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Children of the Corn

Original 1984 theatrical poster
Directed by Fritz Kiersch
Produced by Donald P. Borchers
Terence Kirby
Written by Stephen King (short story and original draft of the screenplay)
George Goldsmith
Starring Peter Horton
Linda Hamilton
R. G. Armstrong
John Franklin
Courtney Gains
Music by Jonathan Elias
Cinematography Raoul Lomas
Editing by Harry Keramidas
Distributed by New World Pictures
Release date(s) March 9, [[1972 ]] (USA)
Running time 92 min.
Language English
Budget $300,000
Followed by Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1993)

Children of the Corn (also known as Stephen King's Children of the Corn) is a 1984 horror film based upon the 1978 short story of the same name by Stephen King. Directed by Fritz Kiersch, the film stars Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton. Set in the fictional rural town of Gatlin, Nebraska, the film tells the story of a demonic entity referred to as "He Who Walks Behind The Rows" which entices the children of the town to ritualistically murder all the adults to ensure a successful corn harvest. Stephen King wrote the original draft of the screenplay, which focused more on the characters of Burt and Vicky and depicted more backstory on the uprising of the children in Gatlin. This script was disregarded in favor of George Goldsmith's screenplay, which featured more violence and a more conventional narrative structure. To date the film has spawned six sequels with a television remake.

Tagline: And a child shall lead them...

Contents

Plot

The year is 1981. Job, a youth of the fictional town of Gatlin, located in eastern Nebraska, tells the story of how the town became a safe haven for a group of young cultists. The economy of the town is mostly agricultural, and the town is surrounded by vast cornfields. One particular year the corn crop fails and the people of Gatlin turn to prayer in an attempt to ensure a successful harvest. A mysterious boy-preacher, Isaac Chroner (John Franklin) arrives and takes all the children of Gatlin into a Cornfield to speak to them about the prophecies of a strange malevolent entity in the cornfields called "He Who Walks Behind The Rows". Isaac, through his lieutenant Malachai (Courtney Gains), leads the children of the town in a rebellion, brutally killing all of the adults in the town. Over the ensuing years, the children take any adults passing through as prisoners/sacrifices, and practice strange cult-like rituals. Several years later, Burton (Peter Horton) and Vicky (Linda Hamilton) Stanton pass through Nebraska enroute to Burton's new job as a physician in Seattle. A struggle ensues between the Stantons and the children during which the entity within the cornfield is revealed to be a demonic force. Isaac is eventually possessed by the creature and a climactic battle takes place in which Burton ultimately defeats the creature by burning the cornfields. Burt, Vicky, Job and his sister Sarah survive and are able to leave Gatlin.

Cast

Reception

The film received two thumbs down from Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert on At The Movies. Both found the film extremely distasteful.[1] It currently rates as 'Rotten' on the website Rotten Tomatoes with 37% of 19 critics finding it good. The film was a financial success though, taking in over $14 million at the US box office.[2]

Sequels

The film had one sequel on general cinematic release:

  • Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice, 1993

Five further sequels were later released directly to video:

  • Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest, 1995
  • Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering, 1996
  • Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror, 1998
  • Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return, 1999
  • Children of the Corn: Revelation, 2001

A script for an eighth Children of the Corn movie was written by Joe Harris, best known for his film Darkness Falls, but the sequel seems to be in limbo. The movie is rumored not to be a sequel but more of a re-telling of the original tale.

Joe Harris stated the following back in 2003 when he was first asked to write the script:

"COTC8" will maintain the spirit of the original film and the Stephen King short story. It will be scary with hardcore thrills and disturbing deaths with elements you'll recognize as signatures of the franchise gorillas (chases through cornfields, deaths by sickles, teenage sex, sacrifices and the triumphant return of "He Who Walks Behind the Rows" included). It will take place in Gatlin and will draw on the history of that town as we know it.

Theatrical Remake

According to Variety, The Weinstein Company has hired Ehren Kruger to revive the Children of the Corn franchise. The Weinsteins have said "We felt the New World film was a missed opportunity. If you read the short story, it's got such a strong feeling to it and there's this religious overtone to it as well. Ehren wants to hit it hard. It's popular in Hollywood to say you re-envisioning a project but a lot of the time they're just carbon copying the original. We are bringing something new to the story."[3]

Television Remake

In June 2008 it was confirmed that Donald P. Borchers would begin writing and directing a TV remake of the first film, which would premiere on the Syfy channel. Production began in August. Filming started in Davenport, Iowa, but it was moved to Lost Nation, Iowa.(TJC)

The cast included David Anders, Kandyse McClure, Preston Bailey, Daniel Newman and Alexa Nikolas. The movie aired on September 26, 2009, and the DVD was released on October 6, 2009 by Anchor Bay.[4] The television remake closely follows the original storyline present in the short story, and not that of the original film.

See also

References

Quad Cities Times

External links

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