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Children of the Corn

3.8 out of 5 stars 253 customer reviews

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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

Amazon.com

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 (253 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305972591
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,810 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Children of the Corn" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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So how did such a mediocre film warrant six sequels (here's a hint...it'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 sequels...my 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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I never realized how many "Children of the Corn" movies there are?!? I think they are up to 9 in total!! That is crazy...I think King's original short story was around 20 pages.

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!!
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