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Villain Overview

I'm gonna take your scraps and feed them to my dog.
~ Alan to Orville's corpse.

Alan is the villainous protagonist of the 1972 comedic-horror film Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things.

He is a psychological abusive, egotistical, and twisted film director who enjoys sick humor and messing with his show's performers. He and his theatre troupe head to a small island to perform a spell that will supposedly raise the dead. Although he didn't intend to actually raise the dead, his actions and selfish natures were the cause of his and his entire crew's demise.

He was portrayed by Alan Orsmby, who also helped write the film with Bob Clarke as well providing most of the makeup effects. 


Alan is self-absorbed, arrogant, mentally ill, and abusive with the power of his position. When anyone in his cast tries to defend against or repel him, he threatens to fire them on the spot. He is also very controlling as seen when he forced his entire cast to come with him to the island.

He is also into dark humor and shows this when he sets two of his performers to do a prank where they dress as the undead and attack the crew from within a coffin and from the woods. This prank nearly scares some of his crew to death after he had seemingly failed to raise the dead. He even tied up and gagged the innocent caretaker who was just trying to do his job in order to pull the prank off. He also proceeds to mock and mess with the corpse who was in the coffin the pranksters dug up and even takes him back to the cottage and has a joke marriage ceremony to fulfill his sick joke.

Alan hates being outperformed as seen when Val performs her interpretation of the spell to raise the dead after his seemingly doesn't work. Alan often puts those he considers below him down including by sadistically and mockingly referring to his cast as his "children." 

He is shown to question himself sometimes but when he does, he confides in the corpse as he lays next to it in the upstairs bedroom showing his mental instability. 

When the dead actually rises, Alan quickly shows his lack of care for the others and is seemingly unaffected when witnessing their deaths at being ripped apart by the undead. He seemingly is only worried for himself and when he and Anya are the only two left, he hands the shocked and afraid frozen girl over to the dead in order to buy himself more time completing his lack of empathy. 


At an empty and decrypted graveyard on a small island, a figure is seen holding a shovel near a gravestone. The graveyard's caretaker approaches and attempts to confront the figure but is subdued when the figure turns to reveal a pale face and fangs. As the figure continues to dig up the corpse, he is joined by another figure dressed in vampire drag. The original figure climbs in the now empty coffin as the other begins to bury him underneath. 

A boat enters nearby from Miami, on the boat is theatre director, Alan, and his cast of performers including actors Val, muscular Paul, ingenue Terry, comic relief and slightly larger Jeff, and lastly Anya the creepy and weird girl. Alan has brought his crew out to the island for a night getaway for some theatre exercise and to seek thrills. He requires that Jeff and Paul carry with them a chest that will be used later in the night. 

Alan explains the island was once a resort but it had financially collapsed and had since been destroyed and is now used as a burial ground for many criminals and vagabonds within the last year. Alan shows his bad side as he jokes at, taunts, and flaunts at his crew and threatens to fire them if they talk back to him. The only one who can seem to get through to him is Val as it's implied the two had a relationship together. Alan also refers to his cast as his "children" and continuously acts as an authority figure due to his directorial position.

Alan leads the others to a small cottage and instructs Paul to break in as the group finds the inside windows boarded up which some find odd. The original caretaker is revealed by Alan to have snapped and killed his wife and children and is now locked up in an institution. His replacement also snapped and eventually hanged himself inside the cottage. Alan then reveals why he really brought them all there and opens the chest the boys had been carrying. 

Inside the chest are shovels, lanterns, a blue robe, and an ancient book apparently containing spells as Alan reveals he wants to see if he can raise the dead using the book's spells and forces the crew to set out alongside him to the graveyard. The spell will require them to use a corpse to insight the spell upon. There, he instructs Paul and Jeff to dig up the coffin that the two figures had messed with earlier. When Jeff attempts to remove the figure from the coffin, the figure springs to life, and he and Jeff get into a struggle. Terry attempts to run away and screams as the other figure from earlier appears and stops her. 

