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DVD Shopping Bag: Children of the Corn in Blu

Giving it Another Chance on Blu-ray

By Robert T. Trate     July 14, 2009

The film adaptation of Stephen King’s Children of the Corn now on Blu-ray
© Anchor Bay/Starz


There are those awkward years in our youth where Halloween can be the best holiday or the worst. Many of my Halloweens as a youth were spent being paid to scare the living hell out of people at a little place called Maniac Mountain Hayride. Before the hayride job Halloween was usually about getting the guys together and watching some horror movies. We were after all too old and too cool to trick or treat and beer was a commodity that was often hard to come by. One year my best friend suggested we rent Children of the Corn, a film I had never seen. At this point Halloween was a bust and I figured at least I’d see a Stephen King film. He was after all the true Master of Horror so how bad could this film be?
My friend suggested we make it a double feature and top it off with some Pabst Blue Ribbon he had been hoarding from his dad. The first film featured George C. Scott and was The Changeling (1980). What I can remember about the film that is was a lot of build up and had little pay off. I gave my buddy a little slack and hoped that King’s Children of the Corn would have some true scares or at least Linda Hamilton naked. Give me a break I was all of seventeen and knew she was naked in Terminator (1984) so I thought that there was a good chance to see some more of her.
Children of the Corn (1984)is the tale of two young lovers (Linda Hamilton and Peter Horton) who are traveling across the country. They accidently run over a young boy near a small town in Nebraska called Gatlin. Unfortunately for these young lovers Gatlin had a religious uprising about three years ago when the town’s young preacher Isaac (John Franklin) convinced the children of Gatlin to massacre their parents. All in attempt to do the right thing the young couple get in over their heads and come to face with the ultimate evil.
Seventeen years ago I hated it. I despised it so much that to this day consider it one of the worst Halloweens I’d ever had. A few weeks ago Anchor Bay announced the new 25th Anniversary Edition of the film on Blu-ray. Since my palette for films has changed over the last few years I figured that I owed the great Stephen King another chance.
The Blu-ray alone is packed with more Children of the Corn special features that any true die hard could ever want. Commentaries by the cast and crew are accompanied by new interviews from Hamilton and producer Donald P. Borchers. “Harvesting Horror” may not be a new documentary but it is still a great look into the film. Let us not forget the pop up trivia that runs simultaneously with the film being the true treat.
The picture quality is amazing, a true gem in Blu-ray transfers. The corn looks as if it is right outside your window. There are two downsides to the transfer though, the first being the film’s climatic special effects ending. I admire the fact that they haven’t enhanced the original film in any way or went all “special edition” all over it. The other problem with 1080p is that each and every crooked tooth and twisted freckle on Malachai’s face is even more hideous than you remember it. Sorry Courtney Gains but it is true.
The sound for the Children of the Corn in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 is by far one of the best Blu-rays I have heard in a long time. Jonathan Elias’ score is truly one of the best of the eighties and his children’s choir invokes the best of what horror movies are all about. Without his score Children of the Corn would have no bite. Face it John Franklin you’re just not as scary as that music. Anchor Bay may not be one of the biggest kids on the block when it comes to catalogue titles but when it comes to their treatment and presentation no one else comes close (see my Hellraiser Blu-ray review).
What did I think of the film itself seventeen years later? Despite the special features and outstanding Blu-ray transfer I was left wanting more from the film. Poor Job (Robby Kiger) watches his father get murdered right in front of him yet it provokes no emotional change in the character. When we see Job again it is as if nothing has happened. I constantly kept trying to figure out what was more horrific in the film, a child’s blind faith or the manipulation of the bible to suit one’s needs. The biggest scare I got from the whole film was during the climatic ending when He Who Walks Behind the Rows comes to collect his offering. Due to the sound rocking my speakers my Wii censor bar fell off the TV right in front of the screen. The film is just not for me. If anything it made me want to read King’s original short story. I think there are some great ideas here but this one should be re-made. The original looks as if it had a shoestring budget to begin with. If you are a die hard fan or are nostalgic for one of the quintessential eighties horror movies then this Blu-ray is all that you could ever want from the Children of the Corn.
