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Children of the Corn

USA 1984
produced by
Donald P. Borchers, Terrence Kirby, Earl A. Glick (executive), Charles Weber (executive) for Gatlin Productions, New World, Angeles Entertainment Group, Cinema Group, Hal Roach Studios
directed by Fritz Kiersch
starring Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, R.G. Armstrong, John Franklin, Courtney Gains, Robby Kiger, Anne Marie McEvoy, Julie Maddalena, Jonas Marlowe, John Philbin, Dan Snook, David Cowen, Suzy Southam, D.G. Johnson, Patrick Boylan, Elmer Soderstrom, Teresa Toigo, Mitch Carter (voice)
screenplay by George Goldsmith, based on the short story by Stephen King, music by Jonathan Elias, special effects by Eric Rumsey/SPFX Inc.

Children of the Corn

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Passing through the massive cornfields of Nebraska, USA, Burt (Peter Horton) and Vicky's (Linda Hamilton) car hits a young boy ... whose throat has actually been slit prior to the accident they find out when examining the body. To report this, they head for the next town, Gatlin, a village of less than 1,000 souls - to find it all empty, and all evidence suggests it has been like this for 3 years now. But then they find two young kids,

Job (Robby Kiger) and Sarah (Anne Marie McEvoy), who tell them the entire population of the village over 19 years of age has been killed, according to the command of "He Who Walks Behind the Rows", delivered by his teenaged prophet Isaac (John Franklin). And all local children safe Job and Sarah, who have found a safe place in their deceased parents' bomb shelter, have been following Isaac ever since - and happily sacrifice themselves to "He Who Walks Behind the Rows". Soon, Isaac and company get wind that two grown-ups are in town, and Isaac's second in command Malachai (Courtney Gains) manages to capture Vicky ... and it's only thanks to the fact that Malachai and Isaac get into a power struggle that ends with Isaac being crucified that Burt manages to save Vicky. But saving Vicky is the easy part, getting away from the homicidal kids' cult and especially "He Who Walks Behind the Rows" is the real challenge ...

Veteran actor R.G. Armstrong plays a mechanic eventually killed by the children, but his character serves little purpose.

 

Now Stephen King's short story of the same name this film is based on is maybe nicely written ultimately but too derivative of the classic Star Trek episode Miri and the Euro-shocker Who Can Kill a Child, with sprinkles of Herschell Gordon Lewis 2,000 Maniacs even, to be called wholly original. And objectively speaking, this film isn't a trailblazing horror masterpiece, nor one of the better Stephen King adaptations even - basically, the whole backstory of the film remains too vague to carry a feature film, the plot as such is pretty formulaic and rarely strays off the beaten path, the characters are a bit on the shallow side and not totally believable in their actions, and the macho attitude of the movie seems strangely out of place at least from today's point of view.

On the plus side though, this is one atmospheric chiller, making the most of its cornfield backdrops, and delivering iconic images (first and foremost of course crucified Linda Hamilton) in the process. And the thing's nicely enough paced to let one forget many of its shortcomings. And at least if you are into 1980s horror, this really ticks all the boxes and delivers everything you expect as a well-made package.

Basically, cool retro-fun!

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD