It was common place while growing up as a child in Ohio to play in cornfields that were surrounding our houses. There was always a feeling of tranquility and security in this experience that is hard to describe. That all changed when Children of the Corn was released on March 9, 1984.
Children of the Corn starred Peter Horton (Singles 1992), Linda Hamilton (The Terminator franchise), John Franklin (The Addams Family franchise), and Courtney Gains (The Burbs 1989). The movie was directed by Fritz Kiersch (Into the Sun 1991) from a screenplay written by George Goldsmith (Blue Monkey 1987). The film was based on the Stephen King short story. The film centers around a young couple traveling across country that unfortunately encounter a religious cult of children that believe that adults must be killed. This month marks the 35th anniversary of this horror cult classic, so it only seems proper to mention some interesting trivia facts.
The first of these trivia facts is in regards to Stephen King, the man who wrote the short story to inspire this film. In the original theatrical trailer, there was a HUGE mistake made… Stephen King’s name was misspelled “Steven.” I wonder how that went over?
Continuing with the Stephen King theme, there is a subtle reference to his original short story. If you pay close attention, on the dashboard of Burt (Horton) and Vicki’s (Hamilton) car, you can see a book. This book is Night Shift, the Stephen King short story collection in which Children of the Corn originally appeared.
Now, let’s talk about the Terminator connection! Children of the Corn was the first of two Stephen King’s stories created into movie adaptations starring Terminator actors. In this film, we have Linda Hamilton, who played Sarah Connor in The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2 (1991). In the second King story that had a movie adaptation, Pet Semetary 2 (1991) starred Edward Furlong, who also played John Connor in Terminator 2 (1991).
Any Bible experts out there? Are you familiar with the Old Testament? Did you know that the tagline for Children of the Corn, “And a child shall lead them,” comes from Isaiah 11:6? Okay, that is enough Bible study for now.
Another interesting trivia fact is that the Boy Scouts had a hand in the special effects for Children of the Corn. Wayne Beauchamp, the special effects artist, used the help of the local Boy Scouts to help dig a trench for his contraption, He Who Walks Behind the Rows. In exchange for their help, the Boy Scouts got to see how special effects were made.
One last bit of trivia is that not all the actors who portrayed children in the religious cult were under the age of 18. The character of Isaac, the cult leader, is a teenager in the film. In real life, the actor that portrays this character, John Franklin, was 24. Good thing it was just a movie!
I highly recommend celebrating the 35th anniversary of Children of the Corn by taking a walk behind the rows with a rewatch. Maybe you can find some fun facts of your own!