Side Note: The Children of the Corn Blu-ray was released at Best Buy a week ago despite its Amazon release date of August 25th.
6 Thugs [Blu-ray] ~ Robert Zepeda
6 Thugs ~ Robert Zepeda, Rolando Molina, and Demetrius Navarro
12 ~ Sergei Makovetsky, Sergey Garmash, Apti Magamaev, and Aleksei Petrenko
The Accidental Spy (Import) [Blu-ray] ~ Jackie Chan, Alfred Cheung, Eric Tsang, and Wu Hsing-Kuo
Beast Stalker (Import) [Blu-ray] ~ Nick Cheung, Nicholas Tse, Liu Kai-chi, and Zhang Jingchu
Beast Stalker
Break ~ David Carradine, Charles Durning, Michael Madsen, and James Russo
Breaking News (Import) [Blu-ray] ~ Simon Yam, Cheung Siu Fai, Nick Cheung, and Kelly Chen
The Butcher ~ Eric Roberts, Robert Davi, Bokeem Woodbine, and Keith David
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon / Curse of the Golden Flower / House of Flying Daggers Trilogy
[Blu-ray] ~ Ziyi Zhang, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Andy Lau, and Yun-Fat Chow
Death Trance DVD with Blu-ray ~ Tak Sakaguch
Disappearing In America ~ Mark Pellegrino
Door Into Silence ~ John Savage
Election (Import) [Blu-ray] ~ Tony Leung Kar-Fai, Simon Yam, Cheung Siu Fai, and Nick Cheung
Election 2 (Import) [Blu-ray] ~ Simon Yam, Nick Cheung, Cheung Siu Fai, and Wong Tin-lam
Fulci Frenzy ~ Jennifer O'Neill, Marc Porel, Marisa Mell, and Jean Sorel
Horsemen ~ Dennis Quaid, Ziyi Zhang, Lou Taylor Pucci, and Clifton Collins Jr.
Naked Weapon [Blu-ray] ~ Daniel Wu
One Way ~ Til Schweiger
The Towering Inferno [Blu-ray] ~ Malcolm Atterbury, Susan Blakely, Norman Burton, and Richard Chamberlain
Aquarian Age: Complete Collection
Bleach, Vol. 18
Bleach Uncut Box Set, Vol. 3: The Rescue w/ Limited Collector's Hollow Mask
Bleach Uncut Box Set, Vol. 3: The Rescue
Burn Up! ~ Miki Itou, Ichiroo Nagai, and Norio Wakamoto
Case Closed: Season One Box Set (Viridian Collection)
Claymore: Volume 6 - The Awakening
Elemental Gelade: The Complete Series Box Set (Viridian Collection)
Gakuen Alice DVD Collection
Gungrave: The Complete Series Box Set
G.I. Joe A Real American Hero: Season 1.1 ~ Chris Latta, Michael Bell, Frank Welker, and Arthur Burghardt
Zorro: Generation Z, Volume One
Bardelys The Magnificent, Monte Cristo ~ John Gilbert, Eleanor Boardman, Estelle Taylor, and Roy D Arcy
Sleepy Eyes of Death: Collector's Set, Vol. 1 ~ Raizo Ichikawa
Batmania: From Comics to Screen ~ Adam West
The State: The Complete Series ~ Robert Ben Garant, David Wain, Michael Ian Black, and Tom Lennon
Criterion Collection
For All Mankind- Criterion Collection [Blu-ray] ~ Jim Lovell, Kenneth Mattingly, Russell Schweickart, and Eugene Cernan
A Haunting: Twilight of Evil [Blu-ray]
Black Torment ~ Heather Sears, John Turner, Ann Lynn, and Peter Arne
Death Trance [Blu-ray] ~ Tak Sakaguchi
The Haunting in Connecticut (Unrated Special Edition) ~ Kyle Gallner, Amanda Crew, and Virginia Madsen
The Haunting in Connecticut [Blu-ray]
The Haunting in Connecticut (Single-Disc Edition)
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer [Blu-ray] ~ Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jr. Freddie Prinze, Brandy, and Mekhi Phifer
Night of the Living Dead DVDTee (Size L) ~ Marilyn Eastman, Karl Hardman, Rossie Harris, and Duane Jones
[Rec] ~ Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza, Jorge Serrano, and Pablo Rosso
Prey ~ Sally Faulkner, Barry Stokes, and Glory Annen
Zombie Pack (slimpack) ~ Al Cliver
The Color of Magic ~ David Jason, Sean Astin, Tim Curry, and Jeremy Irons
Faerie Tale Theatre: Tales from Hans Christian Andersen ~ Alan Arkin, Mick Jagger, Edward James Olmos, and Art Carney
Faerie Tale Theatre: Princess Tales ~ Matthew Broderick, Jean Stapleton, Pam Dawber, and Tom Conti
American Gladiators (The Original Series): The Battle Begins ~ Zap, Nitro, Gemini, and Lace
Bewitched: The Complete Eighth Season ~ Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick Sargent, Agnes Moorehead, and David White
ER: The Complete Eleventh Season ~ Noah Wyle, Maura Tierney, Mekhi Phifer, and Goran Visnjic
Guns of Will Sonnett - Complete Seasons of 1 & 2 - 49 episodes! ~ Walter Brennan, Dack Rambo, Charles Grodin, and Jack Nicholson
Ironside ~ Raymond Burr, Susan Saint James, David Carradine, and Gary Collins
Leverage: The First Season ~ Timothy Hutton
Mad Men: Season Two [Blu-ray] ~ Jon Hamm, Vincent Kartheiser, John Slattery, and Bryan Batt
Mad Men: Season 2
McHale's Navy ~ Ernest Borgnine, Tim Conway, and Joe Flynn
Men Behaving Badly ~ Rob Schneider, Justine Bateman, and Ron Eldard
Peyton Place: Part Two ~ Barbara Parkins
Shark Week: The Great Bites Collection [Blu-ray]
Swamp Thing (Best of) ~ Dick Durock
Tracey Takes On... Complete Seasons 3 & 4 ~ Tracey Ullman
Wire in the Blood: The Complete Sixth Season ~ Robson Green
Tales of Wells Fargo - Starring Dale Robertson - 6 DVD SET! ~ Dale Robertson, Chuck Connors, Lee Van Cleef, and Michael Landon


