Thursday, February 27, 2014

Children Of The Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992)

Children Of The Corn is a short story by Stephen King. It is twenty-nine pages long. From those twenty-nine pages, nine films have been made. The Final Sacrifice is the second one, and of course comes a bit early in the series to be using the word Final. Friday The 13th didn’t do that until the fourth one (and then proceeded to make another nine films, including the two remakes and Freddy Vs. Jason).

Anyway, Children Of The Corn II: The Final Sacrifice starts basically where the previous one ended. Cops and reporters have descended on the town to investigate the mass murder of adults by the children. And homes are being found in the neighboring town for the remaining children. A news van is leaving the area, and one of the guys thinks a dirt path through the corn is a shortcut to the highway. Really? Well, guess what, it isn’t. And even though there are no deadly children about, the two men are killed. They are killed by the corn itself. This corn is strong with the dark side of the force, and shoots lightning through one of the guys like the emperor did to Luke.

Meanwhile, John, a tabloid reporter, and his son, Danny, arrive in town, and John wants to land the story (though all the other reporters have left). They stay at a bed and breakfast, where Micah, one of the children is also staying. John gets the story from him – the blood was for the corn. Later, John takes out a tape recorder and says that line into it. Seems short enough that he could have just written it down, but whatever.

Micah goes out into the field, looking for his friends, and is suddenly chased by an unseen force. He falls into some sort of vortex. I’m not sure what happens exactly, but it looks cool. I think maybe his molecules come apart and then reform with darker molecules. No, I don’t really know. The other kids have gathered to wait for He Who Walks Behind The Rows. I guess they learned nothing from their recent experiences in the first film. Children are stupid. Mordechai says it is written that a leader will come out of the corn. The children are waiting for a leader? They killed their parents and now want someone else to lead them? Children are stupid.

A bitter, crazy, old lady says: “My husband walked into a cornfield fifteen years ago. He never came back.” That’s why she thinks the corn and children are evil, because her husband had the good sense to take off. She says, “That’s why I’m moving out of this place, and I’m taking my house with me.” No word on the reason for her delayed reaction. Fifteen years is a long time to pack up one’s belongings. John listens to her story, then looks over at the group of children gathered in her yard. After John leaves, the kids decide to kill the old lady, and they crush her with her house. As she dies she says, “What a world.” She must think it’s a good line, because she says it again. “What a world.”

And of course there is one of those tiny churches with a preacher ranting against fornication. The service must go on a very long time because it starts before the kids surrounded the old lady and yet Micah has enough time to walk over there after the old lady’s death and slip into the back row with a sort of homemade voodoo doll of one of the parishioners. He uses the doll to cause a nosebleed and eventually the guy’s death.

Danny, the reporter’s son, has managed to find the one cute girl in town who is not obsessed with corn and murder and whatnot. But later for some reason (or for no reason) Micah decides that girl must be sacrificed. I thought he only disliked adults, and Lacey is not yet eighteen.

Though the movie has some problems, it’s not terrible. One thing that saves the movie is a native American character that is actually not a cliché. Ned Romero turns in a good performance as Red Bear, and actually has some good dialogue as well. “Sometimes what you’ve learned conflicts with what you know.” Basically the movie is better whenever he’s on screen.

And there’s a very silly scene with an electric wheelchair and a bingo game that you can’t help but enjoy.

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