Children of the Corn

| October 2, 2017

2017 has been quite the year for legendary horror author Stephen King. Over the summer, King’s very popular Dark Tower series finally got a big screen release. Critical and fan reviews were mixed, at best. In early September, King’s novel IT arrived in theaters to critical acclaim and boffo box office. As of this writing, IT is the highest grossing horror movie of all time. And, to top it off, Stephen King celebrated his 70th birthday. Happy belated Birthday, Mr. King!

But let’s not forget some of King’s lesser known or less favorite film adaptations. In 1984, with a low budget, young actors, and pretty effective special effects, New World Pictures unleashed Children of the Corn on the world.
Gatlin, Nebraska was a small, quiet farming town. Blink and you’d miss it. Until the day the children rose up and slayed the adults. The leader of the child uprising is Isaac, a religious zealot that uses Jim Jones-esque tactics to bend the young people to his will. A young couple, Burt and Vicky, are just traveling through. Burt is trying to get to an interview where he hopes to become a town doctor. Burt and Vicky soon find out that Gatlin is no ordinary small Midwestern town…

The budget on Children was small, and it shows. The child actors are, for the most part, pretty meh. Two roles that are terrific, though, are Malachai (Courtney Gains) and Isaac (John Franklin). This was Gains’ first major role in Hollywood. Gains would later appear in one of my favorite movies, the criminally underseen 1989 cult classic, The Burbs. John Franklin outshines the entire cast, including Linda Hamilton as Vicky. Franklin displays equal parts glee and malicious intention. He’s the one element of the movie that you can’t keep your eyes off. As for Ms. Hamilton, things worked out much better for her in the other movie she was in in 1984. Anyone familiar with The Terminator?

Children of the Corn has been released on Blu-Ray from the wonders over at Arrow Video US. The extras include both old new and new audio commentaries and interviews, as well as a 1983 short film of Children of the Corn entitled Disciples of the Crow. The release also includes a reversible sleeve which includes both the original and newly commissioned artwork. The new artwork, from Gary Pullin, is stunning. So is the fold out poster featuring both sets of artwork.

Children of the Corn may not be as widely praised as Carrie, The Shining, or IT, but it definitely deserves a viewing. Especially now that the month of October (or as I like to refer to it as, Halloween Month) is upon us. If IT has you jonesing for all things Stephen King, give Children of the Corn a chance. Or risk being deemed an Outlander!

About the Author:

Steve graduated from Southwestern Michigan College with an Associate's Degree in communications. He currently resides in Niles, MI

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