Todd Bowden realizes that Kurt Dussander, a nazi criminal, lives in his small town. Soon, Todd blackmails Dussander into telling him about the gory details in exchange for not turning him ... See full summary »
I rented this short film as a part of `Stephen King's Night Shift Collection.' Previously, I thought that there was only one volume in this `collection,' that being the one that contained student films of `The Boogeyman' and `The Woman in the Room,' neither of which I enjoyed. `Disciples of the Crow' is paired up with a short film made in 1987 called `The Night Waiter,' which doesn't seem to be a King story at all. But never mind that, as that is a review for another day. I wasn't sure what to expect with this film. Just by the title, I knew that the story was based on `Children of the Corn.' This movie had the unfortunate chance of being made one year before the actual `Children of the Corn' film (which I liked, but I know I am in the minority). It would have been lost in oblivion had it not 1) been adapted from a Stephen King story and 2) been found by Karl James Associates to cash in on the late-80's Stephen King craze.
Pushing aside thoughts of the film series and letting the film stand on its own, I must say they almost pulled it off. I won't bore you with details of the original story's plot, but I will say that I wouldn't get the short film so much had I not either read the story or watched the feature film. Perhaps for the sake of time, key elements of explanation are gone and no attempt is made to characterize any of the children (I know the King story didn't do this either, but since this short acts like it is about to do this with one character and then balks, it is worth mentioning). The good points are that John Woodward slowly and effectively builds suspense to the point of creating nervousness for the viewers and that the sunny, outdoor setting adds to the rural creepiness---it's pretty obvious why this King story was chosen by both these students and Hollywood. Sadly, the film is too short, ending immediately after the full shock is released. It was a good try, but it just barely misses. Zantara's score: 5 out of 10.
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