- Actors: Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, Courtney Gains, John Franklin, R.G. Armstrong
- Directors: Fritz Kiersch
- Format: Anamorphic, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
- Language: English
- Region: All Regions
- Number of discs: 1
- Rated: RestrictedR
- Studio: Arrow Video
- DVD Release Date: October 3, 2017
- Run Time: 92 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- ASIN: B071G98ML6
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Children Of The Corn
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HE WHO WALKS BEHIND THE ROWS
From the mind of celebrated horror author Stephen King, the man behind such classic terror tales as The Shining, Carrie and It, comes one of his most chilling offerings yet Children of the Corn.
A young couple on a road trip find themselves lost in the backroads of rural Nebraska, eventually winding up in the seemingly abandoned town of Gatlin. But the town is far from empty as the pair soon discover, it s inhabited by a twisted cult of murderous children thirsty for another blood sacrifice...
Adapted from King s eponymous short story first published in 1977 and starring Linda Hamilton (The Terminator) and Peter Horton (thirtysomething), Children of the Corn has gone on to spawn one of the most enduring horror franchises of all time.
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Burt and Vicky (played by a pre-Thirtysomething Peter Horton and pre-Terminator Linda Hamilton) are traveling cross-country for Burt's new med school internship when they run into trouble - literally - in the town of Gatlin, Nebraska. After accidently hitting a young child with their car, the pair begins to suspect a different cause of death. The only adult in town is a skittish mechanic (R.G. Armstrong) who recommends they change direction immediately, but Gatlin draws them in, empty streets and crumbling buildings welcoming them in sinister fashion.
But Gatlin is far from empty. It's lorded over by Isaac (John Franklin) and Malachai (Courtney Gains), the charismatic bookends of a dangerous corn-worshipping cult who led a violent revolt that left every adult dead. Luckily, Burt and Vicky run across a pair of cuties too young to be brainwashed who help them navigate the juvenile politics and find a way to escape. But an even bigger threat is lurking in the fields, buried under the ground and demanding a human sacrifice.
One of the first releases put out by New World Pictures after it was purchased from Roger Corman, Children of the Corn's success has everything to do with timing. Part of a wave of '80s Stephen King adaptations (Cujo, Firestarter, The Dead Zone), pay cable and home video created a new demand for brand-name horror that director Fritz Kiersch's film fit perfectly. By genre standards there is very little blood, no nudity and only one well-earned jump scare. Yet the movie (and it's simple but effective poster art) continues to intrigue new audiences who probably admire it's potential more than anything else.
Although King took a shot at the script himself, his attempt was scrapped in favor of a tepid screenplay that desperately tries to stretch itself the full 90 minutes. The opening narration (by a character not included in the original story) allows us to see the Gatlin massacre as it happened, ruining some of the mystery right off the top. Even with all the stabbings and crucifixions, Children of the Corn looks and feels more like a TV adaptation than a feature film. The only thing keeping it afloat is its creepy premise and committed performances from Horton, Hamilton and Courtney Gains, whose greasy red hair and suspenders inspired an entire South Park ripoff ("OUTLANDER!").
The extras on Arrow Video's Blu-ray, however, makes this a must-purchase title even if you're only a fair-weather fan of the film itself. The brand new 2K restoration does wonders with the '80 cinematography, easily topping any previous release. And there's a whole crop of special features, old and new, starting with a short film adaptation - Disciples of the Crow - shot in 1983 that has all the rough, shot-on-16mm appeal the main feature lacks. Other new material includes an audio commentary with Justin Beahm and John Sullivan, interviews with actors Julie Maddalena and John Philbin, writer George Goldsmith and producer Donald P. Borchers. Recycled stuff really piles it on with another commentary (this time from the filmmaking team), the Harvesting Horror retrospective documentary, an interview with Linda Hamilton, a look back at the shooting locations, backstory on a deleted scene, storyboards, trailers and an illustrated collector's booklet.