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Children of the Corn (1984)

Cult Movies and Horror movie directed by Fritz Kiersch

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It's only consider a Classic because it's one of Stephen Kings earlier works.....

  • Oct 9, 2008
I had a feeling I wasn't going to like this but I manage to get through it. Nearly everything that Stephen King has ever written seems to have been turned into a film or TV series; in fact, I'm surprised that no one has tried to make a mini-series from the guy's grocery list. Let's face it, if they did, it couldn't be any less interesting than 'Children of the Corn.'

Based on one of King's many short stories, this 1984 horror flick sees Linda Hamilton and Peter Horton playing a couple on a long car journey who run into a spot of bother when they chance upon the sleepy Nebraska town of Gatlin, where all of the adults have been murdered by children who worship an ancient evil that lurks in the corn fields.

Although director Fritz Kiersch does manage to build a fair amount of atmosphere at the beginning (after Hamilton's silly song and dance, but before we get to meet the freakish Isaac, leader of the killer kids), he completely blows it with endless unexciting scenes in which Hamilton and Horton are hunted down by the town's homicidal half-pints. Courtney Gains, as violent redhead Malachai, manages to appear genuinely menacing, but the rest of the children are not the least bit threatening; as a result, many of the film's 'scary' moments fail to work.

Towards the end of the film, when we finally get to see the malevolent force that inhabits the field surrounding Gatlin, the film descends into a glut of terrible 80s visual effects that probably looked pretty ropey almost 25 years ago, but look positively laughable nowadays.

'Children of the Corn' might be of interest to King fans keen to see how the writer's work has been translated to the big screen, but your average horror-film fan will be most unimpressed.

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More Children of the Corn (1984) reviews
review by . November 14, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
CHILDREN OF THE CORN      This is one of those movies that seems to divide people, some love it and consider it a classic while others not so much. I know people on both sides of the fence on this subject and have listened to them all on their thoughts. Me myself I fall somewhere in the middle since I do like the movie but admit that it is not as great as some say. In fact if you want a good one check out the first filming of this story on "Stephen King's Nightshift …
Quick Tip by . November 14, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
I have to say that no matter how I feel about the flick the DVD is great with behind the scenes stuff and an excellent commentary. This is one of those commentaries in which they actually give some good behind the scenes stuff up and tell some funny stories from the set. Like the kid in the road thing with the accident at the beginning. Any way I would say if you are interested in King's films then pick up the special addition here for the special features.
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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-TerminatorLinda 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 collectionNight 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 spawnedsixsequels; Franklin (Cousin Itt in theAddams Familyfilms) later appeared in and wrote 1999'sChildren of the Corn 666.--Paul Gaita
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Director: Fritz Kiersch
Screen Writer: Stephen King, George Goldsmith
DVD Release Date: April 10, 2001
Runtime: 92 minutes
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
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