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Man, this movie has EVERYTHING! Children, corn, the mom of John Connor…um, corn

This is a classic, folks. It’s hard to review something that’s so classic and iconic. So, I’ll go through general deets before I get into my notes and thoughts. Cool?

The Plot (Spoilers-free):

A young doctor (Peter Horton) and his wife (Linda Hamilton, pre-Terminator) are on their way to Seattle, where he will be establishing himself as a doctor. While driving through Nebraska, they meet with an unexpected tragedy…besides being in Nebraska. Zing! 

However, things are not as they appear to be as the small town they stop in seems abandoned. But the couple soon discover that they are not alone and are at the heart of a merciless cult of murderers. Will they be able to survive when the murderers themselves are but innocent children?

Sure he’s cute…until you realize he’s imagining eating your heart. Image by vikvarga from Pixabay

Thoughts (Spoiler-free):

Let’s talk about the cinemotagrapher for a hot sec, yeah? The cinematography is beautiful and really showcases both the beauty of the farmlands and the brutality of the small-town cult.

Suresuresure, but the cinematographer, Raoul Lomas…or should I say… ::rips the mask off::

“Harry Flecks” OR… ::rips another mask off::

“Harry Flex” OR… ::rips final mask off:

Brazilian cinematographer, João Fernandes!!!

And he would have gotten away with it…

João Fernandes got his start by filming adult classics in the heyday of adult classics – the magical 1970’s. This includes the iconic Deep Throat, Wet Rainbow, and The Devil in Mrs. Jones.

In fact, he has an enormous amount of experience under his belt, so to speak, including a plethora of horror, tv movies, and had a hand in Chuck Norris’s foray into Turner and Hooch territory with the sadly disappointing, Top Dog

Actually, a lot of his later work was with Chuck Norris and Cannon films. 

Anyway, I just thought that was a fun thing to know about Children of the Corn and it’s working parts. 

Brain Roll Juice (Spoilers):

Okay, maybe not so much brain roll juice (although I was tempted by the corn-Jesus iconography in this), but I want to talk about some random thoughts.

1st Thought:

Just imagine this: half of the movie takes place with a child’s dead, decomposing body in the trunk of our protagonist’s car. Just imagine that every time Malachai stalks around screaming, “OUTLAAANDER!!!!” and when Burt decides to dick around at the school for a while.  

Also, at the end of the movie (these people will be going to prison, no doubt), they leave the car with the dead body in the trunk and an unconscious, concussed child in the front. Aaaaand…

That’s where the movie just limply ends. The adults joking about letting two orphans kick around with them for a little while, like some cousin who just got laid off and needs a place to crash while getting back on their feet. I mean, dude, you just saw confirmation that an entity beyond your conceptions and faith exists in this world and…like, whatever, I gotta get to Seattle. Oh, but, should we tell the cops about trunk kid? Ehhhh…?

2nd Thought:

Job and Sarah are basically un-emotive baggage until the end when Job becomes the only competent one. Throughout the film, they seem to just…be there. And there’s a reason for that – they aren’t in the original short story.

But the strange part is that the movie has them so…bland. Like two scoops of vanilla ice cream at Baskin-Robbins, there’s so little to them in the midst of chaos and flavor.

They do very little during the story besides playing games, drawing people dying and listening to vintage records- Oh, I get it. They’re hipsters. Well played, movie. Well played. 

3rd Thought:

Let’s talk five hours about Malachi and Isaac. I will never grow tired of Malachi screaming, “OUTLANDER!!”. I need this on a ten-hour loop.

OUTLANDER WE HAVE YOUR WOMAN…and she hasn’t fallen in love with Furry Ron Perlman yet!

Honestly, John Franklin as Isaac and Courtney Gains as Malachi are the ABSOLUTE best thing about this movie. They’re both amazing actors who took it to a ten. Their performance carried most of the scenes and I would watch their new HBO mini-series in a heartbeat.

The characters themselves have a terrific chemistry – a blend of questioning loyalty, shaky respect, and utter abhorrence towards each other. Malachi begrudgingly follows Isaac’s fury and vision, but with a glare and whispered threat. Isaac resents Malachi, but needs his support as a right hand man to get shit done.

Honestly the energy between them feels like I’ve seen this somewhat recently…It’s strangely familiar…Down to red hair and dark hair…

Ah yes, there it is.

