There were key movies in my life that helped to make me who I am today. Movies that I have loved from the moment the opening credit rolled and still love now. This blog series is about those, My guilty pleasures, my favorites, my escapes. Some were very popular, others not so much. Some of these will have some real life take-aways, others are just for fun.
Lately I have been covering franchises that start, contain or are related to some of my favorite films. Today we discuss a franchise that probably never should have been but somehow has spawned many sequels and has gained a cult following. The franchise, Children of the Corn, the film, well, Part 2 the (not so) Final Sacrifice.
Today’s Key Movie:
Taking place not long after the events of the first film, The Final Sacrifice opens with the discovery of the massacre in the town of Gatlin and the subsquent adoption of most of the cultist kids for some reason. We soon follow John and Danny Garret, an estranged Father and Son, who stumble upon a new cult as the Children of the Corn attempt to unite the towns of Gatlin and Hemingford in order to bring forth He Who Walks Behind the Rows. Only, it turns out to be aflatoxin causing all the problems. Starring Terence Knox, Paul Scherrer, Ryan Bollman, Christie Clark, Rosilind Allen and Ned Romero, this is Children Of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice.
Why this movie and is it any good?
I didn’t see this film when it first hit theaters in 1993 nor did I see it when it hit VHS for the first time. In fact, even though I know I had seen it before watching it for this review, I couldn’t tell you when or even who with. Is it that forgettable? Well, in a word….yes.
To boil it down The Final Sacrifice is a halfhearted attempt to start a franchise from a film that really needed no sequel and, if it did, well, this was not the way to do it. This film is basically a way to not only have another ‘killer kid cult’ story but also acts as a way to explain why everything happened in the first film as well. But, we know that already right? That creature in the corn field? Nah, this time it has a very scientific explanation which happens be a very real fungus known as aflatoxin. So, apparently, the entire reason the kids went insane in the first film, well, the town folk in Gatlin let their corn go bad and the entire region was dusted with Aflatoxin spores causing the kids and adults to hallucinate and go insane. No, seriously, and how do we learn all of this? Through one of the biggest 90’s tropes there ism, the Magic Indian character in the form of Dr Red Bear played by Ned Romero. I wish I was kidding.
The first half of the film, while quite campy, played out much like the first one, kids begin killing people and outsiders try to prevent as much death as they can. Then we meet Doctor Red Bear who, even though he plays the trope less mystical than most 80s/90s films, he quickly becomes the ‘Magical Indian’ who cites that this is all being cause by Aflatoxin and, the fact that nature is out of balance, and who ultimately becomes a spirit that protects the town of Hemingford from further harm. No, seriously, I can’t make this up. It’s bad, it’s cringe worthy and wholly insensitive on so many levels.
Oh and while all this is going on, Danny Garret, Johns son, has a summer romance with a local girl only to end up having to save her life after he falls into the cult, because of course he does. Then there is the antagonist, Micah who, well, sort of acts as an amalgamation of both Isaac and Mordechai from the first film, only never really pulls it off, instead he just comes off as some creepy kid who is all into cutting people’s hands in rituals after he is ‘possesses’ by a demon that is actually aflatoxin. Oh, and there is a conspiracy too with the adults of the town determined to make money off of poison corn, but they get killed. yeah, really….
With all of this, Sadly, this film isn’t even scary, in any way, it’s just weird and never quite figures out what it wants to be. Is it a slasher film? Sometimes. Is it an environmental film? at moments. Is it a coming of age story? Quite often. Is it a horror film? eh, not really. As I said before, it’s a halfhearted attempt at starting a franchise that, somehow, actually takes root…
Bottom line, just skip it. Seriously, this is not a film worth your time unless you like really bad B-horror or just want to make fun of a bad movie for 94 minutes. Unfortunately, I now own a copy of this and the subsequent five sequels, so as I am going into unknown territory here, I really hope they get better from this point on. Interestingly, this instalment was the last one to have a theatrical release, so that doesn’t bode well.
OK, where do I get this movie?
If you HAVE to buy it, just get the boxed set of sequels. It’s filled with a lot of cheese but, hey, sometimes even the stinkiest cheese is good….right?
Next week we continue this with Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest.
Late To The Game 12/23/2021
If you would like to read more reviews please check out the rest of the Key Movies Of My Life that comes out every Thursday.
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