Children Of The Corn V: Fields Of Terror


Of all the unkillable franchises that exist, the Children Of The Corn series is the one that befuddles me the most. Who the hell is the audience for these movies anyway and why us the need for them so great that it was decided that we needed eleven (current count) of the fucking things? What’s even more confusing is that the original movie wasn’t that great to begin with, featuring flat direction and easily pummeled, adolescent villains who remain as threatening as an onslaught of Beanie Babies.
And yet the movies still kept coming long after Stephen King divorced any contact with them – even though he wrote the original short story – and despite of any recognizable fan following and, in 1998, with the terrible inevitability of death or taxes, Dimension Films dutifully dropped another entry into our lap like a slinky deuce to bring the dumbfounding total to five.


A bunch of typically asshole teens are tearing through the countryside in middle America in order to do… something with the ashes of their recently dead friend, Kurt and while two of their number race ahead and engage in the highly respectful act of taping blow up sex dolls to mail boxes and lampposts in order to lead the way (how many do they own?), they predictably come a cropper when they are sliced to pieces by mysterious assailants while nicking corn from a nearby field.
The remainder of the group – without the invaluable help of inflatable sex aids to guide them, immediately become lost in the desolate town of Destiny Falls and immediately are greeted by a group of sinister kids who give them a week to leave town, or else. Despite that being pretty charitable, for a bunch of knife wielding psycho-children, the leader of the teens, Allison, finds out that the kids are being ruled over by grizzled cult leader Luke Enright who worships a malevolent God known as He Who Walks Behind The Rows and realizes that it’s the same cult her estranged brother is a part of. Insisting they go visit the child grooming cult leader instead of getting the fuck out of dodge, the group wander around, forage for beer and generally seem aware they’re all in mortal danger. In their defence, they’re all super self-obsessed as Kurt’s girlfriend, Kir, deviates between loudly mourning her deceased beau and drowning her grief with unsatisfactory sex with dopey jock, Tyrus while awkward Greg pines for Allison with all the toothy yearning and cut price wise cracks he can muster.
As the malformed plot tries to rope an abusive cult leader, a teenage pregnancy, a fiery god lurking in a grain silo and the obvious reveal that the possessed child known as Ezekiel is actually the brat who is calling the shots, our drab heroes try to understand what in the blue hell is actually going on. The feeling is mutual.


Discussing whether or not Fields Of Terror is better or worse than the previous effort, The Awakening, is sort of comparing slipping in shit, to slipping in puke – they’re both equally unappealing and if truth be told, you’d much rather deal with neither, thank you very much, but, as the idiot who’s chosen to review this never ending chain of dreck, I guess I’ve chosen option D) which mean I’ve gone and slipped in both, voluntarily.
Weirdly enough, Fields Of Terror actually has more going for it than some of the other Children Of The Corn sequels mostly because it boasts a cast that not only contains some juicy before-they-were-famous appearances, but it also unleashes a suprising amount of grizzled cult actors too. Thought Part 4’s mixture of Naomi Watts and Karen Black was a bizarre double act, then get a load of this! Barely starting out in Hollywood are an impossibly fresh-faced Eva Mendes and Alexis Arquette, while waving the flag for the old guys is exploitation superstars extraordinaire Fred Williamson and David Carradine with even a cameo by Jason Voorhees actor Kane Hodder as a surly bartender to sweeten the deal!
It just a shame that the screenplay and the amount of directorial talent (e.g. none) can’t live up to such an eccentric collection of actors and despite the odd spirited death or two (the movie opens on a guy entertainingly getting levitated into the path of a lightning bolt) and some truly gonzo moments (Carridine’s head splitting in two only to spit fire into the face of a screaming Williamson like a freakin’ blow torch), the movie barely cause the entertainment meter to even twitch.


Still, bad movie junkies with be well served as the clunky dialogue and stupid goofs come thicker and faster than an unexpected attack of the runs. “That doesn’t look right!” gurgles one victim after being run through with a sickle, while the teens sadly remember their dead friend with following and highly moving exchange: “I thought bungee jumping was safe.”, “Yeah well, that was Kurt, he was a free spirit.” – what the what? And yet still they come, flowing like an open tap as Williamson’s cigar chomping sheriff angrily corners the teens after mangled bodies are found a barks the question – “You people were out drinking last night?” and in response gets “No! We weren’t! We just had a couple of beers!” which strongly suggests that these teenage lunkheads don’t actually know what drinking is.
Elsewhere, the villains are of the usual breed of unthreatening children – although, to call this group of killers “children” is somewhat charitable considering most of them look old enough to buy liquor from a 7-11 without the need of an ID – and the fact that the director desperately tries to make them a threat by shooting them with the camera aiming straight up from the floor only succeeds at giving us an unencumbered view directly up their noses.


Still, the rampant stupidity of the last act (one character sacrifices themself by turning a blowtorch onto the fuel line of a broken down car which somehow still has enough gas in it to blow a barn up like the Death Star) means that this installment squeaks by the fourth movie by the narrowest of margins, despite mostly being so incompetent, I’m still not sure how (or even if) all the spastically flailing plot threads manage to converge.
Simply put, I’ve seen better corn on feet.


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