Today’s feature is yet another much-maligned horror movie sequel: 1993’s Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice.
Children of the Corn II was written by A L Katz and Gilbert Adler, a duo that also worked on the cult horror television shows Freddy’s Nightmares and Tales From The Crypt, and would later do the screenplay for the vampire comedy Bordello of Blood.
The director for the movie was David Price, who only has two other feature credits on IMDb: Son of Darkness: To Die For II from 1991 and Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde from 1995. Outside of directing, Price served as a producer on Leprechaun, and is connected to an upcoming reboot of the Knight Rider television series.
The cinematographer for Children of the Corn II was Levie Isaacks, who also shot Leprechaun, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, The Dentist, Tooth Fairy 2, and numerous episodes of shows like Tales From The Crypt, CSI: NY, Malcolm In The Middle, and Dawson’s Creek.
The musical score for Children of the Corn II was provided by Daniel Licht, whose other credits include the television series Dexter, Thinner, Children of the Corn III, and Soul Survivors.
The team of producers behind the movie included Gilbert Adler (Ghost Ship, Constantine, Valkyrie, Superman Returns), Lawrence Mortorff (The Omega Code, Hellraiser III, The Omega Code 2), David Stanley (Legends of the Hidden Temple), and Scott A. Stone (The Man Show, Freddy’s Nightmares).
The makeup effects for Children of the Corn II were done by a group that included Martin Astles (Event Horizon, Van Helsing, Son of the Mask), Shaune Harrison (Jupiter Ascending, Nightbreed), Herita Jones (Super Mario Bros, Hellraiser III), Dave Keen (Candyman, Hardware, Aliens), and Steve Painter (Alexander, From Hell).
The special effects team for the movie included Ray Bivins (Mr. Destiny, Paul Blart Mall Cop), Bob Keen (Highlander, Event Horizon, The Dark Crystal, Krull), and Gary J. Tunnicliffe (Wishmaster, Blade), and the visual effects crew was made up of Rob Burton (Con Air, The Rock, Howard the Duck), Chris Casady (Brainscan, My Science Project), John Follmer (Mortal Kombat, McHale’s Navy, Red Planet, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), and Barb Meier (True Lies, Double Dragon).
The cast of Children of the Corn II included Christie Clark (A Nightmare On Elm Street 2), Rosalind Allen (Pinocchio’s Revenge), Ed Grady (Children of the Corn III), Wallace Merck (Super Mario Bros), Terence Knox (St. Elsewhere), and Ryan Bollman (Only The Strong).
The plot of Children of the Corn II picks up after the end of the original Children of the Corn, where the surviving children of the devastated town of Gatlin are taken in by various locals in the nearby town of Hemingford. Unfortunately, the children are under the influence of a cult leader, and soon the killings begin again.
Children of the Corn II was made on a reported production budget of $900,000, on which it grossed just under $7 million in its domestic theatrical run. While this was profitable, the movie was not well-regarded: it currently holds an IMDb rating of 4.1, alongside Rotten Tomatoes scores of 22% from critics and 20% from audiences.
Personally, I am a big fan of well-portrayed creepy children characters. However, it is really easy to have them go wrong, given there is a significant scarcity of child actors out there with any kind of talent. Children of the Corn II is a rare flick that manages to hit straight down the middle in regards to the significant cast of child actors: they aren’t terrible or remarkable, which is in itself a feat. The first Children of the Corn has a couple of memorably creepy kids, so this sequel is a downgrade in that regard.
That said, Children of the Corn II is actually pretty fun as a bad movie. There are a number of ridiculously over the top deaths, an outlandish plot, some cheesy makeup effects, and just enough nonsense dialogue to make it oddly endearing.
If you ask me, Children of the Corn II isn’t a top tier good bad movie, but there is definitely entertainment value to be had with it. The original movie is no masterpiece, so there shouldn’t have been any high expectations for this flick to start with. That said, I am amazed that the franchise has kept chugging along for as long as it has, given how poorly received they all seem to be.
For more on Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice, check out Stephen Holden’s review in The New York Times, and Richard Harrington’s coverage in The Washington Post. For some less formal overviews, GoodBadFlicks has a video about the film on YouTube, and Werewolves On The Moon has a comparatively positive spin on it.