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Children of the Corn (1984)

Peter Horton , Linda Hamilton , Fritz Kiersch  |  R |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)

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Children of the Corn
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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, R.G. Armstrong, John Franklin, Courtney Gains
  • Directors: Fritz Kiersch
  • Writers: George Goldsmith, Stephen King
  • Producers: Charles Weber, Donald P. Borchers, Earl A. Glick, Mark Lipson, Terrence Kirby
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: April 10, 2001
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305972591
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #163,749 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Children of the Corn" on IMDb

Special Features

  • 16 Page Collector's Booklet

Editorial Reviews

The murder rate is as high as an elephant's eye in this flaccid adaptation of Stephen King's short story. While driving through Nebraska en route to a new job, medico Burt (Peter Horton) and his wife Vicky (a pre-Terminator Linda Hamilton) nearly run over a mutilated boy who staggers from the cornfields. Seeking help, they enter the town of Gatlin, whose under-20 residents have butchered their parents per the decree of junior-grade holy roller Isaac (John Franklin), who preaches the word of a being called "He Who Walks Behind the Rows." King's original story (from his 1978 collection Night Shift) was a lean and brutal mélange of Southern-gothic atmosphere and E.C. Comics-style gore, which scripter Greg Goldsmith effectively neutralizes by adding a youthful narrator (a grating Robbie Kiger) and putting an upbeat spin on the story's morbid conclusion. Fritz Kiersch's direction is TV-movie flat, with the sole inspired moment (hideous religious iconography glimpsed during a bloody "service") delivered as a throwaway. Aside from Horton and Courtney Gains (as Isaac's hatchet man Malachai), the performances are dreadful, and the depiction of the Lovecraftian monster-god as a sort of giant gopher inspires more laughter than terror. Amazingly, the film spawned six sequels; Franklin (Cousin Itt in the Addams Family films) later appeared in and wrote 1999's Children of the Corn 666. --Paul Gaita

Product Description

One quiet Sunday, the children of Gatlin, Nebraska slaughtered all the adults at the instruction of Isaac, a young preacher with mesmerizing powers; three years later, a young couple travelling across the country accidently drive into Gatlin and become pa
Item Type: DVD Movie
Item Rating: NR
Street Date: 04/10/01
Wide Screen: yes
Director Cut: no
Special Edition: no
Language: ENGLISH
Foreign Film: noSubtitles: no
Dubbed: no
Full Frame: no
Re-Release: no
Packaging: Sleeve

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Horror in the Cornfields August 26, 2009
"Children of the Corn" is the 1984 adaptation of a Stephen King tale that turns children into monsters. Following in the tradition of "The Bad Seed" and "Village of the Damned," "Children of the Corn" sets out to shatter our notion that childhood is a time of innocence. The opening scene grabs us right away. In Gatlin, Nebraska, a small farming community, the good citizens follow church on Sunday with breakfast at the local coffee shop. One morning, however, the town's children rise up against the adults, poisoning their coffee and slashing their throats in a violent, horrifying sequence. Skip ahead three years. Burt and Vicky (Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton) have a bad accident outside Gatlin and walk to town, searching for help. But they find no adults. Eventually, they discover that the children of Gatlin have formed a religious cult around an evil entity, "He Who Walks Behind the Rows." Though far from a classic, this film has an enormous following and has inspired six sequels, five released directly to DVD. Its appeal lies partly in the performances of the two young leads. John Franklin plays Isaac, the nine-year-old prophet who organized the cult, and Courtney Gains portrays the odd-looking and unsettling Malachai. Bonus extras include the featurette, "Welcome to Gatlin: The Sight and Sounds of Children Of the Corn;" an interview with Linda Hamilton; audio commentary by director Fritz Kiersch and actors John Franklin and Courtney Gains; and the documentary "Harvesting Horror: Children of the Corn."
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35 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars And a child shall lead them... February 10, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
So how did such a mediocre film warrant six sequels (here's a's all about the money)? There's the original. Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1993), Children of the Corn III (1995), Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (1996), Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror (1998), Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return (1999), and Children of the Corn: Revelation (2001)...that's a lot of corn, or as the Native Americans call it, maize...I've seen the original, but not the subsequent gut instinct tells me to avoid them. Children of the Corn, aka Stephen King's Children of the Corn (1984), directed by Fritz Kiersch (Tuff Turf, Gor) features a solid cast including Peter Horton ("thirtysomething") and Linda Hamilton (Terminator 2: Judgment Day). Also appearing is R.G. Armstrong (Dick Tracy), Courtney Gains (Colors, The 'burbs) and John Franklin, who appeared 1991 film The Addams Family, along with its' 1993 sequel, as the very hairy Cousin Itt.

