Children of the Living Dead
Starring: Tom Savini, Martin Schiff, Damien Luvara, Jamie McCoy, A. Barrett Worland Directed By: Tor A. Ramsey
The Story: What a week I'm having. First, I find out that some of my paperwork from my last unit is missing. Fine, we took care of that but it was a pain in the ass. Then I get lost driving a new recruit to his reserve unit in North Jersey. Then finally I get a break in the guise of the Xmas holidays. And find out that somehow the installation disc for my printer is [unwrite]ed up so I have to search the internet for downloadable drivers. Then I find that my scanner is kaput, mostly due to the fact that its software is incompatible with my new machine....so I have to get a NEW scanner. Then I get a virus warning....one that says "If you're seeing this message your system is already infected." Great. I'm sure glad the McAfee software installed on this thing gave me a warning after the freaking fact. To warm up that [unwrite] on toast news, McAfee actually wants to charge my credit card to be able to download their virus cleanup software. [unwrite] McAfee. I went to the PX and just bought Norton antivirus. Why have anti virus software pre installed if it ain't gonna do sh*t? But to really screw up my day off I watched this movie. I'd have rather paid McAfee.
The movie starts with a scene reminiscent of the end of the newer version of Night of the Living Dead. We see people gunning down zombies in droves. Ex-cop now turned survivalist Hughes (Tom Savini!) is single-handedly blasting zombies by the Hayes place, an old abandoned farm. Hughes is soon joined by his chubby ex partner, Sheriff Randolph. Randolph is next to useless. He's not to keen on fighting the zombies, even though from what we see they are easy to kill if you have a gun. Well, easy except for the part that the movie allows them to instantly appear next to you even though there's no freaking way they could have snuck up on the victim. Must be what Jabootu fans call the Vorhees Unreality Engine.
A field trip from some school has gone missing and the teacher is found dead. Hughes and Randolph find the children locked up in the old Hayes barn. After freeing them, Hughes goes into the loft alone to search for Zombies. The zombies up there use the VUE to sneak up on him. Hughes manages to kill them all except one...the zombie Abbott Hayes. He kills Hughes, but Randolph and the kids make it to safety.
Hayes is supposed to be a serial killer that was caught by Hughes and Randolph years ago and murdered in prison. His presence here and in the rest of the movie is largely unexplained. But 14 years later his legend remains. People stay away from the old Hayes place saying that Abbott Hayes still walks. Steve, who can be called the movies official Big Dumb Jerk, and some of his buddies are going to a concert but stop by the old Hayes farm in order to...well, I don't know, scare their dates. But they leave intact until Abbott Hayes appears in the road causing Steve to crash his van off of a cliff. (The cliff also magically appears by the power of bad editing.) The occupants are killed, leaving Laurie....sister of Candy, one of the crash victims, to mourn her.
Laurie was also one of the kids that was trapped in the barn by Hayes 14 years ago. Meanwhile, a businessman named Joseph Michaels has sent his son, Matthew, and a construction team to the Hayes place. Michaels is planning on opening up a new car dealership there. In order to trim the cost he's moving bodies from a nearby cemetery to a mass grave instead of having them re-interred as they were supposed to be. Matthew Michaels finds out about this but this plot point is really no plot point. Nothing comes of it. As a matter of fact there are a lot of things in the movie that add up to squat in the long run. When Matthew asks Laurie what is the local legend is behind Abbott Hayes you'd expect some sort of mumbo-jumbo reason on how he became an undead creature, but there's no reason for it. He just is. Basically the zombie Hayes makes more zombies out of the teens killed in the crash and a few other folks and they begin a pointless rampage. The sheriff rallies Matthew's construction workers to fight them. If the movie was put together better the final action scenes of people fighting zombies might have been cool. As it is, its just a signal for relief from the viewer. You know the flick is almost over when the fight to the finish begins.
I mean, how surprised are we to find out that Matthew Michaels is going to be dating Laurie? Her character doesn't do jack sh*t but scream and maybe shoot a zombie or two. How shocked are we to see that Randolph dies? He was a wuss at the beginning of the movie and by movie logic he must die. Matthew who is nominally the main character doesn't do anything. I'm not sure this movie HAD a main character. Nothing in it makes a lot of sense, even for a zombie movie. Hayes seems to be more intelligent than the other zombies. Why? No answer given. No one in the movie even acts like the living dead is a shock. They're all like "Oh f***...its the living dead! Well, better go kill 'em.". much like a person would react to, say, a bunch of rabbits eating their vegetable garden. Dude, if a dead guy came walking down my street I think I'd have a stronger reaction.
