Friday, March 25, 2011

Rare Flix: Stephen King's Nightshift Collection Vol. 2

I've got you beat by six years, famous film version of this story!  In a bit of happenstance, I've uncovered a movie that has nearly been lost to history.  In 1983, a couple of TV movies were made based on selected works by Stephen King.  All of these were done from the 'Night Shift,' one of the more famous compilations by King.  For those not aware, this book is responsible for 7 films (8 if you count one being done twice), not to mention two more of the shorts ending up in Stephen King's Cat's Eye.  All of the short stories were done for other magazines, making this compilation a lot simpler method to see all of the works.  What is so significant about this TV film is that it's first story is Children of the Corn...I mean...
The movie begins with a batch of weird kids sitting around in a field and doing 'magic.'  "Bubble, bubble, toil and...actually, let's just stick with bubbles."  We see a very religious town meeting for Church, however, there is some inner turmoil.  The lead kid- notable for his mole- sees his mother with a new guy, who's a bit creepy-looking.  Let's just say that it's easy to picture him with a van full of ice cream and wine coolers.  The kid is not happy when he sees the two flirting in the house of God.  Shit is about to go down!  Sure enough, the kid kills his mother in bed with an axe.  That's what you get for...um, what did they do again exactly?  The film jumps from 1971 to 1983 for no apparent reason.  Okay then.
A pair of people- a young couple- drive into town, but find it empty.  The lady freaks out a bit, especially when a teenager runs in the way and gets run over.  The guy, well, he doesn't.  This guy is eerily-calm, in fact. The guy must baseline Xanex at all times!  She calms down when she sees an eerie set of signs that warn people not to go into town.  Odd.  She freaks out again, however, when she sees that a calendar is still sitting at 1971 as the year and a picture of Nixon is on the wall.  What is your malfunction, lady?  They stop at the Church from before & the guy goes inside.  The kids finally attack, while the Leader (I'm guessing he's Isaac) attacks the guy.  The pair drive away, however, and the film abruptly ends.  Just for historical record: this film is 18 minutes long.  The End...unless you want to watch 'The Night Waiter' too...
History is an interesting thing, huh?  The plot of this movie is, well, super-condensed and odd.  To be fair, they did condense a short story into an 18-minute short.  You can't blame them for the format, I suppose.  Other than being awkward and rushed, the story works pretty well.  It is a bit funny to think that the original version of Children of the Corn is about 1/5 of the length of the actual film version, isn't it?  This film has very little terror and very little gore.  If you want to watch a non-condensed version that has all of the trimmings, watch the original film.  If you want to see a bunch of shitty sequels to it, watch the shitty sequels to it.  This is an interesting bit of history, but not all that interesting in its actual execution.  Take us away, creepy, child-molester version of John Oates...
Up next, we begin a week of Foreign Flicks.  First on the block, an Italian film that is set in China & features characters that are supposed to American- huh?!?  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. I remember seeing and hating this 10-12 years ago. Need to rewatch it.

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