Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cannibal Kids and Bad Parenting: Beware! Children At Play (1989)

Beware! Children at Play! (1989)
Rating: **
Starring: Michael Robertson, Rich Hamilton and Robin Lilly

If you're a frequent reader of this little corner of mine, you'll know my certain confused state towards Troma movies. I'm a mixed bag of nuts when it comes to these flicks; if it comes to fart jokes, fat people, baggy tits, grammas in peril, done in nothing but uber-cheesy and goofy non-sense, I'm gonna put my foot down and just walk away; it's their people's entertainment, and sadly, I'm not one of them. (My taste. So deal with it!)

Luckily for you Troma fans, I do have my share of favorite titles coming from this little studio...company...place. Mother's Day (1980) is a no-brainer classic for me, while titles such as Blood Hook (1986) and Dead Dudes in the House (1991) came in as a decent surprise for me. Now, I gander upon on this controversial little movie, and I'm gonna be frank, I find it horrible but I am starting to lean on it thanks to it's cheesiness, unpredictably bizarre nature, and that three minute infanticide-fest!

In a day in the woods, a father and his son are on a hunting trip when disaster struck; the father (carefully) stepped on a bear trap and got himself stuck there with his son on his aid. Why they didn't bother pull the trap apart is beyond me, but I guess it was too dangerous to let the little boy to go on and look for help on his own as well so they just decided to stay there until they rot like a papaya.

As days go by, daddy goes bonkers, telling his son to stay in the woods and feed off the land, just as he did. (or so he believes) His son easily digested that fact so by the time his father dies from starvation, little boy went cannibal on him in glorious heart-eating action.

Fast forward to ten years later, John Defolwes moves to the town next to the woods with his family to help his Sheriff friend look for their missing daughter. Unknown to them, a group of brain-washed children is stalking, killing and eating adults who, unwillingly or not, wander off into their woods, much to the dismay of the town. Soon enough, these adults had enough being munched on and made it clear that they'll do anything to end it all. And yes, I'm talking about a child massacre.

Beware! Children at Play isn't what I'll call a fun movie unless you're into taboo breaking and completely horrible movie making. While cannibalism isn't a new forbidden fruit for the film, nor are killer children thanks to earlier flicks like Devil Times Five (1974)Bloody Birthday (1980), and the Children of the Corn (1984), Beware! Children at Play took a step forward by including the much revolted onscreen killings of the children, ranging from ages 6  to 12 (and one to two teenagers), from shootings to rake impalement, even when they begged for their lives. Now, I dislike snobby children, but never to the point of total annihilation, but it appears this is where the movie's boat rocks and I'm just in it for the ride, wide-eyed and lost in disbelief. It seems this is the only horror this film managed to pull off nastily.

The rest of Beware! is utterly terrible below any point. Lots of illogical and unnecessary points tainted in cheese and obvious low-budget as like any Troma Film ever made, and it will surely turn off some viewers who're not into this kind of approach. For some, however, this could be a laughable run through 80 minutes of utterly low production and questionable quality and theme. It's distasteful, I know, but through the annoying (and preachy) characters, unemotional acting, horrible scripting, unrealistic (yet graphic) kills and the feisty fromage, I like to see this flick as that kind of movie you can have guilty pleasure with, and just laugh at the randomness, which is this company's strongest point, and supposed horror that I'm a hundred percent sure is not this company's strongest point.

Either you love it or hate it, or fall in between like me, Beware! lives up to it's title and to the Troma name of taboo breaking. See it if you dare.

1 male snared on a bear trap, starved to death
1 male sliced in half with scythe
1 female throat cut with knife
1 female found mutilated
1 female impaled on spikes
1 female found with her back mutilated
1 male stabbed to death with stake
1 female stabbed with dagger
1 male shot on the head with rifle
1 male shot with rifle
1 female shot
2 girls shot with rifles
1 boy knifed on the back
1 boy shot on the head with rifle
1 boy shot
1 girl shot
1 boy impaled on the neck with pitchfork
1 girl gets an axe to the back
1 boy shot
1 girl beaten with baseball bat
1 boy had his throat crushed with wooden board
1 boy gets an arrow shot to the chest
1 boy had his head shot clear off
1 boy shot
1 boy shot by the mouth
1 boy disemboweled with machete
Total: 27


  1. The massacre at the end of this movie is the only thing that makes it worth watching - so over the top and FUN!