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StarlightGuard 7/14/2009 4:13:15 AM

Color of Magic? AWESOME!

Did you insure the Drum?

Jeremy Irons as Lord Vetinari (The Patrician) was inspired. And Tim Curry really hammed it up in his role.

hanso 7/14/2009 4:14:34 AM

Crap all this week.

StarlightGuard 7/14/2009 5:20:39 AM

You oughta try Color of Magic, Hanso.

Muenster 7/14/2009 7:19:52 AM

Children of the Blu Corn.

michaelxaviermaelstrom 7/14/2009 2:53:49 PM

Trate mang,I love gettin plastered during horror movies. But Children of the Cornhole as quintessential 80's horror film? Hmmmmmm(n)  that's an interesting delineator, open to some interpretation, I guess.

But here's what isn't:

Greatest horror film of the 80's:

I hereby nominate Hellraiser.

(1 and 2 -spliced together and viewed as one film, no doubt -Ed)

No doubt.


Oh yeah, the nominations are closed, and the motion is carried, bitches.


themovielord 7/14/2009 4:10:20 PM

michaelxaviermaelstrom, where the F have you been?

michaelxaviermaelstrom 7/14/2009 5:08:59 PM


Hail TML, I crawled through endless miles of sewage and human refuse, until I finally escaped, just coming out the other side now.

(he was sucked into the toilet that is Facebook - Ed)

Yes Ed, and that FB monster was way worse than any horror I've ever seen. waay worse.

StarlightGuard 7/14/2009 5:18:05 PM

hell, be glad you can load facebook maelstrom.....on dialup it takes 5 effing minutes to load for me...


redhairs99 7/14/2009 6:23:50 PM

Yeah, Anchor Bay doesn't have the best catalogue but they do well with what they got...Namely all the editions of Evil Dead 1, 2 and Army of Darkness.  And let's face it, there's several editions of each.  What's sad is...I think I own all of them :(

TheLeagueTV 7/14/2009 9:56:07 PM

Courtney Gain's Malachai’s never quite pulled off scary, especially when Patrick Dempsey "Shit on his house" 3 years later in "Can't Buy Me Love."

Never did get those teeth figured out though...

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