Children of the Corn 3-8 are currently available on instant Netflix. I have no idea why I’m putting myself through this. I never thought the original was very good and I never even saw part 2.
Children of the Corn 3: Urban Harvest (1995) – Rated R
“After Eli (Daniel Cerny) kills his father, he and his brother, Joshua (Ron Melendez), leave rural Nebraska behind when they’re taken in by a Chicago couple. Joshua easily adapts to his new home, but Eli brings his special brand of evil to the city.”
Okay Urban Harvest is a good title and moving it to Chicago was an interesting choice. The special effects are beyond terrible as is pretty much everything else about this.
Hall of Shame: This is Charlize Theron’s debut (as young woman – blink and you’ll miss her AND her voice is dubbed over). Look for Buffy’s Xander (Nicholas Brendon) as Basketball player one.
Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (1996) – Rated R
“When the children of a small Midwestern town morph overnight into possessed murderers, it’s up to a young medical student to save her affected sister and her cornfield-surrounded neighbors from the evil child zombies.”
This is certainly a step up from Urban Harvest. The story begins with someone evil climbing out of a well. This only strikes me as odd because that is not where Urban Harvest ended. The Gathering is not bad for a low budget horror, especially after watching Urban Harvest – it’s just not good either.
Hall of Shame: If Urban Harvest is good enough for Charlize Theron, then The Gathering is apparently good enough for Oscar nominees Naomi Watts and Karen Black. Watts is actually the star here.
Children of the Corn 5: Fields of Terror (1998) – Rated R
“Six college students out for a ride get into trouble when their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, and they miss the bus that could have led them to safety. Bunking down in an abandoned house, the students soon realize they’re not alone.”
“Geez, you’d think there’d at least be a 7-11 at the end of the earth.”
The third character killed is carrying a bunch of stolen ears of corn. Each time she gets sliced by the scythe, she drops a single ear of bloody corn. Apparently the corn was very important to her. He-who-walks-behind-the-rows finally makes a return appearance here (well kinda sorta) after being absent the last two films. It also feels like there are actual townsfolk this time.
This is just your standard group of young people get stranded and are picked off one by one scenario. The paint by numbers script goes no further than that. The two scenes following the climax are both absurd.
Hall of Shame: No Oscar nominees here but wow, two of Frank Zappa’s kids (Ahmet and Diva), Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, David Carradine, Eva Mendes’ movie debut (no she is not nude), Kane “Jason” Hodder are just some of the recognizable names and faces in this movie.
Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return (1999) – Rated R
“Hannah Martin (Natalie Ramsey) drives to Nebraska to find her birth mother, and on the way she picks up a dark stranger. This act of kindness kicks off a mysterious chain of events, all of which were prophesized 19 years ago by Isaac (John Franklin), the evil leader of the children of the corn. When Hannah reaches her hometown, Isaac wakes from his 19-year sleep, ready to fulfill his final prophecy.”
John Franklin, who debuted as Isaac in the 1984 original, returns to the role 15 years later (for some reason the story is set 19 years later). He still looks and acts creepy. This entry doesn’t have much else going for it.
Hall of Shame: Nancy Allen and Stacy Keach are caught slumming here.
Children of the Corn 7: Revelation (2001) – Rated R
“Jamie Lowell (Claudette Mink) travels to small-town Nebraska to visit her grandmother — only to discover that Grandma has mysteriously vanished from her run-down apartment building … which just happens to be located in the midst of a cornfield. Jamie keeps running into strange-looking children around town and in the apartment building. Soon, her grandmother’s neighbors begin to disappear, too.”
Hall of Shame: Veteran character actor Michael Ironside livens up the proceedings as Priest even if they didn’t bother to give him any dialogue. No shame though as this is what he does best.
Children of the Corn: Genesis (2011) – Rated R
“When their car breaks down in the middle of the desert, an expectant couple reluctantly takes shelter inside a ramshackle compound, where an unhinged “preacher” and his mail-order bride are involved in a curious side project.”
How about a Children of the Corn sequel sans Children? Also not much Corn either. Veteran weirdo Billy Drago is the noted unhinged preacher but, fascinating though he is, he cannot save this.
Wrap Up: None of these got my vote but the interesting thing was that unlike slasher sequels, these movies were all very different. Not good mind you, but different.