During all of this, Alan is shown to be laughing as the corpse in the coffin and the other figure are seen laughing as well. Alan then reveals this to all be a set up for an elaborate and mean spirited prank as the two figures are revealed to be actors from the troupe as well named Roy and Emmerson.

The two are a gay couple and were sent by Alan to the island to set up said prank as Emerson admits Roy was kinda ignorant for agreeing to stay in the coffin for nearly an hour. The others are mad at Alan for the prank but he threatens them with termination if they decided to leave

The caretaker that was subdued earlier is seen gagged and tied up next to the corpse the duo had removed and is shown to be angry and scared. His name on the grave is shown to be Oriville and Alan prepares to actually begin the ritual by using Orville as his test subject.

Alan begins the ritual while wearing the blue robe as he sets Oriville against his tombstone while the others apply powdered blood to the other graves. Alan reads the instructions and recites the spell and is extremely disappointed when nothing happens. He attempts it again but after another failed attempt, he becomes annoyed and curses Satan as a big fake, and this book a waste of time. 

After the others realize the ritual failed, the others laugh at his subsequent rage as Val mocks Alan shouting "You lose Alan" and one-ups him by attempting her own satanic offering which is just a bunch of shouting and murmuring of nonsense which the others laugh at and disregard the book as being real. Disappointed but not wanting to ruin his night, Alan decides to bring Oriville's corpse back to the cottage alongside the others to cheer him up with some mean natured fun and informs Roy and Emmerson to refill the grave and put the coffin back as the caretaker sits nearby still tied up. 

Back at the cottage, Alan attempts to entertain himself as he toys with, messes with, and mocks Oriville as he can't say or do anything back. Alan to fulfill his sick joke, sets up a marriage ceremony where he and Oriville are the bride and groom. Alan also insists to Terry to explain to Oriville why she is a good actress. During this time, Anya becomes increasingly anxious and paranoid as she suddenly pleads with Oriville to forgive them for what they have done and appears horrified when Oriville apparently responds negatively as the others appear weirded out by her. 

Eventually, the others grow uncomfortable with Oriville's presence and Alan annoyed agrees to take him to the bedroom upstairs as he instructs Paul to place him on the bed. There Anya's warnings and pleas finally cause a mutiny where everyone agrees to leave Alan with his bride and escape the island back to the shore. Alan realizes this and confides in the corpse mockingly as he lays in the bed next to him obviously showing he doesn't care. 

Back at the graveyard, while Roy and Emmerson finish the coffin burial, they discover another corpse that had been unearthed by a tree root. As Roy decides to bury the corpse in Orville's coffin, he notices a nice ring on one of his fingers and when he attempts to remove it, the corpse's eyes open and suddenly it attacks Roy biting him on the shoulder as Emmerson flees in horror.

However, it's then revealed that either Alan's spell had worked, or his cursing and mockery of the devil had caused the ritual to be complete. Suddenly, the corpses all around begin to rise at an increasingly alarming rate. Emmerson attempts to flee but is scared back by a corpse appearing in the midst of the tree line as another grabs his ankle from the grave. The undead surrounds and overpower him as he is devoured alive. 

Roy manages to throw the initial zombie off while he is seen to be bleeding badly from the neck, he returns to his feet and pushes and fends off several zombies. The wounded Roy rushed back in the direction of the cottage with the undead following him. The caretaker who was still tied up against one of the trees attempts to rise to his feet but due to his restraints, he is unable to gather himself in time as he is also eaten alive. 

The others are about to leave as Alan returns downstairs to annoyingly ask them why they are leaving when the night is still young. As the others are out the door, Roy appears screaming in terror as he collapses on the ground. Val comforts him but he is a nervous wreck as he shouts "They're coming" as the others realize the ritual came true and the undead have actually risen as they push them back and retreat alongside Roy in the cottage. 

