Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Children of the Corn

Three movies have derived their inspiration from "Children of the Corn" (1977 Penthouse) by Stephen King, the first being based directly on the story.

1. Children of the Corn US movie (1984). Angeles/Inverness/Hal Roach Studios/New World/Cinema Group Venture/Gatlin. Pr Donald P Borchers, Terence Kirby. Exec pr Earl Glick, Charles J Weber. Dir Fritz Kiersch. Spfx Max W Anderson, Eric Rumsey, SPFX Inc. Screenplay George Goldsmith. Starring John Franklin (Isaac), Courtney Gains (Malachai [sic]), Linda Hamilton (Vicky), Peter Horton (Burt). 93 mins. Colour.

Three years ago in rural, godfearing Gatlin the manifest corn-God He Who Walks Behind the Rows instructed his boy-prophet (see Prophecy) Isaac that no one over age 18 should live; the town's older Children obediently slaughtered all the adults. Now Isaac and his entourage rule, meting out executions and Human Sacrifices at the frequent whim of the cruel god, a parody of Jahweh. Into this mess stumble young couple Burt and Vicky, who at last succeed in destroying the god – or so they think. COTC succeeds, just, in spinning out its short-story plot – similar to but less rich than Thomas Tryon's Harvest Home (1973) – largely through its sense of place: only rarely is the corn, in some guise, absent from the screen. The movie's subtext is that, while fundamentalists may rail at Horror Movies like this one, mindless fundamentalism creates its own, far greater horrors. [JG]

2. Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice US movie (1992; vt [may be ot] Children of the Corn II: Deadly Harvest). Fifth Avenue/Stone Stanley. Pr David G Stanley, Scott A Stone. Exec pr Lawrence Mortorff. Dir David F Price. Mufx Image Animation, Bob Keen. Spfx Calico Ltd. Screenplay Gilbert Adler, A L Katz. Starring Rosalind Allen (Angela), Ryan Bollman (Micah), Christie Clark (Lacey), Terence Knox (John Garrett), Paul Scherrer (Danny Garrett). 92 mins. Colour.

A very sequellish sequel. He Who Walks Behind the Rows is not dead, but through a new boy-prophet, Micah, inspires Children and supernatural forces alike to go on a campaign of carnage. Our heroes – journalist John, son Danny and their womenfolk Angela and Lacey – solve the problem by butchering the cult children and setting the corn ablaze. A further sequel was Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1994). [JG]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.