Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1992)

*. This is a terrible movie, made nearly a decade after the original Children of the Corn in what was simply a cash grab. It would be the last film in the franchise that would have a theatrical release, and while I was watching it I had a hard time believing it ever made its way into theatres. Pretty much everything about it is bad: poor direction, awful acting, a worthless script. So let’s put all that aside and mention a few things that at least make it amusing. Just remember I’m not saying it’s worth watching, even once.
*. John Franklin and Courtney Gains (Isaac and Malachai in the original) are sorely missed. There’s nobody here who captures our interest, aside perhaps from Ned Romero as the Wise Old Indian Man. But his presence further complicates the nature of the evil deity (He Who Walks Behind the Rows). Is he (or He) a Native American harvest deity? There’s an interesting idea raised that the children are under the influence of some kind of corn mold, but nothing further is done with this. There’s also a suggestion that the children are perhaps eco-warriors, taking their revenge on adults who have polluted the earth. But again, this is only suggested.
*. So is He Who etc., even a physical being? If he isn’t, why do we keep getting shots from his Wolfen-style thermal vision? And if he can control adults too, like the sheriff here, why doesn’t He?
*. There’s an attractive teen lead, so of course he meets up with a sexy girl with a corn-fed body she doesn’t mind putting prominently on display. To the extent that we see her taking a shower in a waterfall while wearing a bikini and shoes and socks! Every truly garbage movie needs a moment or two you can laugh out loud at like that.
*. Apparently the children aren’t as steadfastly puritan as in the earlier movie. Could you imagine Isaac or Malachi killing someone with a remote-controlled toy car?
*. The toy car does give the film one of its signature scenes though, of the old woman in the wheelchair being tossed through the window of the bingo parlour. I also liked the guy getting a corn stalk speared through his throat, the old doctor being needled to death, and Micah’s psychadelic transformation (what was going on there?). Using the combine harvester as a way of doing people in was also a plus. They had some good ideas here. They just couldn’t weave them together into an interesting movie.
*. Apparently it was originally called Deadly Harvest. I wonder why they changed it, as I don’t think they had any intention of stopping at II and making this The Final Sacrifice. This sort of thing was typical of horror franchises at the time though. We were equally assured that Jason wouldn’t be coming back after The Final Chapter and The Final Friday.
*. I’d like to say this one is worth watching just for a laugh, but it isn’t. And the glimmers of potential only make it worse. But worst of all is the fact that there were many more children to come.

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