The Curator of Schlock #360 by Jeff Shuster

The Children of the Corn

He who walks behind the rows.

I had to wrap Edwige in a woolen blanket and tell the officer she was my sick grandmother during a random police stop. The fuzz is still looking for the kangaroo who killed a man in an illegal streetlight. Not that I’m admitting that Edwige is the said kangaroo who killed a man in an illegal street fight since this is a public blog and only a fool would do such a thing. Still, I think we’d better get out of the area for a bit. Canada will have to wait.

We wrap up Satan Month with 1984’s Children of the Corn from director Fritz Kiersch. I’ve avoided this movie all these years as Curator of Schlock all these years. Children of the Corn received an excellent Blu-ray release courtesy of Arrow Home Video, chock full of special features on the making of the movie. This terrible movie has received such tender loving care.

Children of the Corn is loosely based on the Stephen King short story the same name. Back in the day, studios were anxious to get their hands on the latest Stephen King bestseller to spin into box office gold. There was CarrieThe ShiningChristine, and The Dead Zone. And then there’s the Stephen King adaptation I’d rather forget about, but it keeps turning up like a bad penny.

Our movie begins in the small town of Gatlin, Nebraska. Most of the children of the town have joined an evil cult led by a child prophet named Isaac (John Franklin). Isaac orders them to kill every adult living in Gatlin and we get a scene of a bloody massacre at a local diner. Getting stabbed to death by a bunch of little shits is not the way I’d choose to go. We have two children that don’t want to join the cult, Job (Robby Kiger) and his sister, Sarah (Anne Marie McEvoy). Sarah has some kind of psychic ability where she can see the future and draw it with crayons.

We’re introduced to a young couple, Burt Stanton (Peter Horton) and Vicky Baxter (Linda Hamilton). They’re traveling to the west coast where Burt has a medical internship lined up. I guess he’s studying to be a doctor. While trying to find out where they are in the endless cornfields of Nebraska, Burt runs over a boy named Joseph, but don’t worry, Joseph already had his throat slit and was going to die anyway. Joseph was murdered by this deranged looking redhead named Malachai played by Courtney Gains. I kept thinking he was a younger version of Carrot Top.

Imagine getting your throat slit by the teenage version of Carrot Top. Terrifying,

Burt and Vicky are warned not to go into Gatlin by some crusty old gas station attendant, but they find their way to the town anyway. We get a bunch of scenes of Burt and Vicky exploring abandoned buildings while catching glimpses of strange children scurrying away. They eventually encounter young Sarah who’s a bit shy seeing as she hasn’t seen an adult in three years. Burt then leaves Vicky alone with Sarah instead of deciding to high tail it out of town while they still have a working car!

Vicky gets kidnapped. I think Isaac and the rest of the kids want to sacrifice her to the “god of hell.” Shenanigans ensue. The bad kids get their comeuppance. Burt saves the day., Blah. Blah. Blah. If you’re interested in more Children of the Corn, you can check out Children of the Corn II: The Final SacrificeChildren of the Corn III: Urban HarvestChildren of the Corn IV: The GatheringChildren of the Corn V: Fields of TerrorChildren of the Corn 666: Isaac’s ReturnChildren of the Corn: Revelation, the 2009 Children of the Corn adaptation made for the SyFy Channel, Children of the Corn: Genesis, and Children of the Corn: Runaway.

But that’s not all. There is a Children of the Corn reboot in the works due to get released sometime this year. And from the promotional material, it looks like they’ve gender swapped Isaac and Malachai. Malachi isn’t even a redhead! I refuse! These Hollywood types have no respect for the fanbase.

Just kidding. Children of the Corn is shit. Read the original Stephen King short story.

Photo by Leslie Salas.

Jeff Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131episode 284episode 441episode 442episode 443, episode 444episode 450, and 477) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.