Friday, April 6, 2012

Starch Overload: Children of the Corn III- Urban Harvest

At least they got 'urban' before Full Moon did.  For the third film in what I consider to be a trilogy, the location moves from Nebraska to Chicago.  I'm all for variety, but doesn't this seem a bit much.  It's a bit like taking Jason Voorhees to New York, making a Jason Voorhees film with very little Jason in it or taking Jason Voorhees to outer space.  Oh, right.  Another aspect of the movie that's a little sketchy is that the 'killer children' thing starts to get diluted.  Essentially, there's one evil kid and a bunch of 'adults probably playing teenagers' alongside him.  That's...not really the same.  If you're afraid to show violent kids, you probably shouldn't make a Children of the Corn film.  When you find out more about the villain- Eli-, things get even hazier.  Thanks to some serious sequelitis, this movie gets pretty damn weird and pretty damn over-the-top.  Look for cameos for two future stars too.  To find out what's so weird and who's in the film, read on...
In a small area near Gatlin (sort of), our two main characters escape from their domineering and abusive father.  The younger one, Eli, uses his magic corn powers to kill him and disguise him as a Scarecrow.

I used the expression 'magic corn powers.'  Wow.
The duo get and move to Chicago.  Conveniently enough, their new 'dad' is a man who invests in Corn Futures.  Given what happens later, you think that this might be part of the plan, but it's really just presented as an extremely-lucky break for Eli!
The first of two Cameos is here.  Can you spot the Buffy the Vampire Slayer star among the group?  He's credited as 'Basketball Player' here, despite having no lines.  Odd.
Eli quickly rises to power, growing a Cornfield in an empty Warehouse right next to his new home.  Even for Chicago, that seems silly.  There's also a monster in the corn, which is more than just an odd, optical effect this time.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that 'Eli' is the same evil kid actor from Demonic Toys.  Oops.
Among his victims are the parents of his adopted brother's girlfriend.  He feeds them soup...which turns into bugs.  The mother falls over and her head cracks open like a melon!  Want to explain that movie?
Near the climax, our two heroes drive back to the Farm to retrieve Eli's Corn Bible (yes, I just wrote that), since it's his weakness.

First- they drove from Chicago to Nebraska and back in one day.
Second- the stepdad's corpse is now a killer Scarecrow monster.  Eh, still better than Dark Harvest 2.
Here's second big cameo of the film.  I'm pretty sure that you can recognize Charlize Theron.  Oddly, her line-less performance is not Credited, even though she actually has a death scene.  Damn Hollywood!
The whole thing- including Eli's ability to throw bad CG fireballs- comes down to this: a giant monster in a Cornfield planted in Chicago.  To quote The Abominable Dr. Phibes, Words fail me, Gentlemen.
The good brother and his girlfriend best the monster, but not before this silly F/X shot appears.  Seriously, that passed inspection?!?!?
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the 'shock ending' involving Eli's evil corn- again, I just wrote that- being shipped all over the world.  Dun dun....never mentioned again.  The End.
Well, it's certainly sillier than the second film.  This film has a lot of faults, but it almost seems to try to cover for them with silly moments.  So much of this movie is nonsensical bullshit that's hard to really be mad at.  If you like logic, I guess you might hate it though.  The whole thing is about Eli and his super-awesome powers of awesomeness.  It's never clear how half of what he does is supposed to work.  How does he kill the new mother from school by just drawing them and putting an 'X' through her in the picture?  How does he kill the homeless guy- more on him in a future Poor Bastards of Cinema- and leave him in the yard just for that one scene?  Say what you will about the Christian Voodoo Doll from Part 2, but at least it was based on something!  Speaking of the second one, Mordecai was evil, but mostly just commanded people to do things. In this one, Eli has minions, but kills people mostly with his powers.  It's a flip on what would come in Part 5, actually, but I'll get to that film later.  This film is hindered by its lofty goals and cheap budget.  Case in point: Eli poisons the Dean- who's also a Priest- and causes him to have bad dreams.  Those dreams- Stock Footage from the first two films.  This film has some silly moments in it, but still kind of sucks.  Speaking of Stock Footage, look what's back...
Up next, the series starts 'fresh' with a story that has jack shit to do with anything.  Naomi Watts is in it though, so I might just make it through.  Stay tuned...

EDIT: Just for Michele, I'll add this shot...


  1. Damn, Charlize is looking smokin in that pic! Only thing I remember about this movie is the big monster. It looked ridiculous, but I loved it.

  2. absolutely hilarious flick. bad but extremely entertaining, especially the giant cornfield creature :)