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One quiet Sunday, the children of Gatlin, Nebraska slaughtered all the adults at the instruction of Isaac, a young preacher with mesmerizing powers; three years later, a young couple travelling across the country accidently drive into Gatlin and become pa
Item Type: DVD Movie
Item Rating: NR
Street Date: 04/10/01
Wide Screen: yes
Director Cut: no
Special Edition: no
Foreign Film: noSubtitles: no
Full Frame: no
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The murder rate is as high as an elephant's eye in this flaccid adaptation of Stephen King's short story. While driving through Nebraska en route to a new job, medico Burt (Peter Horton) and his wife Vicky (a pre-Terminator Linda Hamilton) nearly run over a mutilated boy who staggers from the cornfields. Seeking help, they enter the town of Gatlin, whose under-20 residents have butchered their parents per the decree of junior-grade holy roller Isaac (John Franklin), who preaches the word of a being called "He Who Walks Behind the Rows." King's original story (from his 1978 collection Night Shift) was a lean and brutal mélange of Southern-gothic atmosphere and E.C. Comics-style gore, which scripter Greg Goldsmith effectively neutralizes by adding a youthful narrator (a grating Robbie Kiger) and putting an upbeat spin on the story's morbid conclusion. Fritz Kiersch's direction is TV-movie flat, with the sole inspired moment (hideous religious iconography glimpsed during a bloody "service") delivered as a throwaway. Aside from Horton and Courtney Gains (as Isaac's hatchet man Malachai), the performances are dreadful, and the depiction of the Lovecraftian monster-god as a sort of giant gopher inspires more laughter than terror. Amazingly, the film spawned six sequels; Franklin (Cousin Itt in the Addams Family films) later appeared in and wrote 1999's Children of the Corn 666. --Paul GaitaAdditional Features:
Anchor Bay's widescreen presentation is the R-rated theatrical cut (director Fritz Kiersch's cut was longer and gorier) and includes the original trailer and a booklet outlining the story's transition from page to screen. --Paul Gaita
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