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Children of the Corn

245 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Jan 01, 1984)
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$2.75 $0.01
(Apr 10, 2001)
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DVD Video
$2.47 $0.38
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Editorial Reviews

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

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

Special Features

  • 16 Page Collector's Booklet

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: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (245 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305972591
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,701 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Children of the Corn" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By The Movie Man VINE VOICE on August 26, 2009
Format: Blu-ray
"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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40 of 52 people found the following review helpful By cookieman108 on 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 3, 2001
Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
Now, I've never been one who was a HUGE HORROR FAN...
I've usually found most of them to be more funny that scary...
But there have been 5 or 6 movies in this genre which produced
the desired effect on me, and scared the crap out of me!---Or at least gave a few chills.

1984's "The Children Of The Corn" is just such a movie...
I was 20 years old when this film was released.
I swear!!--That creepy little kid with the deep eyes, the black amish get-up and the pork-pie hat
named Issac...OMG!! )-:
He came into that little sleepy rural midwestern town and upset the balance of nature!
The ominous demonic entity, referred to as "HE WHO WALKS BEHIND THE ROWS".....OOOOH SPOOKY!!
Though you don't actually get to see it...just more of a demonic rumbling, growling, plowing-up-the-
soil-kinda-thing-a'la-TREMORS that cuts through the corn field, and near that victorian-style farmhouse
that everybody SANE or SEMI-SANE is hold up in! (-:

Btw, my screen name was partly inspired by this 27 year old horror film by the master...Stephen King;
which speaks volumes, I guess, for the subliminal impact that it had on my young psyche back then.

But the most terrifying character to me...even moreso, or just as much as Issac, was that big,
tall, gangly, goofy, in-bred-looking ginger named Malachai, who was quite handy with a machete
or a butcher knife!---Who could forget that opening scene with him chasing the little kids through
the corn field and up onto the highway!---YIKES!!

Though this movie began with only a cult following, it has since spawned a slew of re-makes and sequels.
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