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Children Of The Corn

Children Of The Corn

By Patrick Samuel • July 11th, 2012
Static Mass Rating: 3/5
CHILDREN OF THE CORN (MOVIE)
New World Pictures

Original release: March 9th, 1984
Running time: 92 minutes

Director: Fritz Kiersch
Writers: George Goldsmith, Stephen King

Cast: Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, R. G. Armstrong, John Franklin, Courtney Gains

Children Of The Corn

Horror has had its fair share of creepy kids; Children Of The Damned (1964) and The Omen (1976) come to mind, but what about Children Of The Corn? It too might’ve been treated with the same regard had the original screenplay been used.

The film was very loosely based on Stephen King’s short story of the same name and is set in the fictional town of Gatlin, Nebraska, where the children have taken over after being lead a boy preacher, Isaac (John Franklin), to kill the entire adult population.

When Burt (Peter Horton) and Vicky (Linda Hamilton) come driving through Gatlin on their way to Seattle, they accidentally run over one of the children on the road, but as they try to get help, except for little Job (Robby Kiger) and his sister Sarah (Anne Marie McEvoy), they find the town deserted.

With the shops closed down and houses boarded up, Burt and Vicky soon come to realise all is not well in Gatlin and a group of bible brandishing youngsters might have something to do with it.

Children Of The Corn is really not one of the best King adaptations out there; the filmmakers decided to disregard his original screenplay, which gave more of a back-story to the Gatlin uprising and had more focus on Burt and Vicky. Instead, they went with George Goldsmith’s which replaced much of the suspense with drama. By the time we arrive at any action everything has been drawn out to such a point that it feels tedious.

Even King himself spoke about the adaptation, and not favourably.

Children Of The Corn

“Here is another terrible movie, and to me the most horrible thing about it is that it was based on one of my stories. Not very closely–just closely enough so the producers could call it Stephen King’s Children of the Corn, which it really wasn’t. In the movie version version, the creature appears to be some sort of gopher from hell.” ¹

King even goes on to comment on the dialogue Goldsmith wrote for the film.

“There are some classic bad lines in the movie. “Outlander, we have your woman!” is one I like; later on the hero scooches down beside the little kid and says in a friendly voice “Just what did this monster look like, Jobie?”” ¹
SOURCES:

  • Collings, M. R. (2008) The Films of Stephen King, Borgo Press ¹

Still, for all its faults, it’s not an un-watchable film. John Franklin gives a spirited performance as the deranged young preacher Isaac and his scenes add a much needed atmosphere to the film. The actor, who was 23 years old at the time he played Isaac, would go on to several more roles in films including Child’s Plays (1988) and The Addams Family (1991) before retiring and becoming an English teacher.

Children Of The Corn spawned a total of seven sequels and a television remake, but this first outing was certainly not the worst of them.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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