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Import Corner: Children of the Corn Trilogy (Arrow Video) Blu-ray Review



Studio: Arrow Video
Release Date: 
March 9th, 1984 (theatrical) (Children of the Corn)
                            January 29th, 1993 (theatrical) (Children of the Corn II)
                            September 12th, 1995 (video premiere) (Children of the Corn III)
                            September 28th, 2021 (4K blu-ray) 
Run Time: 1 hour 32 minutes 11 seconds (Children of the Corn)
                    1 hour 32 minutes 59 seconds (Children of the Corn II) (International Cut)
                    1 hour 33 minutes 33 seconds (Children of the Corn II) (US Theatrical Cut)
                    1 hour 35 minutes 29 seconds (Children of the Corn II) (Workprint Version)
                    1 hour 30 minutes 57 seconds (Children of the Corn III) (US Cut)
                    1 hour 32 minutes 54 seconds (Children of the Corn III) (International Cut)
Region Code: REGION FREE (4K Blu-ray) (Children of the Corn)
                           REGION B (locked) (Blu-rays) (All three films)
Picture: 2160p (1.85:1 aspect ratio) (Children of the Corn)
                1080p (1.78:1 aspect ratio) (Children of the Corn II and III)
Sound: 
English LPCM 2.0 (Children of the Corn)
               English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (Children of the Corn II and III)
               English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (All three films)
Subtitles: 
English SDH
Slipcover: 
No. Hardbox
Digital Copy: No
Starring: 
Linda Hamilton, Peter Horton, R.G. Armstrong, John Franklin, Courtney Gains, and Robby       Kiger (Children of the Corn)
Terence Knox, Paul Scherrer, Ryan Bollman, Christie Clark, Rosalind Allen, Ned Romero, Ed Grady, and John Bennes (Children of the Corn II)
Daniel Cerny, Ron Melendez, Jim Metzler, Nancy Lee Grahn, Jon Clair, Mari Morrow, Michael Ensign, and Duke Stroud (Children of the Corn III)
Written by George Goldsmith (Children of the Corn)
                     A.L. Katz and Gilbert Adler (Children of the Corn II)
                     Dode B. Levenson (Children of the Corn III)
Directed by Fritz Kiersch (Children of the Corn)
                       David Price (Children of the Corn II)
                       James D.R. Hickox (Children of the Corn III)
Rating: BBFC 18: (strong violence and horror) (Children of the Corn)
               BBFC 18: (strong bloody violence) (Children of the Corn II)
               BBFC 18: (strong gore, violence, language, domestic abuse) (Children of the Corn III)

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Poster(s)
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What's It About?

Children of the Corn A boy preacher named Isaac goes to Gatlin, Nebraska and gets all the children to murder every adult in town. A young couple on a road trip stop in Gatlin to report a murder and seek help, but the town seems deserted. They are soon trapped in Gatlin with little chance of getting out alive.

Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice Belated sequel to the '84 film. 8 years after the first, authorities discover the mutilated bodies of adults in the secluded town of Gatlin, Nebraska and children hiding in the corn. Enter John Garrett (Terence Knox) and son Danny (Paul Scherrer) who head for Gatlin on a story and get caught up in this mess when an orphan named Micah (Ryan Bollman) is possessed by He Who Walks Behind The Rows

Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest Two young Gatlin residents are orphaned after the younger brother kills their father. So, the terror of Gatlin goes urban when the two boys are placed in the custody of two foster parents. The younger brother (who by this point is established as the "evil one") bought some corn seeds along for the road and plants them in the courtyard of an abandoned warehouse, bring He Who Walks Behind the Rows to the city. He winds up possessing his high school peers, and soon his older brother feels called to stop him._

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Film Review

Children of the Corn SEE THIS REVIEW

Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice I first saw CHILDREN OF THE CORN II: THE FINAL SACRIFICE when it hit VHS in 1993. I had seen the first film and did not like it at all, but this one spoke to me. I was getting pretty heavy into horror and would watch just about anything I found at my local video store. It's not a bad film. It always gets lumped in with so-called "lackluster sequels" like HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH and HALLOWEEN: THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS, two films like adore. Like those films, THE FINAL SACRIFICE expands on the mythology while giving us some good gore effects. I actually liked the leader of the titular children this time around. I always felt that the villain from the first film was played with a wink and smile while here there is no wink, just a truly awesome over-the-top performance. I also thought that the film looked good and it is well shot. It is not without it's faults though. Most of the kids don't do anything. They just stand there looking kind of menacing. The romance angle didn't really do anything for me either. Still, this is not a bad film at all and deserves to be re-examined. 

Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest After sitting through, and enjoying, THE FINAL SACRIFICE, I was still a little weary on watching URBAN HARVEST. This second sequel was something that I had never watched. Back in THE VIDEO STORE DAYS, the CHILDREN OF THE CORN films were always on the shelves at any video store as they were pretty big renters, but I didn't like the first film so why watch any of its sequels? Watching URBAN HARVEST, I realize that I should have given it a shot. The film moves the action from a rural setting to an urban one and it works. It's nice to see this story outside of its normal wheelhouse. The film looks like it actually cost money, something the first film, and parts of the second film didn't have. Most films that are shot in rural areas look like they cost far less than anything shot in a city. The one thing that this sequel doesn't have that the first sequel did have is the insanity. There is no "church death scene" or "lady in a wheelchair being slowly pushed to her death" scene, but it does give us the most ridiculous version of "he who walks behind the rows". He looks like the monster villain from the 1986 HOWARD THE DUCK live-action film, only done way worse. In fact, the only time the film tries to get crazy is during the climax of the film. The rest of the film is pretty laid back. There are a few cool death scenes, and lots of scenes of the film's villain, Eli, talking that religious cult talk we have come to know and love. In the end, URBAN HARVEST is a fun flick that is almost as good as THE FINAL SACRIFICE but rises above the first film.
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Video/Audio

Children of the Corn SEE THIS REVIEW

Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice The film looks good. This was never a looker of a film so don't expect too much from it. Detail is nice as are colors. The image is a little flat and there is very little grain. Skin tones look good too. Nothing spectacular but nothing terrible either. The DTS-HD tracks get the job done with dialogue sounding good. 

Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest Like THE FINAL SACRIFICE, URBAN HARVEST looks good, but never great. Detail is nice at times and colors look good. There is a little bit of grain here but not much. The DTS-HD tracks get the job done with dialogue sounding good. 
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Extras/Packaging

Children of the Corn SEE THIS REVIEW

Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice

Audio Commentary with critic Lee Gambin and director David Price
Audio Commentary with critics Matty Budrewicz and David Wain
A New Harvest (9m 23s, HD, 1.78:1) A brand new interview with director David Price about the making of the film.
Sowing the Seeds of Terror (9m 30s, HD, 1.78:1) A brand new interview with co-screenwriter A.L. Katz
Framing Fear (6m 53s, HD, 1.78:1) A brand new interview with director of photography Levie Isaacks
It was the Nineties! (18m 15s, HD, 1.78:1) A brand new interview with actor Ryan Bollman
Workprint Version (1h 35m, SD, 1.33:1) This looks like it was taken from a copy of a copy, but it's a workprint so you don't usually get much better than this. I didn't like this version of the film. It doesn't flow right and it was actually kind of boring. It is a very nice thing to have but I probably won't watch this version ever again.
Trailers:
    The Final Sacrifice Trailer (2m 6s, SD, 1.78:1)
    Deadly Harvest Trailer (2m 3s, SD, 1.33:1) This is the same trailer as The Final Sacrifice trailer
    US TV Spot (36s, SD, 1.33:1)
    Re-release Trailer (1m 37s, HD, 1.78:1
Stills Gallery (12 images)

Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest

Audio Commentary with Matty Budrewicz and Dave Wain
Corn in the USA (18m 56s, HD, 1.78:1) A brand new visual essay by author and critic Guy Adams exploring the surprising connections between corn, culture, and cinema, commissioned exclusively for Arrow Video
Corn in the City (16m 11s, HD, 1.78:1) A brand new interview with Urban Harvest screenwriter Dode Leveson about bringing the series into the urban jungle, commissioned exclusively for Arrow Video
Before the Urban Harvest () Before settling on Dode Levenson's approach, there were a few other ideas for what Children of the Corn III could be, this collection of early treatments gives an insight into the development process and an idea of what might have been if fate had taken a different turn.
Theatrical Trailer (2m 42s, SD, 1.33:1)
Re-release Trailer (1m 18s, HD, 1.78:1)
Stills Gallery (147 images)

THE FINAL SACRIFICE has the most special features of the two sequels and they are pretty damn good. Two commentary tracks lead the way with each of them being good in their own way. The new interviews are worth the time with some pretty good stories about the making of the film. The workprint is in pretty rough shape, but it does offer a different look at the film. I will probably never watch it again, but I love the fact that it is included here. Trailers and a stills gallery close out this fun package

URBAN HARVEST has some really good features, starting with another awesome commentary track from Matty Budrewicz and David Wain. The interview with the screenwriter of part III is really great. He is so full of stories about the making of the film. The two still galleries, one regular one and one for the other ideas for the film are interesting. This may not have the most features, but they are pretty damn good nonetheless. 

CHILDREN OF THE CORN TRILOGY comes to us from Arrow Video. The collection comes housed in the same hard box that Arrow has been using for years now. The artwork on this hard box is really good and fits the mood of the films very well. Inside the hard box, you will find one 4K blu-ray case (CHILDREN OF THE CORN) and two UK-style blu-ray cases (CHILDREN OF THE CORN II AND III). Each of these cases features brand new artwork with each film's original theatrical poster on the reverse side. Also in the case is a 60-page book featuring new essays by critics Stacie Porter, Craig Martin, and Guy Adams as well as Lee Gambin. There is also information about the transfers used in this set. Last but not least is a double-sided poster featuring the artwork used on the hard box on one side and the theatrical poster for the original film on the other side. 

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Overall

Fans of THE CHILDREN OF THE CORN films will love this set. Each film has been given a lot of special features to go through, but I would have loved new transfers for the sequels. The first film is a dud which I have never understood as it has almost nothing going for it. The sequels knew that they needed to do something different to stand out so they up the gore and the craziness. If you are a fan of these films then this set is a no-brainer. Arrow Video has given fans enough stuff for them to spend days going through. I really had fun with this set even if I don't like the first film.
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Extras/Menus

Children of the Corn SEE THIS REVIEW

Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice

Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest
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Film

Children of the Corn SEE THIS REVIEW

Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice

Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest
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Packaging


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