Supposedly this movie is a sequel to the living dead movies, but as such its weak. Really weak. Don't even bother renting it. Almost any zombie movie will give you more of a bang for your buck than this will. This movie is simply Dead On Arrival.
Best Lines: “I saw these things, Laurie, and I swear they're the walking dead!” - Matthew freaks out after seeing the living dead.
“Lets be careful out there. Don't join the ranks of the living dead.” - Sheriff Randolph gives a pep talk to the assembled zombie killers. He must have been a Hill Street Blues fan.
Are you kidding me?
1.) Nothing in this movie makes any sense. If this a sequel to the other living dead movies they could have at least explained some things. If I recall correctly, in the previous living dead flicks the world was being overwhelmed by the brain eating corpse. But in this movie, one of the characters, Steve says "The dead don't walk!" implying that the zombie uprising didn't happen. Why would he say that if it had? And even if that's the case, 14 years earlier at the start of the film we see posse's of people gunning down the walking corpses. Hey, call me crazy, but if the dead started walking in my town 14 years ago I'd think the memory of that day would be burned into my mind.
2.) If Hughes is such a bad ass at killing the zombies I wonder how he lets them sneak up on him at least twice. Hell, I don't think these zombies could really sneak up on anyone. They move really slowly and Hughes has a clear line of sight both times they manage to get the jump on him. first of Hughes seems to have a problem keeping his guns loaded. You'd think he'd have a speed loader or an extra clip, but noooo....twice we see him fumbling around for bullets when the undead are upon him. (The 2nd time gets him killed) I'm no brave zombie killer, but if I were and I carried at least three pistols like Hughes, I'd always keep one fully loaded for reserve and I'd reload the first one before firing the second if time permitted. Not this bozo. Why do you think you see soldiers with two magazines taped together for an M16? Because when you need to fire you don't have time to say "hold on a sec....gotta get some more rounds!" to your enemy.
3.) My buddy Scott has wrecked more cars than anyone I know. The guy is lucky to be alive ten times over. I thought he was perhaps the worst driver on the [unwrite]ing planet. I stand corrected. Steve is! This guy is doing about 30 to 40 miles per hour yet he managed to not be able control his van enough when the zombie Abbott Hayes appears in the road to not only crash, but drive off a cliff that presumably must be miles away from the road!
4.) Why are the bodies of the teenagers not buried? We see the coffins at the grave site at night AFTER the funeral and burial ceremonies above ground! What the f***!? Dialogue informs us that there've been problems with grave robbers etc at the cemetery in the past yet they leave the coffins unattended outside at night!?
5.) After the zombies attack Matthew he rushes to see Laurie. He tries to call her on his mobile phone en route and we see Laurie combing her hair and stuff while the phone rings. So, I guess Laurie doesn't answer her phone on a regular basis. But stranger still, when the zombies first attack Matthew he says "zombies?!" when he sees them, but when Laurie explains what they are (and hell if I know how she knows) he acts like he's never heard of zombies before!
Nudity and Sex: None.
When Randolph and Hughes free the children from the barn you'd think their first priority would be to get the kids to safety....as far away from that barn as possible. Nope. Randolph leaves them right outside the barn and goes back in looking for Hughes who was stupid enough to go into the loft by himself.
Speaking of these kids....they're pretty much calm for being locked into a barn by a zombie guy. No crying, no screaming, no hysterics. I know people in the country are laid back and all, but lets be for real. If a normal dude captured some kids and locked them in a barn they'd be screaming like cats on a hot tin roof....if a zombie did that I think those kids would be shattering windows all over the state with their wailing!
Is this movie trying to tell us that desecrating graves is wrong? Thanks, but I knew that.
When Matthew suggests calling 911 because of the zombie attack, the sheriff replies that he is 911. He's the only cop in town? Isn't there at least a few deputies to come to their aid? And even if there ain't why not just call the State Police or the national guard?
The Final Judgment: Well, just because I blew an afternoon watching this doesn't mean you should have to. This movie has no real plot, or entertainment value. Its not even worth watching to waste time.
For being a totally worthless experience, the demons of the Inferno now condemn this movie to the Pit of Eternal Wandering, where it shall be forced to endlessly walk among VCR's playing its much better brethren and lament on what could have been! Such is the Judgment of the Inferno!