The film, which primarily takes place in the small farming town of Gatlin, Nebraska, begins with a flashback, relating a particularly gruesome incident in where the children depopulate the town of nearly all adults through a good old fashion bloodbath. Fast forward three years to the present, and we have Burton (Horton) and his girlfriend Vicky (Hamilton) traveling through the Midwest as Burton has recently graduated from med school, and has been offered an internship somewhere...but that's neither here nor there as the pair get lost, have an accident, and soon find themselves looking for aid in Gatlin...but guess what? Gatlin appears all but deserted...except for the children, who've formed some kind of weird cult, led by the incredibly creepy man-child Isaac (Franklin).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Back to the '80s November 3, 2001
Before watching this movie, remember you are going to see an adaptation from a few-pages-long story by Stephen King, performed during the late eighties, when horror movies were the main attraction to young teenagers.
The movie is ridiculous, even if the story is pretty interesting. There are few moments of suspance, but actors aren't really there. It's a kind of a B-movie, with a solid background and incredibly low quality effects.
Anyway, it's interesting to see and to have, as the sign of a very different age.
The DVD is quite well mastered. Images are very noisy because of film grain, but otherwise consistent. Contrast is quite low, and this makes colours a bit washed out.
The sound is a multichannel remix from Chase, encoded in DD 5.1. Anyway dialogues are quite dated and so are the effects. Basses are too boomy and the soundfield collapses too often into the center channel.
The extras are very limited: there's a small booklet and a trailer. That's it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It happened everywhere in Gatlin that day... May 12, 2002
I saw this movie when it came out in '84 and have had some strange connection to it ever since.
What's to like? Well, what has always struck me is how well the children are adapted to the surroundings. I actually BELIEVE that these children lived in Gatlin "before" the filming of the movie. They seem very at home and the small town feel is somehow legitimate. The sound is very good for an older flick, being given the 5.1 treatment, and the score itself is practially worth seeing the movie for... I just love that chanting "Omen-ish" score, always have. The transfer I'd say is above average, though in places it falters a bit, there is also a handsome insert book that comes with it which is unusual for a rather lowbudget movie. I really like all the leads here, specifically the look on young Sarah's face when "Vickie" is taken out to the clearing, she honestly looks to be in fear, I almost feel sorry for the young actress.
What's to hate? Well, aside from the odd smalltown feel there really aren't many chills from a horror movie standpoint. Also, I've never really liked the end, often turning it off b4 the poor CG ending, but hey, this is '84 afterall.
If you have a few dollars and are looking for a somewhat surreal look at small town life, you could do worse than giving Children Of The Corn a look.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars So Bad, It's Good...Definitely Not Scary
I remember watching this movie as a kid and being scared of it. Now I wonder what I was thinking. This movie is so bad, it's almost good. Read more
Published 15 days ago by ellie59
5.0 out of 5 stars Scared the crap out of me
I remember watching this when I was younger.. Scared the crap out of me. Still does 10 years later.
Published 16 days ago by Katie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic horror at it's finest, bought for nostalgia. Was a bargain and had to have it!
Published 19 days ago by Rita Pacheco
1.0 out of 5 stars Good laugh
It was good for a good laugh. I think the female lead was the only actor to go on and do other movies lol
Published 1 month ago by Lily Margaret Amberg
3.0 out of 5 stars This is a Scary Thought.
What if there were no adults around and the town was run by demented children? This movie speculates on this idea. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jewel Schultz
4.0 out of 5 stars He Who Walks Behind The Rows Should Be Pleased
I never realized how many "Children of the Corn" movies there are?!? I think they are up to 9 in total!! That is crazy... Read more
Published 1 month ago by David Girod
5.0 out of 5 stars cool movie
a cool movie just not like the story in the book it was written in. to get that get children of the corn unrated and uncut. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kristin Teeter
5.0 out of 5 stars Children of the Corn
It's a great movie. I enjoyed watching it and have watched it before. I would recommend it to anyone who likes scary movies and its not for the weak at heart. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Paul Barrett
3.0 out of 5 stars Defenatly Stephen King !!
My opinion of almost all Stephen King stories is he starts with some great scary ideas and ends them hoaky. This and misery is one of my favorites. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Stelios J. Malamamatos
3.0 out of 5 stars Children of hell that ate the seed of growin corn...
Old movie, still creepy... So far it does entertain n gives a thrill of fear.... Over all is still good original movie...
Published 4 months ago by Joel Angel Mayton
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