CHILDREN OF THE CORNUnited States-92 Min.-1984


Peter Horton as Burt

Peter Horton as Burt

John Franklin as Isaac

John Franklin as Isaac

Courtney Gains as Malachai

Courtney Gains as Malachai

Directed by Fritz Kiersch

Screenplay by George Goldsmith

Based on the short story by Stephen King


They say time heals all wounds. I saw Children of the Corn on the day of its release in 1984. This was during the time when all Stephen King had to do was fart and they made the smell into a movie. What was my initial assessment of the film, you ask; I thought it was stupid and didn’t bother watching another scene of it until now. I’m a different person than I was in ’84. I’m older, my tastes have changed. If I watch Children of the Corn again for the first time in (let’s see what’s 1984 from 2013 put this number here, that one there, carry the two) 29 years I might actually like it.

Nope, it’s still stupid. If you’ve seen the film then you know the plot; lovers Burt (Peter Horton, thirtysomething, 2 Days in the Valley) and Vicky (Linda Hamilton, The Terminator, Beauty and the Beast) find themselves stranded in Gatlin, Nebraska; where the children, at the command of creepy child preacher Isaac (John Franklin, Addams Family Values, Tammy and the T-Rex) and his equally creepy ginger henchman, Malachi (Courtney Gains, Back to the Future, Can’t Buy Me Love) have killed all the parents and now worship a deity known as He Who Blows His Nose-no that’s not it; His Father Wears Panty Hose-nope; oh wait, I got it-He Who Walks Behind the Rows. The movie could have easily been titled Children of People Who Do Stupid Things in Order to Further the Plot of a Movie. Burt and Vicky split up, he investigates things he has no business in and she calls out his name when she hears someone in the house. They’re both about as bright as the inside of a cow’s ass on a moonless night.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not knocking “Children of the Corn” the short story. I’m knocking the bad movie based upon it. I believe King meant the story to be a cautionary tale of having blind faith in religion. I just don’t think he meant to get his point across in such a ridiculous manner. My final verdict is that Children of the Corn sucked just as badly after a 29 year sabbatical. On that note I must flee; I could swear I heard thousands of die-hard Stephen King fans bristle as they cocked their guns and sharpened their knives.


On the dashboard of Burt and Vicki’s car is a copy of Night Shift, the Stephen King short story collection in which Children of the Corn originally appeared.

Though real corn was used for most of filming, polyurethane corn had to be used for the more difficult action sequences.

The Song “Disciples of the Watch” by American Thrash Metal Band Testament was inspired by this film.



16 thoughts on “CHILDREN OF THE CORN

  1. Heh. Great review. The sound track and Isaac (who was played by a homosexual adult; he had a disorder that made him tiny) were the highlights of the film for me. The two lovers, and that freakin “OUTLAN-DER” kid totally trashed it (not to mention the hilarious plot)…
    But you can’t deny that it is fun to heckle on Halloween, and makes you think twice when you pass a corn field (damn you, Nebraska)…..
    Kind of like IT: the movie sucked, but the idea has scared people for forever….
    Forgot what I was talking about….
    The End

    • He was 25 when he made the Children of the Corn. I did the math. The movie just sucked, period. Still, I agree about the impact it has on the passing of cornfields.

  2. Since this was an “adult nightmare” and I was 6, I didn’t see it. I still haven’t… but I remember hearing about it a lot. I imagine for me it would be about as silly as watching Howard the Duck 30 years later after loving it as a kid. I’m now convinced the creators of that film were on acid.

  3. This is really just a retelling of Lord of the Flies in a US mid-western way. I remember it being corny as hell but the social statment it was relaying was decent. That doesn’t necessarily make a good film 😀

  4. Love King and his stories but I’ve never never had faith in movies based on them, they usually suck with a few exceptions (Carrie, stand by me, green mile, the stand). And this one was just awful, no idea how it spawned the sequels either, I shiver thinking about them.

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