Combustible Celluloid
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With: Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton
Written by: George Goldsmith, based on a story by Stephen King
Directed by: Fritz Kiersch
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 92
Date: 03/09/1984

Children of the Corn (1984)

1 Star (out of 4)

Take This Cob and...

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Children of the Corn (1984) has spawned more sequels (six at this writing) than any other Stephen King creation. That means someone must like it, but it's pretty bad. On their way to Seattle for a medical internship, a man (Peter Horton) and his girlfriend (Linda Hamilton) wind up in the small town of Gatlin, Nebraska, where all the adults have disappeared. The remaining children have formed a bizarre religious cult where people are sacrificed in the cornfields to "he who walks behind the rows," which is really a gizmo that tunnels under the ground. The direction, by Fritz Kiersch, owes a great deal to John Carpenter and Wes Craven, and his handling of the actors leaves a lot to be desired. The diminutive stars are uniformly terrible, and the adults don't fare much better. Only Hamilton (who appeared in The Terminator the same year) is charming enough to pass unscathed. Stephen King's original story first appeared in "Penthouse" in 1977, then as part of the short story collection "Night Shift."

DVD Details: Anchor Bay has released the film in their "Divimax" format, letterboxed with optional Dolby 5.1 Digital or Dolby 2.0 Surround audio tracks. Extras include a 37-minute "making-of" documentary (all clips from the film and talking heads), a director's commentary track, a trailer and still galleries, plus the screenplay available as a DVD-Rom extra (compatible with both Mac and IBM).

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