Monday, October 8, 2012

Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995)



Thanks to the boy genius John Koska (you know who you are) who's been ranting about the Children of the Corn saga for weeks now, I discovered I've forgot to write about my favourite in the franchise (except this one!) Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest! Now, you damn know me, I LOVE my DTV-sequels - often more than the original films who was released in theatres and then given an eternal life on VHS and then DVD . This series, particularly, makes me confused - because most of the films just blurs together after a while, mostly because they are very simlar. This, however, is one of the two sequels (the other one is linked above) who manages to squeeze out some extra fat cheese from its cheese-boobs. I blame everything on the Hickox-family - of course Douglas who did Theatre of Blood and Anthony who directed Waxwork, Knife Edge and a couple of other genre classics. Here we have the second brother, James D.R. Hickox, who's having the same sense of entertainment as Anthony: make it big, silly, gory and fun! And he made it like a helluva proud Hickox member!

Brothers Eli (Daniel Cerny) and Joshua (Ron Melendez) comes to Chicago after falling victims for the famous massacre of Gatlin. What no one knows is that Eli is the brain behind it all with his extreme religiousness and taste for corn. Yeah, he worships with "He Who Walks Behind The Rows" and now he's gonna spread is religious disease all over the world...

Of course just the main storyline: two Amish-esque boys comes to the big dangerous town. And in 1995 that meant Afro-American teenagers look angry, drug users, hip-hop and dirty. In that order.  This makes COTCIII even cheesier than it could have been and it becomes even funnier with the older boy becomes falls in love with the modern city life, unaware of his demonic little brother. Now, the whole set-up is just silly, but a logical continuation of this classic tale of corn, and works fine because all of the actors is giving it all, and with that I mean "over-acting like madmen". A few decent performances: Daniel Cerny, as the evil kid, and veteran actor Michael Ensign as a priest, but the rest are probably high on some drug at the moment. Hickox knows what he's doing and understand that this movie will never be scary, just cheesy - so instead of focusing on serious scares he goes totally in for over-the-top special effects.

The special effects is both the best and THE worst in this movie. When they're good, which is all kill scenes with ripped-off heads, a woman getting her head impaled by a pip, melting face and other very graphic and well-made - yeah, so well-made my G looked up from his computer and commented on one of the effects: that really looked good! Yeah, not so extreme, but he's not the guy that comments all the time. Several of the effects is among the best I've seen, with extremely nice prosthetics and animatronics.

Then this arrives:

It actually looks better on this photo of a TV-screen. But don't be fooled. 
Something must have happen. The budget ran out and left was Screaming Mad George with a hand puppet and a couple of dollhouse dolls! It becomes even worse when the model is so badly incorporated into the rest of the scene, with graphic quality right from Nintendo 8-bit! The scene itself is fun, like every teen-massacre scene made so far (in horror movies) with a of blood and some gore, and nice rubbery tentacles catching the victims. The close-ups of the end monster looks fun, but hardly convincing - not even in a cheap rubber monster movie way.

Yeah, I'm not feeling shame at all: I really like COTCIII and will stand up for that when the doomsday comes. It has gore, gore, a baaaad monster, blood, silly ending and crazy religious people. The stuff of dreams.

5 comments:

forestofthedead said...

Thank you for reviewing this! I love Children of the Corn, especially this one.

Anonymous said...

"This series, particularly, makes me confused - because most of the films just blurs together after a while, mostly because they are very simlar."

I only seen the first one....ok experience I think.


"Several of the effects is among the best I've seen, with extremely nice prosthetics and animatronics."

Yeah...practical effects...nostalgia hits me now.


"It becomes even worse when the model is so badly incorporated into the rest of the scene, with graphic quality right from Nintendo 8-bit!"

Take a look at Higanjima (2009)....this flick features a dragon made for 16 bit nintendo.


"Yeah, I'm not feeling shame at all: I really like COTCIII and will stand up for that when the doomsday comes."

It´s your blog...of course you can defend this film without shame.

Good review ninja, thanks for the tip.

Megatron

craptastic said...

Great! Have not seen this in years! I got an old swedish vhs of this movie. It should fit my october horror month. I really want to revisit it after your Review.

Thomas T. Simmons said...

I had to bust this one out again after reading your review. I haven't seen it since it hit video back in '95 and remember not liking it too much. Man, I was so wrong. Parts 1 & 2, I can live without, but part 3 was great. Always great to see Screaming Mad George get to run wild, plus the blobtacular monster eating that barbie doll was freakin' priceless. Thanks for the write up!

Ninja Dixon said...

Happy to have inspired you to watch it again, it's a lot of fun and I think it has the best effects (except the final monster) in the whole series! :)