Where you goin’ Pinocchio?Â
Somehow, this killer child franchise has managed to spawn nine films thanks to a short story written by Stephen King. It’s reputation demands that it’s the ultimate killer child film, completely ignoring an even better film “Who Can Kill a Child?” Be sure to check that one out. Unfortunately, I have only seen 1-6 and that was enough for me. Going to keep it short and sweet. On with the first edition….
Children of the Corn:
Young couple portrayed by Linda Hamilton and Peter Horton find themselves deserted in a rural, deserted Nebraska town where they’re tortured by children and bitch slapped with corn stalk. The children worship an unseen evil force called “He Who Walks Behind the Rows.” As soon as these kids become adults, they’re sacrificed to the corn God to prevent adults from molesting their clan.
The imagery is down right creepy with the support of a chilling children’s choir. Two of the most immoral little brats, ginger Malachi (Courtney Gains) and midget Isaac ( John Franklin) have some effective scenes with some comedic relief mixed in, “OUT LANDER! WE HAVE YOUR WOMAN OUT LANDER!”
My only beef with this first installment is that it should have stayed hardcore throughout the entire duration of the film. Not only are children viciously murdering adults and children are brutally murdered in the process, the original ending was to feature Linda Hamilton tied to the cross with her eyes cut out. Guess they wanted a happy ending.
Directed by Fritz Kiersch
Screenplay by George Goldsmith
Children of the Corn 2: The Final Sacrifice
Lets see Isaac do this!
The 90’s gave us several COTC sequels. Lets be honest here, they weren’t very good. As time passes, they each get worse and worse. The first sequel did muster up enough courage to bring scares to my siblings and there are a few death scenes that still stand out. For instance, a man is enjoying his daily dose of the Lord on a church bench when his nose begins to bleed, profusely. Slowly, more and more blood begins to pour. Then onto his ears and minutes later his entire face is one bloody pulp thanks to some wretched little shit playing with a voo doo doll. An old lady gets a house dropped on her while screaming, “What a world!” Nice touch. Her hag sister is hilariously run over while in her wheelchair and she’s still attached to her chair as she goes flying through a restaurant window. I almost died.
The film opens directly after the first’s events, with the kids put into adoption and the antagonists seeking refugee. We don’t see it, this is all announced by reporters. Two reporters are brutally impaled by corn immediately after. Tell me something, why do ALL of these films open with car trouble or a car wreck?
What I will never understand about these films is how these kids are always wearing Amish get-ups. The not so Final Sacrifice is easily forgettable and hardly the best in the series but at least it’s entertaining with some fun death sequences. As for the acting, there were no noteworthy performances worth mentioning.
Directed by David Price
Screenplay by AL Katz & Gilbert Adler
Children of the Corn 3: Urban Harvest
He Who Walks Behind the Rows in true sexy form!
Now for the favorite of the bunch, Urban Harvest. If it wasn’t for the humor and Screaming Mad George’s visionary craftsmanship, nobody would give two shits about this edition. At first, I didn’t know what to think about the corn going all ‘hood.’ I’m not a racist, it just didn’t make any sense to me. Leprechaun going hood is another bad example. So the hood aspect is brought into play because two corn fed brothers Eli and Joshua are adopted by city folks after their father was obviously murdered. The boys settle in and make friends but Eli is up to no good as he plants the evil corn in an abandoned field and feeds the evil corn to students at school. It would have been cooler if he actually brainwashed these kids with his scriptures and talk of He Who Walks Behind the Rows but desperate times makes for desperate measures, just poison the kids.
Although the effects by Screaming Mad George are top notch with a high body count, it cannot save this movie with that ridiculous true form of HWWBTR in the end. Not to mention, these are all teenagers, not small children. The Amish gear is still in full effect. There are no promising actors that I can remember BUT expect cameos from Charlize Theron and Nicholas Brendon. A ridiculous critic shared a quote on the VHS cover, “Horrifying… Move over Jason and Freddie!” I’m guessing this critic doesn’t know much about horror films. Never mind the fact that they misspelled Freddy. There’s no way in hell you can compare the two. PFFT.
Directed by James DR Hickox
Screenplay by Dode B. Levenson
Children of the Corn 4: The Gathering
This time around, there is no mention of He Who Walks Behind the Rows and maybe that’s a good thing because I am tired of his ridiculous logic and teenage consumption. All the kids in town have rising temperatures as they’re possessed by some freaky deaky dead Amish boy who was badly burned. Can’t really say I am a fan of this plot but it’s not all bad.
Of all the COTC films, The Gathering is the only one fully equipt with great actors (Naomi Watts and Karen Black) and the blood shed is constant. If you have any doubts, watch the film again. It may surprise you.
Directed by Greg Spence
Screenplay by Stephen Berger & Greg Spence
Children of the Corn 5: Fields of Terror
MMMMM! A tranny holding SMEAT!
It’s possible that this script is the most atrocious script ever written and it’s a shame because there are good actors on board here. There’s Eva Mendes, the dumbest character in the film. David Carradine, a leader of some sorts who sits around in a chair, and Alexia Arquette – Pre tranny. Kane Hodder even has a cameo as a bartender.
There’s enough gore to keep most happy but not the over the top gore we experienced in the previous editions.
The same rules apply here, HWWBTR is still sacrificing 18 year olds and all the kids are totally down with that. A girl is off to save her suicidal brother from this strange corn worshiping cult with the help of her friends but as always, their car breaks down in the middle of the corn field. What I don’t understand is how many adults and children have to die before the government nukes the fucking corn fields. There is a cool scene where David Carradine’s head splits open and flames shoot out of his body thanks to some big eared twerp who may or may not be HWWBTR. Tubular effects but it’s not enough to save this sick puppy.
The acting is ‘okay’ considering what the actors have to work with. For instance, Arquette’s terrible, “MMMM SMEAT!” line. That ending was also in bad taste. Dislike.
Directed by Ethan Wiley
Screenplay by Ethan Wiley
Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return:
It makes sense for me to touch this random patient I do not know.
Me thinks director Kari Skogland was trying too hard to be creative with wacky camera angles and choice of coloring in the film. Maybe some of that attention should have been focused on the script and special effects.
So Isaac, the creepy midget from the first film, is still alive and in a coma somehow. OH and he has a kid! Unless a woman coma raped him, I don’t understand how this happened and it’s never explained. John Franklin (Isaac) must really need the money since the only other major features he had going for him were the Addams Family films as Cousin It. Nancy Allen plays a major character, she is so above this, and she’s actually the curly haired psycho child from the first film.
666 focuses on the children of the children of the corn. So now I am confused. Don’t you have to sacrifice yourself to HWWBTR by the time you’re an adult? There are so many plot holes. Little gore. Little answers. Avoid this sequel at all costs.
Directed by Kari Skogland
Screenplay by Tim Sulka & John Franklin