who actually liked horror could have been in charge of this shambles – no one who was a horror fan at heart could possibly have unleashed this on their own kind.

This film is even hated by its director! No seriously! Check out this link to read his APOLOGY (!!!) for being ultimately responsible for it being oozed at the public. Y'know, when you read his e-mail, you actually feel sorry for the guy, as the control of the film slipped out of his grasp. I admire the fact that he actually did that, I gotta say. It takes a big man to be able to square his shoulders and take responsibility for such a heinous load of bollocks.
Video
The full frame transfer is unbelievably poor. Looks like the whole damn thing was shot on a cam-corder. The editor and the director of photography must have been, retarded, drunk or blind. Or possibly a combination of all three.
Audio
Execrable. Apparently when the writer/producer Karen Wolf saw director Tor Ramsey's cut of the film (apparently he'd cut a lot of dialogue, and she was adamant that the script was not to be changed), she fired everybody, hired a new editor, got all the actors back in, recut the film and dubbed in the dialogue. Which, by the way, quite often is laughably obvious.
Extra Features
Are you for real?
The Verdict
Only watch this film if: you don't like zombie films and want to remind yourself why; you're trying to find that one last reason to want to kill yourself instantly; you suffer from amnesia like the guy in Memento; or you are a total zombie completist and can't think what life would be like if you bypassed a film with the words "the Living Dead" in the title. Don't watch it, as I did, out of curiosity to see just how bad this is the way you would with AstroZombies, Robot Monster or Plan 9 From Outer Space. Spend your money on booze and cigarettes instead – do something you'll enjoy, because I promise you, there's no way you're getting any enjoyment out of this.
Movie Score
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