Children of the Corn (read our wonderful retro piece – HERE) star Courtney Gains will release an NFT (Non-Fungible Token) art collection called “Malachai Rising”. The 9-piece collection is a mixture of digital and physical artworks produced by the master of horror painting, Gary Pullin A.K.A. Goulish. More and more artists are using an NFT to display and sell their digital assets online. NFTs are popular because they use a highly secure technology called blockchain which ensures that the art is permanent and uncopyable. This permanence and guarantee of authenticity are what also make NFTs very valuable. Some of the most sought-after NFT art pieces have sold for millions of dollars in recent months.
Courtney Gains’ “Malachai Rising” NFT collection stands to rake in nearly 20 million dollars during its 24-hour auction event on September 23 making it the second-highest-grossing NFT in history behind Beeple’s 69 million dollars “First 5,000 Days“. Gains, whose other credits include Back to the Future, Memphis Belle, and Sweet Home Alabama, is gifting numbered editions of the first NFT directly to 1,984 of his fans.
“This is something fun for everyone who wants to have a piece of this history.” When he says everyone, he means anyone who can actually get into the time-limited event. Popular NFT drops are notorious for jammed ques of eager collectors all trying to connect at once. “We will hopefully minimize that rush by giving away most of the NFTs in batches over 8 days before the main event.” says Gains, “It’s very important to me that everyone who wants to be part of this is gets something from it.” The remaining eight NFTs range in prices from $19.84 to $19,840,000.00 all based on the year 1984 when the film was released. The works are inspired by Malachai’s appearance in the original film with the main attraction of the event being an original digital painting by Gary Pullin of a larger-than-life Malachai looming over a darkened cornfield. The painting also appears on the album cover and cd case for the remastered soundtrack. This main event NFT will be sold Dutch Auction style where the price starts at 19+ Million and falls every millisecond until someone buys it. By winning the NFT, the buyer also acquires the 1 of 1 18″ x 24″ archival print of the painting signed by Gary Pullin and Courtney Gains.
Fans will be able to get a slice of ‘80’s culture during the all-day auction Thursday, September 23rd, and can sign up for more information on the website www.malachairising.com starting September 1st.
In the early ’80s, 18-year-old Gains tried out for a role in an upcoming low-budget horror film. Courtney’s intense audition prompted producers to cast him on the spot as the “very troubled” teenager, Malachai. The film that he was to star in was based on a Steven King short story called Children of the Corn. Gains was not aware at the time, but the shocking performance he was about to deliver would become the fuel of nightmares for decades.
The phrase Children of the Corn has become ingrained in the cultural lexicon so much so that when a group of young people starts behaving unruly, they are referred to as Children of the Corn, or when kids erupt into a cafeteria food fight they are described as acting like Children of the Corn. The nearly 40-year-old film routinely appears on the top ten lists of favorite horror film classics, with much of the credit going to haunting memories of Courtney Gains’ portrayal of Malachai, and rightfully so.
During the first few minutes of the film, Gains’ Malachai brutally slashes the throat of an unsuspecting diner customer and proceeds to assist other children in the mass murder of the town’s remaining adults. For the next 85 minutes, moviegoers hold their breath every time Malachai appears on the screen. Courtney Gain’s performance as Malachai is particularly terrifying because it feels so authentic. His passionate rage-filled monologues resonate with our natural contempt for corrupt authority and the desire to be part of something righteous. As he believably twists these puritan ideas into unchecked evil, we recoil in fear because we know that a monster like Malachai could exist among us.
In a behind-the-scenes interview, Courtney said that to prepare for some of the scenes he would walk through the rows of corn on the way to set and say to himself, “This is my corn.” That he would be taken over by the muse of Malachai, and he would arrive on set with a look in his eyes that even his parents said was intense. Gains stayed very serious and committed to his character throughout production and would not allow himself to celebrate or be happy until filming was complete. When it was all over and the film was released, several critics panned Children of the Corn as fluff. Fans were not discouraged and word began to spread that this movie was different and not to be missed. Its legacy as one of the scariest horror films of the time had taken hold. At the box office, Children of the Corn earned more than 15 times what it cost to make, and solidified Courtney Gains as a bonafide movie star while permanently etching the character of Malachai into the history pages of ‘80’s pop culture.
Fast forward 38 years. Courtney Gains has remained humble and grateful for the opportunity he was given so many years ago. He happily accepts requests from fans to take pictures and sign autographs. He still laughs when they tell him Malachai haunted their dreams after they watched the movie and how they still get chills when they drive past a cornfield.
The film’s lasting allure to fans is also evident in the continuous flow of sequels and merchandise surrounding the title. The Children of the Corn franchise includes 10 films translated to over 15 languages. There are Children of the Corn branded clothing lines, memorabilia, fan sites, and a made-for-TV movie. This year, a completely remastered version of the original soundtrack was released on Vinyl and CD. The first 3 movies were given 4K digital restorations from their original film negatives, and those will be released on Ultra HD and Blu-ray this September.