Children of the Corn
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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
Foreign Film: noSubtitles: no
Full Frame: no
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 GaitaSee all Editorial Reviews
- 16 Page Collector's Booklet
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Either way, this movie is a great as a standalone title and makes for a decent remake. It's definitely worth watching at least once. If nothing else, it's better than every single sequel that came from the original.
Of course, as a lover of Bad Movies, I can't wait to watch them all.
With that said, I remember this first entry very well. I actually saw this one in theaters when I was about the same age as Malachi, and remember really enjoying it. I've seen it a few times of the years, but it has been at least two decades since my last visit to Gatlin, Nebraska and thought it was time to give it another view...along with the sequels.
As the film begins we see events unfold in Gatlin, Nebraska, a small farming community suffering from drought. In the opening moments of the film, thanks to narrator Job, we learn that most of the kids have fallen under the spell of Isaac, a new kid in town who happens to be a preacher. One Sunday after church, all of the kids in Gatlin begin murdering all of the adults in town. Job sees his father cut down in front of him, and only Job and his sister Sarah have not fallen under Isaac's spell.
Flash forward 3 years and we meet, Burt and Vicky, a young couple traveling to Seattle where Burt has taken a job as an ER doctor. And of course they decide to get off the highway and end up traveling through the 2-lane countryside heading towards Gatlin. While looking at a map, they run over a young boy who was trying to escape Gatlin and it's cult. When Burt examines the boy's body he notices his throat is cut, and that he was already dying when he was struck by the car. Looking to report the crime, the young couple drive through the corn and into Gatlin where they'll meet the Children of the Corn.
I was surprised at how well this film holds up!! The F/X are still pretty solid (well the climax is bit cartoony..but still good), and the acting is really good for a B-Movie. Specifically the kids who play Isaac, Malachi and Job. Malachi in particular has a real menace that comes across on screen, and Isaac just out and out creepy. Linda Hamilton is always fun to watch as the damsel in distress.
I highly recommend this first entry...now bring on the sequels!