Children of the Corn (1984) (Blu-ray Review) (Arrow Video Version)

Children of the Corn (1984) (Blu-ray Review) (Arrow Video Version)
Directed By: Fritz Kiersch
Starring: Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, R.G. Armstrong
Rated: R/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Arrow Video

Released in 1984, and adapted from a popular Stephen King short story, the original CHILDREN OF THE CORN became one of the most successful of the legendary author’s page-to-screen adaptations. The hit horror sickie headlines a pre-TERMINATOR Linda Hamilton and Peter Horton (TV’s THIRTYSOMETHING) as a travelling couple who unwittingly become trapped in the fictional town of Gatlin, Nebraska, and find themselves stalked by a creepy clan of young cultists. No adult is allowed to survive in Gatlin or else, their prophecy predicts, the harvest will collapse. Suffice to say, all hell soon breaks loose (literally) and demonic entities ensure that Hamilton and her husband are in for a long night… Co-starring popular genre face Courtney Gains (THE ‘BURBS) and given a malevolent mid-western touch by director Fritz Kiersch (TUFF TURF), CHILDREN OF THE CORN remains one of the most spine-tingling terror titles of the 1980s.

If you think kids are crazy today, you should see how the backwoods children of this town were in 1984. The film opens with a shocking enough opening, one that was probably more of an “OMG” moment in the 1980’s and for people who had no clue what the book was about than it is for today, but it’s still kinda cool. It’s also cool to have kids running around with such epic names as, “Malachai” and “Isaac”. Of course, these types of names would roll along with the film’s sequels, even if the overall quality didn’t (I will admit that part 2 might be my favorite). Also adding to the film’s cool factor and acceptable acting is Linda Hamilton. I always think of the Terminator films when I think of her, but she’s “Vicky” here and she does a fine job and adds a lot to the movie by just being here in my opinion. Maybe even more so than her co-star Peter Horton. Still, the film’s overall stars and selling points are the kids. And if you want a creepy kid, then you sure have on with the character of Isaac. In the long line of cinematic kids that were weird and creepy, he has to be one of the best. And it really helps sell the movie. It also kinda helps you ignore the slower portions of the film, which don’t by any means make it a bad movie but are noticeable in spots. Children of the Corn is one of the movies I remember hearing about a lot as a kid, I remember renting them at the video store. I think the movie just gets you with the cool and creepy sounding title, but if you’ve never seen it before, it lives up to that creepy factor and is a lot of fun to watch as well.

So the film has a few eye-catching moments of violence, like people being run over just to name an example without giving anything away (If you’ve seen this, then you know what I mean). It also packs some very cheesy effects moments that might stand out and catch your attention for all the wrong reasons, but they still do seem to have their own charming ways about them and that just adds to the fun factor for me. You can’t deny the film does have good elements about it and people do love the film. Proof of that is the endless amount of sequels that have followed this movie. Outside of perhaps part 2 (Yes, I’m name dropping it again), I’d say this is the best entry of the franchise and rightfully so. At the end of the day, I think I’d call Children of the Corn a perfectly acceptable slice of 80’s horror that might have some slow moments here and there, but wins you over regardless. It basically has what you come to expect from 80’s horror and I say that in the for better or for worse way. As for how this looks, Arrow brings Children of the Corn back to Blu-ray with a release that tops both the US Anchor Bay/Image Entertainment releases before it and also tops the UK 88 Films version as well. I think if you like this movie this is by far the must-own version of it.

Extras

– Brand new 2K restoration from the original negative
– Original Mono and 5.1 Audio Options
– Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
– Brand new audio commentary with John Sullivan of childrenofthecornmovie.com and horror journalist Justin Beahm
– Audio commentary with director Fritz Kiersch, producer Terrence Kirby and actors John Franklin and Courtney Gains
– Harvesting Horror: The Making of Children of the Corn – retrospective piece featuring interviews with director Fritz Kiersch and actors John Franklin and Courtney Gains
– It Was the Eighties! – an interview with actress Linda Hamilton
– Return to Gatlin – brand new featurette revisiting the film’s original Iowa shooting locations
– Stephen King on a Shoestring – an interview with producer Donald Borchers
– Welcome to Gatlin: The Sights and Sounds of Children of the Corn – an interview with production designer Craig Stearns and composer Jonathan Elias
– Feeling Blue – an interview with the actor who played “The Blue Man” in the fabled excised sequence
Theatrical Trailer
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gary Pullin
– First pressing only: Collectors booklet featuring new writing in the film

Quality of Transfer: 95%