Children of the Corn (1984)
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- Corn can’t have children.
- They seriously couldn’t have picked two creepier-looking kids to play Isaac and Malachai.
- The kids murder everyone, and get blood all over the milkshakes at the diner. They really didn’t think that one through.
- These kid drawings of brutal murders look almost exactly like the ones my daughter draws.
- I truly don’t understand how nobody has come to check on any of the adults in this town. Did none of them have jobs or relatives outside of town? Maybe this gets explained later but I’m not holding my corn chips.
- Linda Hamilton (Vicky) is much cuter in this than she is in The Terminator. Maybe it’s her hair.
- Some kid tries to escape through the corn and gets stabbed for his trouble. That’ll teach you not to listen.
- Not that I’m for kids being killed but that kid runs out into the road and Peter Horton mows him down and it’s AWESOME.
- I guess the lesson here is don’t drive through Nebraska. I drove through Nebraska once. It was about as much fun as getting stabbed in a cornfield.
- True story: I once found a maggot in a can of corn.
- Horton (Burt) finds blood on the kid’s suitcase, puts his fingers in it. Why? You think it’s sriracha sauce?
- Apparently no other cars ever come down this road. So what are Burt and Vicky doing on it? Why aren’t they on a highway?
- This kid is a horrible narrator.
- There’s a kooky old gas station owner who has some kind of deal with the children, which is I guess he won’t tell outlanders about them and they won’t kill him? Anyway, he doesn’t tell Burt and. Vicky about them, and they kill him regardless. Not much of a deal if you ask me.
- These kids LOVE corn.
- I guess one (1) cop did come to town and they crucified him. These kids aren’t playing around.
- Burt is really kind of an unlikable dope.
- “Things just aren’t happening fast enough,” Burt says. No shit.
- So Burt leaves Vicky in a house with just this friendly little girl who doesn’t buy into Isaac’s bullshit, and about a dozen children show up to kill her, but they’re all stealth. There’s just one of her! Why the sneaking? And she doesn’t even know they want to kill her.
- And they corned the hell out of Burt’s car.
- This movie could have been called “Stalkers.”
- Burt is a doctor, but the best doctor to battle a corn is Dr. Scholl!
- Vicky is strung up on a corn crucifix and looks exactly like Jesus minus a beard plus fuller lips.
- JOHN PHILBIN!!
- Burt is pretty nonchalant about this whole thing.
- Man, this town seems boring.
- I guess Malachai wants to stab more than Isaac does, so there’s a bit of a coup and Isaac is strung up in Jesus Vicky’s place so Malachai can go through the streets shouting, “OUTLANDERRRR!!”
- So all these kids worship He Who Walks Behind the Rows, which is like a glowing groundhog I guess, even though it’s also a glowing cloud later. I don’t know.
- Isaac is killed by one of the worst special effects ever.
- Then Burt gives one of the worst anti-religious zealot speeches ever. Peter Horton just sucks.
- Then all the kids are just kind of over it, and Demon Isaac comes back and tells Malachai that He Who Walks Behind the Rows wants him, too.
- The monster makes it windy, so Burt sets the corn on fire.
- God this Job kid is the worst.
- There’s no real indication how long these kids lived alone. Vicky mentions something about 3 years but that can’t be right, Job and Sarah look exactly the same age.
- Semi-happy ending where Burt and Vicky take Job and Sarah with them. I guess the rest of those kids can go screw themselves.
Is It Actually Scary: There’s a good jump scare in Linda Hamilton’s dream where a kid springs up from underneath blanket in the road, but other than that it’s more creepy than scary.
How Much Gore: Aside from a few cuts of varying severity, most of the gruesomeness is pretty much implied offscreen.
Best Scene: Probably when Isaac comes back for Malachai:
Also, when there’s a birthday ritual involving drinking John Philbin’s blood out of a bowl, because when they used to serve tomato soup in elementary school we would hold the bowls up and say, “Children of the Corn” and drink out of them.
Worst Scene: Definitely the most poorly executed scene is Isaac’s death. It’s possibly the worst special effect I’ve ever seen in a decently budgeted motion picture and director Fritz Kirsch should still be losing sleep over it:
Any Nudity: AMPLE.
Overall: This movie is pretty much just all about creating a creepy mood. But I don’t know, the film stock, the lighting, the whole feel of it just doesn’t quite click. I don’t think the supernatural element was even necessary, and the movie probably would have been better if it was more straightforward about psycho kids who murdered everyone in town and started their own creepy society. From what I understand, the movie deviates from Stephen King’s book a pretty good deal (everyone dies at the end of the book, for example), so why not just leave the “demon cloud” part out since it didn’t translate well at all? Most of the acting is also atrocious. Aside from Linda Hamilton, Isaac, and, of course, John Philbin, it’s amateur hour with these kids! In particular Peter Horton, who just sucks, and the kid who plays Job, who has a grating voice, so of course he was used for narration. Still, it’s not a bad movie. I’d say it’s worth watching, and at least for me it has some nostalgia value. Despite several sequels and a crappy Syfy remake, there’s potential to make this better, creepier, more atmospheric, bloodier, etc. This would actually be a good film for Rob Zombie to remake. Or maybe someone like David Fincher, or Tyler Perry.
Score: 6 bowls of blood soup (out of 10)