Alan seeing everything appears terrified and is no help to the others as they use the boards, nails, and hammers within the cottage to bare the doors to prevent the dead from coming in as Alan watches on shell shocked at what has happened. Alan attempts to regain control and deliver their plan of escape but is met with hard words from the others who curse at him for causing all of this to happen. Roy succumbs to his wounds after he is checked on by Paul and Terry. 

Outside, the zombies eerily and tauntingly walk aimlessly around the house as the others except Alan set up a plan to allow Paul to escape and go get help as they all can't survive if they just go out. Jeff, Terry, Val, and Anya exit outside and draw the zombies to the front of the cottage by screaming to get their attention. The plan seemingly works and this allows Paul to seemingly get a free shot to get help as the others retreat back inside the house to find Alan who is still very pale and nervous.

However, things quickly turn sour even more as the others look out the back window to see that Paul, who was the only athlete in the group, had barely made it far as a female zombie is shown to be eating his guts as Terry shouts out in disgust and sadness at his death.

However. as she opens the door and insists they go help as she turns her attention away, she is grabbed by two zombies who drag her out and into the darkness to be eaten. Jeff attempts to save her, but is scared back by one of the corpses as he retreats back into the house and locks the door. The others now in a panic turn to Alan who is still perplexed on what to do as Jeff realizes that there might be a reversal spell that could make the dead return to their graves. 

Alan flips through the book and finds a spell but realizes that in order to complete the ritual, they would have to return Orville to his grave. Something that would have been simple, if Alan hadn't decided to bring his corpse back to the cottage for a sick joke. Nonetheless, Alan recites the incitation and much to their surprise and relief, the corpses seemingly begin to shuffle back towards the graveyard in the darkness. 

Confident that his ritual worked, Alan and the others decide to make a break for the boat and grab any weapons within the cottage that they can find and proceed in the darkness. However, it's revealed the zombies had tricked the group as they reappear revealing they had simply hidden around the bend in the path knowing the group would attempt to flee as the group appears in complete horror as they attempt to push them back and retreat to the cottage.

Unfortunately, Val and Jeff are overwhelmed, surrounded, and quickly devoured as Anya and Alan barely make it back to the cottage. Inside, Alan attempts to relock the door but this is quickly shown to be invalid as the corpses bust down the door forcing the remaining duo up the stairs as they break in through the back doors as well. Some of the corpses then proceed to feast on Roy's corpse.

As Anya and Alan back away, Alan staring death in the face, further shows his lack of morality and care for others, hands Anya who is frozen in fear to the approaching herd. Anya and the undead look at Alan who has a look of shock at what he had done as they proceed to drag her down the stairs and devour her as more appear to close in on Alan.

Alan locks himself in the bedroom as he prepares to fight back but suddenly realizes Oriville is still in there with him as he looks over and appears stunned as Oriville is now sitting up as he looks at the defenseless Alan. Oriville slowly and menacingly rises and approaches Alan who attempts to throw his weapon at him.

Oriville looks extremely pissed and angry at Alan for his actions and mockery as he grabs Alan who freezes in fear and proceeds to tear into his neck as he screams out in pain as the herd outside the door break-in sealing his fate.

Following the entire group's massacre, a herd of zombies is shown to be floating away on the boat Alan and the others had entered on seemingly heading towards the city.


Although Alan didn't directly kill anyone, all of his actions led to everyone's death and his own, thus, anyone killed by the zombies counts for him.

  1. Emmerson - Devoured by the undead.
  2. Unnamed Caretaker - Tied up, gagged, and eventually devoured by the dead.
  3. Roy - Bitten multiple times by the zombies, and later succumbed to blood loss.
  4. Paul - Devoured by a female zombie.
  5. Terry - Devoured by the herd of zombies.
  6. Jeff - Devoured by the undead.
  7. Val - Devoured by the undead.
  8. Anya - Handed over to the dead by Alan, and subsequently devoured.
  9. Himself - Devoured by Oriville and eventually the other zombies.