A good few years after it was first mooted, the remake of cult zombie horror Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things is finally shuffling and lumbering forward. Veteran of the undead Tom Savini will be directing the comedy scarefest, and producer Thomas DeFeo promises "the most zombies ever in a feature film."
Very much one from the vaults, the original Children was shot in a mere two weeks in 1972 by Bob Clark (who also made Black Christmas and Porky's), and involves a troupe of low-budget filmmakers and a seance-gone-wrong in an island cemetery for criminals.
Back in 2010, Savini was talking about the new version as a potential project for himself and his Dawn Of The Dead mentor George Romero. There's no mention of Romero's being involved this morning though, and the deal that's been hammered out is a collaboration between Anchor Bay Films and Fangoria Entertainment. Fangoria was the last magazine to interview Clark before his death in 2007. "During that session, Bob excitedly told us of his intentions to remake Children," says DeFeo, "He discussed his crazy new take in detail, and after his untimely death shortly thereafter, Fangoria felt an obligation to fulfil his goal and honour his legacy."
"Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things means something special in my life," says Savini. "My first movie was Deathdream, the very next movie Bob Clark did after Children, and I watched Children repeatedly while I assisted Alan Ormsby on Deathdream's special make-up effects."
The screenplay is by Drew Daywalt, the mind behind the awesome short sharp shocks of online sensation The Daywalt Fear Factory. "We've been following Drew's work from the beginning," says DeFeo. "With his Children screenplay, he's brought a modern, 'biting' and fast-paced approach to the zombie genre."
"I want to create something unique and interesting that takes zombies to a new level," Savini promises. "The best zombies of late have been what Greg Nicotero has created for The Walking Dead. They're fabulous: the best I've seen. But the zombies in Children are not your on-the-street-and-they-just-died-and-now-they're-zombies kind of living dead. They've already been dead for a while... sometimes a great while..."
DeFeo also hopes to line up some famous "horror personalities in cadeverous cameos." Shooting starts later in the year. We'll see Savini as an actor in Django Unchained, when it's released on January 18.