Bottom-line:

Corn and kids ain’t scary, but it’s a fun romp for you and your OUTLANDER!!!!

3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

When not ravaging through the wilds of Detroit with Jellybeans the Cat, J.M. Brannyk (a.k.a. Boxhuman) reviews mostly supernatural and slasher films from the 70's-90's and is dubiously HauntedMTL's Voice of Reason. Aside from writing, Brannyk dips into the podcasts, and is the composer of many of HauntedMTL's podcast themes.

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1 Comment

  1. Audrey III

    February 26, 2021 at 12:25 am

    BRB got to update my Kylux Childern of the Corn au fanfic.

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The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine Special Live Watch Party February 10th!

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The sweet putrid stench of love lingers through the air which can only mean one thing…Valentine’s Day and its annoying little winged cherub mascot, Cupid, is fast approaching. Soon, partners will be spoiling one another with extravagant bouquets of roses, heartfelt Hallmark cards, obnoxiously large teddy bears, glistening diamond jewelry, and heart-shaped candies or boxes filled with assorted mediocre chocolates. You know? Normal things couples do. I tend to prefer my chocolate boxes filled with bleeding hearts, à la ‘My Bloody Valentine’ but, beggars can’t be choosers, right? All jokes aside, Valentine’s Day is special for many couples, however, there are also many others who find themselves celebrating this day without a significant other. Luckily, Shudder, along with drive-in king Joe Bob Briggs and co-host Darcy the Mail Girl (Diana Prince) will graciously be keeping us lonely mutants’, and yes, all you horror fanatic couples’ company on Friday, February 10th as they return with The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine, premiering live at 9pm EST.

Love Spells Abound…

Back in 2021, Joe Bob and Darcy invited us to a gruesomely passionate night of spell-binding love witches and animatronic dinosaurs infused with teenage human brains during The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob Put a Spell on You. Many, including myself, were introduced to the tantalizing 70’s inspired retro throwback ‘The Love Witch’ and the graphically goofy cult classic ‘Tammy and the T-Rex’, providing the perfect viewing pleasure to mend any broken heart. While the two films for this year’s morbid love-induced special have yet to be announced, as a special treat, Briggs has announced for the first time on The Last Drive-In, he will be marrying one lucky couple during the live showing. We here at HauntedMTL are eagerly awaiting the return of the ghoulish duo so, as is tradition, we will be proudly hosting a watch party on Twitter during the broadcasting of The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob’s Vicious Vegas Valentine. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and tag us  @hauntedMTL as well as @shudder@therealjoebob, and @kinky_horror to partake in this night of unholy love.

Drawn image of Joe Bob Briggs pouring  a drop of pink liquid into a clear glass potion bottled filled with a glowing red substance. To his left lies a book a magic spells with a golden pentagram necklace resting on top. Also on the books rests a human skull with heart shaped pupils for eyes hiding behind a pair of clear glasses. In bold white letters a text reads "Join us on February 10th as we live tweet The Last Drive-In Valentine's Day Special".
Follow @hauntedMTL for live tweets and replies!

What started off as a one-time special premiering on Shudder July 13, 2018, ‘The Last Drive- In’ was originally meant to be Brigg’s swan song; one last special before hanging up the bolo tie in retirement. However, due to so many mutants, excuse me…viewers tuning in and breaking the Shudder servers, it was only natural to announce an official full season of ‘The Last Drive-In‘, which would make its explosive debut March 19, 2019. Since then, Darcy and Briggs have spawned many exclusive holiday specials, have graciously donated to many charities within the community, and have accumulated 4 seasons of ‘The Last Drive-In’, with a fifth currently in production premiering on Shudder’s 2023 schedule sometime this year, let’s hope sooner rather than later.

Picture of Joe Bob Briggs, Darcy the Mail Girl, John Patrick Brennan and Yuki Nakamura standing together dressed in medieval costumes. A cardboard cutout of Tom Atkins stands between Darcy and Yuki. Darcy is seen drapped in a beautfiul elegant princess dress, satin white with gold trim. Yuki is seen holding a small wreath of purple, white, and yellow flowers that match his loud medieval king costume. Resting atop both their heads are golden crowns. Joe Bob Briggs is seen standing to the left of Darcy, as he smiles whilst wearing a half-put together jester costumer. Lastly, we see Brennan with two wooden recorders in his hand as he mimics playing them both dress clad in a bright yellow dress.
An unexpected ceremony during The Last Drive-In: Joe Bob Put a Spell on You (2021) special.

