Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror – King On Film


Fifth Verse, Worse Than the First

Main Cast: Eva Mendes, Stacy Galina

Director: Ethan Wiley

God, I really have to do this?  Well, I did commit to the program, so yeah, I guess I do.  Okay, here goes.

A lot of great movies came out in 1998, like SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (which I haven’t seen, but it won some awards), SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (again, haven’t seen it), THE BIG LEBOWSKI (still nope), and THE TRUMAN SHOW (saw that one!).  Among the 1998 movies was a little sequel you all might have heard of called HALLOWEEN H2O?  Or I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER?  Well, 1998 was also the year the direct-to-video sequel THE LION KING 2: Simba’s Pride came out.  Meanwhile on a completely different level of fame, several floors down from those movies, on a back shelf, up just too high to be in line of sight, if you wipe away the dust, you’ll also find the first full length movie to star future GHOST RIDER and HITCH star Eva Mendes.  CHILDREN OF THE CORN V: Fields of Terror, written and directed by Ethan Wiley (screenwriter of the classic horror movie HOUSE, and writer/director of it’s sequel, the less interesting HOUSE 2: The Second Story).

Basically, someone is taking King’s original concept, adopting the parts that need to be used—corn, rural farms, and He Who Walks Behind The Rows—and creating a typical slasher movie over that skeleton.  And I’ll tell you as someone who totally saw this entire movie and didn’t doze off for even a second, not once!, it’s pretty damn boring.

In CHILDREN OF THE CORN V, a bunch of “kids” are traveling … somewhere to scatter the ashes of their dead friend whose name MIGHT be Curt?  In the lead car are Charlotte (Angela Jones, PULP FICTION) and Lazlo, and since Lazlo is played by Ahmet Zappa, the wackiest Zappa, instead of just driving in front of his friends in the other car, they’re traveling several miles ahead and whenever they reach a turn, Lazlo leaves a blow up sex doll tied to a landmark with an arm pointing toward the direction they’re supposed to take.

At one stop, Charlotte decides to get out of the car and walk several dozen feet into a nearby cornfield to steal an armful of ears of corn.  Having lost her, Lazlo heads into the corn as well, only to find Charlotte has been slaughtered by a handful of kids.  He runs off, making all kinds of racket through the corn, so obviously he’s found and killed as well.  Which leaves their friends, Alison (Stacy Galina, Knots Landing), Greg (Alexis Arquette, PULP FICTION), Kir (Eva Mendes, HITCH), and Tyrus (Greg Vaughan, Charmed) without a guide.  That is until one of Lazlo’s sex dolls blows into their windshield, sending them careening out of control and crashing into the cornfield where their car is obviously wrecked.  Man, that corn will do some damage!

Warned by 12 year old Ezekiel (Adam Wylie, CHILD’S PLAY 2) and his much older and taller friends that they’re on private property (really only about 2 feet of their car is, the rest of it, and they, are on the road), he tells them town is about a mile away and they can get a tow there.

Turns out they can’t get a tow, and they’re just a few seconds too late to catch the 8:00 PM bus out of town.  So, they do what any group of kids would do in 1998, they find an old farmhouse with a For Sale sign and they break in and spend the night.  Luckily for them, the house is fully furnished and stocked with canned goods and cold beers in the basement.  Granted, this is because the house belonged to a farm couple that Ezekiel killed previously when the farmer refused to give the kids his cornfield, but our heroes don’t need to know any of that.  All they have to know is the house has warm beds and canned goods.

Thinking back to what someone in town said earlier, about Ezekiel and his friends following someone called He Who Walks Behind the Rows, Alison remembers her brother, Jacob, ran away from home and joined a group of people that followed this “person”, too.  Desperate to find her brother, she seeks audience with Luke, an old man who has taken in Ezekiel and several other orphans.

Luke agrees to meet with Alison, then agrees to let her talk to Jacob (what a coincidence, they’re just passing through and their cars breaks down in the same town where her brother disappeared to?!?!  She needs to play the lottery!).  Jacob refuses to leave, saying he’s going to be married to the mother of his unborn child, and Alison should leave.

Meanwhile, Eva Mendes has been indoctrinated and, when Alison’s brother changes his mind about being sacrificed to He Who Walks Behind the Rows in a blazing corn silo, Eva steps up and takes his place.

The police and fire department are called in, there’s a battle between Luke and the sheriff where Luke’s head splits open and shoots lasers at the cop’s head and they all die, the end.  Well, not quite THAT simple, but it’s getting close to 1000 words here and I’m still talking about CHILDREN OF THE CORN V.

Personally, I can’t believe they made so many Children of the Corn sequels, and I sometimes wonder, late at night when I can’t sleep and it feels like the weight of the world is on my shoulders, what Stephen King thinks of these movies, or if he’s even seen any of them.  But this is what happens when you sell your movie rights, they just keep churning out terrible hybrid version after terrible hybrid version.

CHILDREN OF THE CORN V is NOT a good movie.  Not the worst thing I’ve ever seen.  It’s not even the worst Children of the Corn—no monsters clutching Barbie dolls here (II) or someone gasping, “But this is LAST YEAR’S corn!?!” (III)—but the dialogue is terrible, and the situations are 100% not believable.  It’s bad enough they just happen to wind up in the same place as the lost brother, but during their stay in the farmhouse, Kir and Tyrus sleep together, although I’m pretty sure the ashes they’re scattering belonged to Kir’s dead boyfriend.  Tyrus is all for this new relationship, but she tells him nah this was a one-time thing.  Hey, do what you want, but just yesterday she still seemed pretty torn up over the death.  And by later that night she’s converted to a child of the corn and ready to leap into a burning silo?

Nope.  I don’t think so.

David Carradine is channeling his best Bill impersonation years before he even made KILL BILL, and it stinks.  Granted, I haven’t seen David Carradine in a lot of things so I don’t know the answer to this, but could he EVER act?  He’s stinking up the joint in CHILDREN OF THE CORN V, that’s for sure!

I don’t know how many more of these Children of the Corn sequels I can take, but I can tell you how many more I’ll have to sit through and it’s not a pretty number.  And poor Eva Mendes!  Like I told my wife last night as we watched this, it’s not as bad as Matthew McConaughey or Renee Zellweger getting their start in TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: The Next Generation, but, man, CHILDREN OF THE CORN V is not one I’d put on the resume. According to Wikipedia, there are still 6 more Children of the Corn movies to go, the latest, from 2020, being a prequel to the original 1984 movie.  Does the world really need ELEVEN of these things???  I tell you what, it doesn’t even need these first five.  At all at all.

King on Film

1976-1992 (Carrie to Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice)

The Dark Half (1993)

The Tommyknockers (1993)

Needful Things (1993)

The Stand (1994)

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995)

The Mangler (1995)

Dolores Claiborne (1995)

The Langoliers (1995)

Sometimes They Comes Back … Again (1996)

Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (1996)

Thinner (1996)

The Shining (1997)

Ghosts (1997)

Chattery Teeth (1997)

The Revelations of ‘Becka Paulson (1997)


The Night Flier (1997)

Chinga (1997)

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