Fields of Gold? Please Fuck off Sting: Children of the Corn: Revelation
This has been an epic trawl through some of the most unremarkable films that I’ve ever gone on. Honestly, it makes the succinct Phantasm series look like a masterpiece of brevity. Nevertheless, I’m into the home straight now, I can see the line and the pub just beyond it where there is a lovely pint of Guinness waiting for me as a reward for making it this far.
Having said that, there are still some potential pit falls on the way, not least of which is this film. I skirted up close to it, had a good long look and decided to jump in. And you know what? It’s not that bad. Compared to Part 6, it’s positively brilliant.
This is a quite acceptably average film, up there with the standards of Part V. It’s not great, but a lot of wise decisions were made and this is, believe it or not, a sequel that actually makes sense.
Firstly, they gave up the pretense that it was possible to film Children of the Corn series with just adding extra kids to the mix and banging out variations on a theme. Instead they turn it into a Children of the Corn related ghost story- that’s right: we’ve got supernatural cult kids killing people. Secondly, they went for turning the actual corn fields themselves into the agent of death in a lot of the cases. There are a few kills, and the climax in particular leaps to mind, that could have come straight out of Day of the Triffids.
To be fair, though, the omens aren’t good when the film opens. The first scene is one of the more unintenionally funny Horror movie deaths that I’ve seen as an old woman comes off worst in a head-on collision with a train. I did start sniggering at this, which isn’t nice, but really it was a touch of gallows humour: what the hell have I let myself in for this time. The film then starts properly, with Claudette Mink’s Jamie coming back to investigate her grandmother’s disappearance. She’s assisted/ impeded by a massive doofus called Armbrister played by Kyle Cassie (comfortably the weakest link in the film). While two supernatural kids start offing the town’s inhabitants (including Crystal Lowe’s stripper Tiffany- who’s only in the film to get her tits out. Which is good) in a wide variety of corn-related fatalities. Tiffany’s in particular is spectacular. Anyhow, things come to a head and Jamie faces down evil Child preacher Abel (Sean Smith) and destroys the cornfields in a gas explosion.
The acting in this is mostly acceptable. The only really bad turn is Cassie who’s as thick as two short planks and every bit as wooden. However, the entire film is stolen by Michael Ironside’s ridiculous cameo. He’s a preacher who pitches up, warns Jamie of something, and then buggers off. It’s a monumentally pointless scene, coming, as it does, just before the climax of the film.
The writing, on the other hand is rampantly schizophrenic. On one hand, the plot is clearly well thought through, and the character motivations all make sense. However, on the other hand, the dialogue is fucking terrible. Really, really fucking terrible actually. There’s execrable line after execrable line and some really weird touches (Ironside drinks communion wine out of a hip flask, for example).
This was obviously done on the cheap, so it’s fair to say that the effects budget was limited. However, I do have to say that the climactic scene with the corn field exploding through the floor behind Jamie is extremely well handled. This is an astonishingly proficient film, and I have to give credit to director Guy Magar and designer Troy Hansen who made the main location into a disgusting and derelict building. The walls peel, there’s a sense of disrepair and it wouldnt’ be amiss in Silent Hill.
However, it is seriously flawed. Aside from the crappy writing (by S.J. Smith, don’t think I forgot you) the fundamental problem to Children of the Corn Revelation is that it just isn’t scary. Not at all. This problem is compounded by the fact that it is extremely competent so it isn’t funny either. Once Grandma gets smashed by the 7.45 to Nebraska central, there isn’t a single other laugh in the film. It’s a shame actually, that the very professionalism that is the big plus of this film is also the big minus- if it was a bit shoddier then it would be a lot more fun. Nevertheless, compared to some of the other efforts in the series, particularly Parts 3, 4 and 6 it’s positively good.
Overall, I don’t recommend this. In comparison to the other Children of the Corn films it’s an incredible effort and I’m sort of sneakily looking forward to Part 8: The Dweller if it ever gets released. However, by the same score, it isn’t actually anywhere near either good enough or enjoyable enough to be worth the effort of watching it. Unless you were doing something brainless like watching all of them. Still, I’m feeling benevolent towards Children of the Corn Revelation so it can have 1.5 Changs. Not a bad effort at all.
Not to mention that the gratuitous bath scene helps.
I can see the end now as I’ve only got the 2009 remake to go (yuck). I’m hoping that it isn’t another series to finish on an Orangutan of Doom.