Hollywood@Home: Children of the Corn (2017 re-issue of 1984 film)

“…and a child shall lead them” through a very crappy horror movie, “Children of the Corn.”

“He Who Walks Behind the Rows” is back strutting his stuff in a new Blu-ray re-issue from Arrow Video. “Children of the Corn,” a 1984 horror-thriller based on a Stephen King short story is a low-budget film that’s more funny than scary, but it did launch a series of sequels and a Syfy channel remake in 2009.

King wrote the original draft of the screenplay, but it was ditched in favor of less talk and more blood. Vicky (Linda Hamilton) and Burt (Peter Horton) are traveling through rural Nebraska when they accidentally hit a boy on a remote highway. The child is killed, but Burt (a doctor) discovers that the boy was already bleeding profusely from a slit throat. They scoop up the child and take the body to a nearby town, Gatlin. There, they find only children. No adults. And, the kids have a hard-on for anyone over 19 years of age. The adults are being sacrificed to a shapeless demon who lives in the local cornfields. It’s up to Vicky and Burt to quickly figure out what’s going on and get out of Dodge.

Everything about “Children of the Corn” looks and feels low-budget. The acting and special effects are particularly painful to watch. At times, it seems the cast is dead serious about making a scary horror movie. And, at other times, they seem to be yucking it up. The direction and editing of the film are sore spots and there’s nothing remotely suspenseful about the story, as presented.

The Arrow Video release on October 3rd offers plenty of extras, most of them holdovers from previous editions of the film. I didn’t receive final product for review, but the publicity material says there a collector’s booklet with new writing on the film. There’s also new artwork on the reversible sleeve of the product. And, supposedly, a new 2K restoration from the original camera negative. But, the disc I viewed contained a very grainy presentation that was downright annoying at times.

Suggested retail price of the collector’s edition is $39.95. That’s some expensive corn, folks. It’s time to let this crop rot in the field. Grade: D

Child zealots make some sacrifices to a demon god in “Children of the Corn.”