Children of the Corn (1984) Poster

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  • While driving through Nebraska on their way to Seattle, Washington, a married couple—Burt (Peter Horton) and Vicky (Linda Hamilton) Stanton—accidentally hit a boy on the highway. When Burt, a doctor, examines the boy, he notices that his throat has been cut and concludes that the boy was probably dead prior to being hit. The couple decides to take his body to the nearest town, which turns out to be Gatlin, but find that the town is deserted, except for a group of children. They soon learn that all the adults in Gatlin have been murdered and that the town is ruled by a religious cult, led by child preacher Isaac (John Franklin) and his lieutenant Malachai (Courtney Gains), neither of whom are about to let Burt and Vicky leave the town alive.

  • Children of the Corn is based on a short story of the same name by American horror writer Stephen King. The story was published first in the March 1977 issue of Penthouse Magazine before being included in King's 1978 collection Night Shift. The story was adapted for the screen by George Goldsmith. The movie was followed by seven sequels: Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992) (1993), Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995) (1995), Children of the Corn: The Gathering (1996) (1996), Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror (1998) (1998), Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return (1999) (1999), Children of the Corn: Revelation (2001) (2001), and Children of the Corn: Genesis (2011) (2011). A TV film remake, also titled Children of the Corn (2009), was released in 2009.

  • From his rags, it looks like he was a law enforcement officer. In the short story, he was the Chief of Police. Toward the end of the movie, Joby (Robby Kiger) refers to him as Officer Hodgekiss.

  • The assumption is that games and music are forbidden by He-Who-Walks-Behind-the-Rows because they detract from the worship of him.

  • When Malachai asks the same question of Isaac, Isaac explains that Sarah (Anne Marie McEvoy) has the gift of sight and that she warned them of the coming of the outlanders. For this reason, Isaac wanted to keep Sarah in his flock.

  • The origins of He-Who-Walks-Behind-the-Rows was not brought out in either the movie or the short story. Some Stephen King fans, especially upon learning that the town of Hemingford is nearby, have speculated that He might be Randall Flagg. Other viewers dispute that theory and suggest He is more akin to a Lovecraftian god, especially considering the cornfield dragon painting that Vicky stumbles upon. King himself has neither verified nor denied either theory.

  • John Franklin, the actor who plays Isaac, was actually 23 years old at the time. His short stature and "weird" voice—an unharmonious blend of high pitch and low pitch—are the result of a growth hormone deficiency (GHD).

  • As the storm rages over the cornfield, Burt, Vicky, Sarah, Joby, and the other children take refuge in the barn. Joby tells Burt how the Blue Man once tried to burn down the cornfield, so Burt decides to give it a try. He hooks up the sprinkler pump to a gasohol tank, then runs out into the field to get the sprinklers working. The corn stalks try to stop him, but Joby helps disentangle him. They get the sprinklers working, and gasohol is sprayed over the field. Burt then tosses a molotov cocktail on it, causing the field to burst into flames, apparently killing the demon. The four of them walk back to their car, which has been rendered inoperable, and decide they will have to walk the 19 miles to Hemingford. Burt gets into the car to retrieve the map and is suddenly attacked by one of older girls wielding a sickle, but Vicky manages to knock her out with the car door. In the final scene, the four of them start their long walk to Hemingford.


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