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Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest

Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest


Today’s bad movie feature is 1995’s Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest.

The primary writer on Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest was Dode Levenson, who also did some work on the television show Tripping the Rift and the romantic comedy One Small Hitch. Uncredited work on the screenplay was apparently done by Matt Greenberg, who has done writing on movies like 1408, Reign of Fire, The Prophecy II, and Seventh Son.

The director for Children of the Corn III was James D.R. Hickox, whose other credits include the b-movies Blood Surf and Sabretooth.

The cinematographer for the film was Gerry Lively, who worked on movies like Friday, Future Shock, Project Eliminator, Hellraiser III, and Hellraiser: Bloodline.

The editor on Urban Harvest was Chris Peppe, whose other cutting credits include Suicide Kings, Boiler Room, They, and The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys.

The musical score for Urban Harvest was provided by Daniel Licht, who also provided music for Thinner, Children of the Corn II, Soul Survivors, and the hit television show, Dexter.

The producers for the movie included Brad Southwick (Legion, Ghost Shark), Anthony Hickox (Hellraiser III, Waxwork, Waxwork II), Gary DePew (2001: A Space Travesty), and Jim Begg (Leprechaun).

childrencorniii2The makeup effects team for Urban Harvest was made up of Screaming Mad George (Space Truckers, The Dentist 2, Arena), Karin Hanson (Wolf, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie), Gil Liberto (Son Of The Mask, Black Mass), Erik Schaper (Vampire’s Kiss, Child’s Play 2), Shaun Smith (Captain America, Tremors), David Stinnett (Child’s Play 3), N. Brock Winkless IV (Congo, Alien 3), Kevin Yagher (The Dentist, Trick or Treat, A Nightmare On Elm Street 2), Mark Garbarino (Leviathan, Ice Cream Man), Mitchell J. Coughlin (The Dentist, Face/Off), and Bryan Blair (Hollow Man, The 6th Day).

The special effects work for the movie was done by Wayne Beauchamp (Hell Comes To Frogtown, Maniac Cop 2), Adam Campbell (Blade, New Nightmare), John Crawford (Space Truckers, Carnosaur), Robert Freitas (Mimic 2, Dreams in the Witch House), Grady Holder (Lake Placid, Small Soldiers, The Island of Dr. Moreau), Hiroshi Katagiri (Castle Freak, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen), Darren Perks (Spawn, Leprechaun 4, Theodore Rex), and Douglas J. Stewart (Daredevil, Torque).

The cast of Children of the Corn III included Ron Melendez (The Legacy), Jim Metzler (976-EVIL, Hot To Trot), Nancy Lee Grahn (General Hospital), Daniel Cerny (Demonic Toys), and Mari Morrow (Virtuosity).

childrencorniii4Much like Children of the Corn II, the plot of Urban Harvest kicks off with two surviving children from the town from the first Children of the Corn getting adopted. However, this time they are taken in by a couple in a nearby city, leading to a new series of hijinks and corn-related shenanigans. The two cultist kids are forced to adapt to their new surroundings, either by making new friends or by creating a new cornfield and murdering people.

Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road, Monster) appears uncredited in Children of the Corn III as one of the children under the spell of the cult, marking her first time on screen.

I wasn’t able to dig up any budget or gross information on the feature, but apparently it did make it into a handful of theaters. That said, it was far from well liked, and didn’t last long: it currently holds a rating of 4.0 on IMDb, along with a 27% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.

If there is anything positive to say about Children of the Corn III, it is that the movie tries to take the franchise in a new direction. Moving the setting to a urbanized area isn’t in itself a bad idea, but it is pretty clear from watching the movie that there wasn’t much thought into where to take the story from there. Putting two of the cultist children into catholic school doesn’t exactly make for the most compelling watch if you ask me.

childrencorniii3Once again, the child actors themselves aren’t awful in this movie. I recognized the central kid from his role in Demonic Toys, where he is weirdly dubbed over throughout the entire movie by an adult. Luckily that isn’t the case here, and he pulls off his creepy role well enough.

While the main kid is creepy, and the subplot about monetizing the evil corn is hilariously outlandish, there isn’t quite enough going on here to make it worth the time spent watching it. Overall, there isn’t a whole lot to recommend with this movie outside of a few highlights (a memorable corn-based decapitation and the appearance of a giant corn monster, for instance). It generally lacks the entertainment value of Children of the Corn II if you ask me, and is ultimately just an odd idea that never really came to fruition.



