Beware! Children at Play

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Beware! Children at Play
Directed byMik Cribben
Produced byMichael Koslow
Lawrence Littler
Linda Sanford
Ellen Wedner
Written byFred Scharkey
StarringMichael Robertson
Rich Hamilton
Robin Lilly
Lori Tirgrath
Jamie Krause
Music byHershel Dwellingham
CinematographyMik Cribben
Edited byMik Cribben
Distributed byTroma Entertainment
Release date
  • November 24, 1989 (1989-11-24)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States

Beware! Children at Play is a 1989 horror film directed by Mik Cribben and distributed by Troma Entertainment.


The film follows the inhabitants of a small rural town whose children are disappearing at an alarming rate and whose adults are simultaneously being killed in a ritualistic fashion. It is revealed early on that the kids are being inducted into a cannibalistic cult that live in the woods.[2] The cult is somehow inspired or influenced by the legendary tales from the Old English epic poem Beowulf.[3] The title is known mostly because of its brutal depictions of violence against children (multiple child murders). Most horror films avoid depictions of children being harmed or killed.


  • Michael Robertson as John DeWolfe
  • Rich Hamilton as Ross Carr
  • Robin Lilly as Cleo Carr
  • Lori Romero as Julia DeWolfe (credited as Lori Tilgrath)
  • Jamie Krause as Kara DeWolfe


The film is one of Troma's most controversial titles due to its gruesome finale, a five-minute sequence where the townspeople brutally murder each of the cannibalistic children using firearms, pitchforks, and other assorted weapons. According to Lloyd Kaufman, when the film's trailer played at the Cannes Film Festival before a screening of Tromeo and Juliet, nearly half of the theatre walked out in protest.


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