Taking Out the Trash: Children of the Corn 2-7

I went to the $5 bin at Walmart and looked through it for a few minutes. After weighing my options, I picked up the Children of the Corn, 6-movie pack. I thought it looked like it belonged there, and therefore was perfect for my weekly trash review.

I want to start by saying it did not have the first movie, and I have never seen it, so all of these reviews are solely based from these six. That also means that I get to start with Children of the Corn II: The Final Harvest.

I guess they weren’t planning on making anymore after this one. But with the original movie clearing $14 million in the box office and the sequel making $6 million, why not?

Most of the movies take place in Gatlin, Nebraska, although the 3rd takes place in Chicago and the 4th takes place in Grand Island, Nebraska. But each movie comes with it’s own beautiful girl and a slue of creepy children to follow them around.

So we start in the Bible Belt. Not really, but the directors thought that Nebraska was in the Bible Belt. The directors of #3 also thought that pizza was Japanese. Anyway, this sequel begins 8 years after, and the bodies of parents are just being found. Thankfully, John Garrett, a journalist, and his son Danny are entering Gatlin at that moment.

My boss and I watched this movie, along with the next 3 and we laughed our way through them. At the time I’m sure they were very good, but now they are a joke.

The cliché count from this movie, even though I stopped counting after the first 45 minutes, ended at 11. Our favorites being the first on screen death of the token black character and telling your evil plan to people that you are going to kill. But in Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest we found another five, minimum as well as other scattered throughout.

The basic idea of this movie was for the Native American “prophet” to tell Garrett that the white men have destroyed the earth and don’t respect it. The director tried to cover that point up with the lines that followed.

Frank Redbear: “Koyaanisqatsi. It means life out of balance. My ancestors would have told you that man should be at one with the earth, the skies, and water. But the white man has never understood this. He only knows how to take. And after a while, there’s nothing left to take. So, everything’s out of balance. And we all fall down.”

John Garrett: “Wait a minute… so that’s what happened here in Gatlin?”

Frank Redbear: “No… what happened in Gatlin was, those kids went ape-shit and killed everyone.”

Other movies had prophetic characters, but none as clear as Frank Redbear. In Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return, the prophet was a crazy man whom no one listened too.

By the end, both the father and son found women to hold onto. Although it’s cheesy, I would guess that 4 days in a murder-fest would make any relationship seem like 2 ½ years. Each of these movies kind of takes that approach, until Isaac’s Return, when that is actually a major part of the plan. Hannah, the main character, actually sleeps with He Who Walks Behind the Rows (what an ominous name). The part that really bothered me was that she just accepted that she was carrying the spawn of Satan, and she “has to live with it now.” NO, you don’t! Just kill yourself, or the baby, or both.

The most inventive and creative thing about these movies was the different ways for people to die. It started out mostly just being people killed with sickles, but the corn would kill people sometimes. Have you ever seen the Little Shop of Horrors?  If you answered yes, imagine that plant, eating a Barbie doll and then having the Men in Black idea where they dig you out of its stomach. That’s about what happens in the 3rd. Also about 10 people die from vines and sickles going through their heads. Vines also kill a naked stripper in the 7th. The vines don’t even need soil; they just grow wherever the children drop the kernels.

This movie is basically a precursor for The Happening. Plants are trying to kill people and the characters have to figure out why and how to stop them. Since there are eight movies, clearly the story continues. But each movie is based with different characters, except for the 6th movie, and each movie has a different director.

Once children turn 19, they are considered corrupted by the world. So most of the movies coincidentally happen right around main character’s birthdays. All of the dates, as Joshua from 3rd points out, are right around a harvest moon as well. The 7th movie gets away from the point though as adults are killed and reincarnated into children.

The best movie in the collection is Children of the Corn IV: Gathering. It was the perfect length, 85 minutes, and the story was simple and yet complete. There were very few cliché and unnecessary scenes, which helped the flow. Unlike in Children of the Corn: Revelation, which was almost completely unnecessary and went far too long. The amount of screaming, strange shots and repeat shots from different angles were just ridiculous.

If there was anything to take away from these movies, it’s don’t go to Nebraska, don’t hang around if you see ominous writing in blood and always listen to Native Americans and old crazy ladies.

There was nothing of real importance or necessity from these movies, but they were the start of something wonderful. Children of the Corn III was Charlize Theron’s first movie. Good job Donald Paul Pemrick for casting her. But these 6 movies were the “almost final” pieces of this Nebraskan horror series. And they are all thanks to Stephen King and his short story from Penthouse.

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