Bargain Bin(ge): Replays Gameware (Tuscaloosa/Northport, AL)

Tuscaloosa, AL isn’t a particularly big or interesting place. Unless you’re there for football, school, or the unimaginable combination of the two, there isn’t a whole lot to soak in. I would know, because I lived there for a while.

That said, there are a surprising number of used media stores in the area for how modest the population is. I’ve already covered the MovieStop chain quite a bit, which has a prominent location in Tuscaloosa. However, the real gems in the area are two sites of the small franchise Replays Gameware & DVDs, which you will seldom see outside of small towns and modest cities like Tuscaloosa.


While the selection isn’t outstanding, these shops aren’t afraid to hold blowout sales to clear out their stock, particularly for their DVDs (as they are primarily vintage gaming shops).  If you catch them during one of those (as I did), the deals are very solid. There is also something to be said about the atmosphere at these shops: they are far less sterile than many of the larger buy/sell/trade chains, and hold on to the intimate and casual ambiance that a lot of people miss from the days of video rental. For people who are into that, Replays has never failed to deliver that for me.

Getting on to the actual haul, let’s start with the central Tuscaloosa location:




Holy shit! It’s my favorite William H. Macy-voiced killer robot: Evolver! I covered this particular flick as part of Killer Robot Week, but this is actually the first time I had come across a DVD copy of it. Of course, I had to pick it up. Why wouldn’t I? If you want to know more, go check out my earlier review of it. Or, better yet, just dig it up on Netflix without any primer.

Action Jackson


Action Jackson is a movie where Carl Weathers (Predator, Rocky, Arrested Development) plays a super-cop, which is all I need to know about it. Also, Vanity of Never Too Young To Die and The Last Dragon co-stars alongside him, in case I needed extra incentive to pick this up (I didn’t). This is another one of those movies that I have just never gotten around to, so when I spotted it on sale, I decided that it should come home with me. I have a feeling that if I throw that movie in my DVD player, I’ll have a mean stew going.

The Thing With Two Heads


Gosh, where can I possibly start with this bizarre b-movie? It is about a racist white man whose (functioning) head is grafted onto a black guy, which results in a movie’s worth of hilarious, action-filled hi-jinks. Academy Award winner Ray Milland did this flick in 1972, the same year in which he featured prominently in the outlandish horror movie Frogs, which I covered here previously. I first heard about this flick when Stuart Gordon did a spotlight on it for Trailers From Hell, and it has been on my to-watch list ever since.  Keep your eyes peeled, because this sounds like a lock for me to cover at some point in the future.

While the Tuscaloosa location did yield me those three much-appreciated finds, the Northport location just outside of town really gave me some fuel for the bad movie fire:


The Crippled Avengers


Martial Arts films definitely aren’t my strong suit, and my knowledge base is admittedly pretty lacking in this department. However, this is a flick that I heard about recently via The Cinema Snob, and I was a little surprised to see it with a DVD release at all given how obscure most of his picks are. I hear that this is actually a pretty decent action flick, but I may just cover it anyway for its cult appeal.

Children of the Corn II / Children of the Corn III


This is a franchise that I have no experience with outside of the original. However, I do know that people hate these two movies with a burning passion, and that I have never seen them. Thus, this was an obvious pickup for me.

The Substitute / The Substitute II / The Substitute III / The Substitute IV


There are three sequels to The Substitute? And they all star the zombie-cop  Treat Williams? There is absolutely no way that these movies are good, and the fact that I had no idea they existed makes me absolutely giddy. I can’t wait to dig into these, and I hope they yield something worth covering here on the blog.

The original The Substitute was featured on the We Hate Movies podcast not too long ago, which made me give consideration to picking it up at some point. I vaguely remember seeing it as a kid, but it was really easy to get confused with The Principal, one of the finest films in the history of cinema. Regardless, I am baffled that this flick managed to spawn so many sequels, which has me deathly curious as to how the story continuity works between them.

Fright Night / Monster High / The Craft / Brainscan


It is hard to resist the allure of a cheap compilation DVD. In this case, cult classics Fright Night and The Craft anchor a couple of lesser-known flicks that leech onto their sides like barnacles. The one that initially caught my eye was Brainscan, which was on my shortlist to cover back during Killer Robot Week. However, I have a hunch that Monster High is going to be the highlight of the bunch, because it sounds absolutely wretched, and holds an unenviable IMDB rating of 3.3.