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Movies n TV

Horror Noire, a Film Review

Horror Noire is a horror collection that includes “Daddy,” “The Lake,” “Brand of Evil,” “Bride Before You,” “Fugue State,” and “Sundown.”

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Horror Noire is a horror collection brought by the combined efforts of AMC+ and Shudder. The collection includes “Daddy,” “The Lake,” “Brand of Evil,” “Bride Before You,” “Fugue State,” and “Sundown.” Horror Noire boasts Black directors and screenwriters, providing six unique stories.

As this collection explores six stories, I will skip the usual synopsis to assess the genres and ideas explored, albeit limited as needed. Expect to find supernatural horror, creature features, and psychological thrillers. Many short films deal with these genres while exploring Black issues, but this isn’t universal for the collection.

The directors and writers include Zandashé Brown, Robin Givens, Rob Greenlea, Kimani Ray Smith, Steven Barnes, Ezra Clayton Daniels, Tananarive Due, Shernold Edwards, Victor LaValle, and Al Letson.

Woman and man wearing a vote for candidate shirt, scared of something off screne
Image from “Sundown” Directed by Kimani Ray Smith

What I Like

Each story remains unique, holding different strengths and weaknesses that highlight drastically different perspectives. Collections like VHS hold a similar premise to create their collection, but Horror Noire gives more creative freedom to its talent to be independent.

My personal favorite short film is Zandashé Brown’s “Bride Before You.” This period piece unravels a fable set in the Reconstruction Era. The entry feels Fabulistic in approach, which happens to be my preferred niche.

However, the best example of horror goes to Robin Givens’ “Daddy,” providing an existential horror tied directly to the characters involved.

Woman listening to a preacher amidst a crowd
Image from “Fugue State” directed by Rob Greenlea

What I Dislike

As mentioned, all have a particular style and idea. The downside of this approach always remains to keep the viewer interested long enough to find their favorite. If you find several underwhelming choices, this becomes a chore. But I imagine that is rare as the variety makes the options refreshing.

Personally, “Brand of Evil” had an interesting premise, but the execution fell short. On paper, it might have sounded like my favorite, which makes the lackluster execution a bigger letdown.

Zeth M. Martinez

Final Thoughts

Horror Noire gives power and control to Black creators, providing a formula for a unique collection against others in the space. While the various subjects and approaches mean you aren’t likely to love them all, there should be a short film for everyone.
3.5 out of 5 stars (3.5 / 5)

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Movies n TV

Dahmer, Silenced

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Episode six of Netflix’s Dahmer was not, honestly about our title character. Instead, it was about one of his victims, a man named Tony. We’ve actually seen Tony a few times during this series. We just didn’t know it was him.

Rodney Burford in Dahmer

And, well, he wasn’t exactly alive the first time we saw him.

Tony was born into a supportive, loving family. This is good because soon after he was born a viral infection took his hearing. He is black, deaf, and gay in the early 90’s.

Tony has a dream of becoming a model. And he certainly has the looks for it. He is beautiful, body and soul. He has lots of opportunities for romance, but it’s not what he’s looking for. He wants a real relationship. 

Eventually Tony moves to Madison, trying to pursue his dream. He gets a job and starts getting modeling work.

Then, he meets Jeff Dahmer at a bar. 

At first, we can almost believe that it’s going to be alright. Jeff seems happy. He’s taking care of himself. He’s not drinking as much. He even has his dad and stepmom over for dinner. It seems like his life is getting on track. Even better, he’s treating Tony right.

Then, of course, things go bad. 

One thing that has always bothered me as a true crime fan is that we know so much about the killers, but not as much about the victims. Not so much if we don’t know who the killer is, of course. But the names that are part of our pop culture are those of the killers. Dahmer, Manson, Jones, Bundy, Holms. The names we don’t know are Roberta Parks, Beth LaBiancas, Leno LaBiancas, and Tony Hughes. And clearly, we should know them.

If Tony Hughes was half the shining, positive person that the show Dahmer made him out to be, I’m so sad that he isn’t with us anymore. We need so many more people like him. And many of Dahmer’s victims were likely just like him. After all, he was attracted to them for a reason.

This was a significant episode, and I understand why it’s the highest-rated episode of the series. I finished it with a heavy heart, saddened by the loss of a man who should still be with us today. 

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

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