Schlock & Gore: Beware! Children at Play (1989)

directed by: Mik Cribben

runtime: 94 mins

The Children of the Corn. The Omen. The Bad Seed. Bloody Birthday. I could go on. Killer kids are practically a genre all their own; the spooky little shits. It’s the innocence twisted into something evil like a fucked-up animal balloon. Maybe it’s the fear of responsibility taking shape in a rather extreme metaphor.  Or perhaps it’s that kids are icky and sticky and smell like doodoo. Whatever the reason, killer kids are a notion ingrained in our culture. So lemme tell ya ‘bout this particular instance of murderous munchkins.
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Beware! This film does not contain that familiar Troma humor!
The short version:
The flick kicks off with little fanfare, but culminates in a humdinger of a howdy-do!
The unabridged:
A boy named Glenn-Randall and his father are on a wholesome camping trip. After many hide-and-go-seeks and killer tickle fits, the father recites some weird Irish poetry that may or may not be Beowulf, and then gets his leg chomped by a bear trap. He gets hysterical over the next few days, crying, laughing, reciting more poetry and claiming to be the grim demon as he dies on the forest floor. Immediately after this happens, Glenn-Randall recites more whackadoodle poetry: “God protect us from goblins and ghosties and long legged beasties and things that go bump in the night,” then cuts open daddy’s abdomen (like a fucking psycopath) and joyfully takes out his organs (like a fucking lunatic). This is, of course, to presumably, eat them (like a mother. Fucking. Nutjob). Why? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Then we’re forced to jump ahead ten years.
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Daddy: the other other white meat
A pulp writer/paranormal researcher and his family are visiting a religious rural town so that he can help the sheriff investigate the multiple child disappearances. What ensues is some decent dialogue and philosophical discussion, at least by Troma’s standards. The man’s wife says something like “why do your books have to have those sleazy covers with those women and all those cleavages?” He articulately explains that he doesn’t choose the covers, but the publishers put them on there to push books. There’s more good dialogues with a bible salesman and the very people he’s visiting. These elements are not a waste of time, but they take place in an otherwise boring boring boring hunk of film.
The obvious reveal is that Glenn-Randall has been recruiting and brainwashing these little assholes with Beowulf poetry, turning them into a cult of cannibal kids. This whole middle section is blurry. Glenn-Randall (Grendel – get it???) rapes someone at one point, and then there’s the ending, which I will be spoiling below. Beware! Spoilers at play! I REPEAT: SPOILERS! SPOIIILERRRRRSS!!

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Beware! Dad Joke at Play
Okay, now don’t say I didn’t warn you!
The town of religious kooks decide what better way to appease god than to make a sacrifice of the children than to try to rescue them. It’s like throwing out the whole banana because the tip is bruised instead of just removing the tip. They then murder them all in a rugrat bloodbath for the ages. Pitchfork through the neck murder and gun in mouth murder were my personal faves.

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Why couldn’t this have happened to the kid in The Babadook?
If the mass murder of children sounds like the sort of thing you’d like to set your eyeballs on, or, experience vicariously, look no further. If, for some odd reason, you find the copious murders of boys and girls to be tasteless, irksome, or just plain offensive, well then I’m honestly surprised you’ve read this much of my review. I myself am tasteless and irksome.
4/10
Stay slime, and be rad at all times!
-Rat

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