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Children of the Corn (1984)

Peter Horton , Linda Hamilton , Fritz Kiersch  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 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: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305972591
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,697 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

Creepy adaptation of Stephen King's short story follows a young couple (Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton) who happen upon a small Nebraska town inhabited only by children. When they learn that the kids have formed a cult that sacrifices adults to a demonic spirit known as "he who walks behind the rows," Horton and Hamilton find themselves in a desperate fight for their lives. 92 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo.

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
4.0 out of 5 stars Children of the not so corny.... May 17, 2006
By K. Cope
There's just something about a movie that has children killing adults and running the show that freaks everyone out. I guess it plays on the same kind of fears that movies that have bee's taking over the world do. We treat children like they're a nusance, so they rise up against their aggressors, adults, and most likely succeed because adults discredit kids. Huh......

Well that's at least what I got from this movie.

When I watch a horror movie I look for three basic things. First, is the acting up to par and is the movie well made? Second, how are the special effects and the death sequences? Finally, does the end of the movie deliever and wrap things up?

In the first category this movie does really well. You can tell from the beginning that the movie was probably made on a very small budget, but the camera work, and everything else was done extremely well. The acting is also pretty good for such a low budget movie. Terminator girl does a terrific job, as well as all of the kids, especially the leader. Malaki, or the red-headed bully stumbles over his lines, but he does a half decent job. So yeah, the movie delievers here.

* Oh, something to watch for. When the main character is running away from the children who are chasing him, and calling him lap lander, or excuse me OUT-lander, he runs into the barn. It is dark in the barn and he "hits" his head on a beam. It's incredibly hilarious because you can sooooo tell, he fakes it.

Secondly, does the movie have decent special effects and death sequences? Yes and no. Yes because some of the special effects are pretty good, but there isn't that many of them, nor killing sequences. The kids go on a rampage in the beginning and then, that's pretty much it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 1 day 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 1 month 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 2 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 3 months ago by Joel Angel Mayton
5.0 out of 5 stars am pleased
Loved this movie as a kid. Perfect condition. The red headed guy in this movie still creeps me out. Lol.
Published 3 months ago by jonm
5.0 out of 5 stars i got this for my birthday
This version is out of print i got this for my birthday it came the next day that they shipped it i was 4 when this movie came out to the movies back in 1984 so i now can watch... Read more
Published 3 months ago by thomas henry
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