CHILDREN OF THE CORN
Children of the Corn suffers for once from being too faithful to the short story in the sense that it retains the basic elements of a fifteen-page short story but fails to expand out on any of the ideas. The film has to pad the story to fill out its 93 minutes but instead of offering any explanation about the social background or what it is in the cornfields, all the padding consists of is much running around and getting lost on the part of Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton, which becomes repetitive and tedious. This is a shame as there are many interesting elements in the films story patricide, paganism, puritanism and clairvoyance. However, none of this particularly gels conceptually or gets any type of adequate explanation in the treatment here. The childrens social order, in particular, lacks any credibility. John Franklin and Courtney Gains as the two leaders both have striking presences but both lose it whenever they open their mouths and the dialogue falls thuddingly flat.
Fritz Kiersch made his directorial debut with Children of the Corn (although has since failed to go onto anything other than directing throwaway video fodder). His direction is surprisingly often better than the effort warrants the collision with the body and a dream where it returns to life are two vivid moments. Unfortunately, the rest of Children of the Corn evades his touch. It is simply that there is not enough story there for him to do anything with. Jonathan Eliass score does an effective job of ripping off The Omen (1976). A far better version of the same basic idea of a town where children have turned and killed the adults can be found in the Spanish film Who Can Kill a Child?/Island of the Damned (1976).
There were seven sequels:- Children of the Corn II: Deadly Harvest/Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992), Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995), Children of the Corn IV: Deadly Gathering (1996), Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror (1998), Children of the Corn 666: Isaacs Return (1999), Children of the Corn: Revelation (2001), Children of the Corn: Genesis (2011) and Children of the Corn: Runaway (2017). Children of the Corn (2009) was a much better tv movie remake of the original for the Sci-Fi Channel.
Fritz Kierschs other films of genre interest are: Gor (1987), an adventure set on a barbarian planet; the psycho-thriller Fatal Charm (1990); the revenge film The Stranger (1995); and The Hunt (2006) about human hunting for sport.
Other Stephen King genre adaptations include:- Carrie (1976), Salems Lot (1979), The Shining (1980), Christine (1983), Cujo (1983), The Dead Zone (1983), Firestarter (1984), Cats Eye (1985), Silver Bullet (1985), The Running Man (1987), Pet Semetary (1989), Graveyard Shift (1990), It (tv mini-series, 1990), Misery (1990), a segment of Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990), Sometimes They Come Back (1991), The Lawnmower Man (1992), The Dark Half (1993), Needful Things (1993), The Tommyknockers (tv mini-series, 1993), The Stand (tv mini-series, 1994), The Langoliers (tv mini-series, 1995), The Mangler (1995), Thinner (1996), The Night Flier (1997), Quicksilver Highway (1997), The Shining (tv mini-series, 1997), Trucks (1997), Apt Pupil (1998), The Green Mile (1999), The Dead Zone (tv series, 2001-2), Hearts in Atlantis (2001), Carrie (tv mini-series, 2002), Dreamcatcher (2003), Riding the Bullet (2004), Salems Lot (tv mini-series, 2004), Secret Window (2004), Desperation (tv mini-series, 2006), Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King (tv mini-series, 2006), 1408 (2007), The Mist (2007), Children of the Corn (2009), Everythings Eventual (2009), the tv series Haven (2010-5), Bag of Bones (tv mini-series, 2011), Carrie (2013), Under the Dome (tv series, 2013-5), Big Driver (2014), A Good Marriage (2014), Mercy (2014), Cell (2016), 11.22.63 (tv mini-series, 2016), Geralds Game (2017) and It (2017). Stephen King had also written a number of original screen works with Creepshow (1982), Golden Years (tv mini-series, 1991), Sleepwalkers (1992), Storm of the Century (tv mini-series, 1999), Rose Red (tv mini-series, 2002) and the tv series Kingdom Hospital (2004), as well as adapted his own works with the screenplays for Cats Eye, Silver Bullet, Pet Semetary, The Stand, The Shining, Desperation, Children of the Corn 2009 and Cell. King also directed one film with Maximum Overdrive (1986).
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