One day in 1981, little Jobbie was the only kid in church that day. The other children were with Isaac in the corn field. The town of Gatlin, Nebraska was having a problem - their crop was failing due to drought. After church, Jobbie and his father went to Hansen’s Café. Then while Jobbie was sipping his strawberry shake, a bunch of the older teenage boys and a teenage girl started bulling out knives, sickles, and hatchets. That day, every adult in Gatlin, Nebraska was killed that day - for the corn. That is when Jobbie’s sister, Sarah, started drawing pictures.
Fast foreword three years. It is 1984 and a happily engaged couple - Burt and Vicky - are driving to Seattle, Washington for Burt, a fresh faced doctor, will start hammering out 50 patients a day at his new firm. Though while driving, they run over a boy. Vicky has instant nausea, but Burt looks and notices a cut on the boy’s neck. There was someone in the corn - the killer of this little boy. After a nightmare and then some, Burt goes into the corn and find’s the boy’s suitcase filled with belongings.
The next stop the couple make - which is just outside one of Gatlin’s cornfields - is a Gas Station owned by a Mr. Diehl and his trusty dog, Sarge. He tells the couple to skip Gatlin and go to the neighboring town of Hemingford - which is an extra 19 miles. One Burt and Vicky leave, what Diehl said cost him and his dog’s lives.
Out in the corn, Isaac preaches to the children. He preaches that their Lord and Savior - He Who Walks Behind The Rows - has bestowed upon them a new task - a final task. They are to sacrifice the outlanders - a man and a woman - in the same manner they killed "The Blue Man" (Gatlin’s police chief) three years ago. Job and Sarah watch on as the cult continues to praise their God of Corn.
After having a bad experience with road signs, Burt and Vicky decide to hell with it and just go to Gatlin. They check Hansen’s Café, only to find a rat, lots of littered corn stalks, and accouple of kids that try to steal their car. After driving, looking for the kids who tried to commit Grand Theft Auto, the decide to leave the seemingly deserted town of Gatlin, Nebraska and just go on to Hemingford. However, while driving back onto the interstate, Burt notices a door on a house open and close. Taking a risk at breaking in, they stop by the house and look around, only to find accouple of ominous things, including a drawing of a black shape hovering over some corn entitled, "He Who Walks Behind The Rows". After some more exploration, they find a girl - Sarah - drawing. After doing their best to get some information out of her, Burt decides to leave Vicky the car and walk into town.
While Burt is walking into town, he notices that the local school also has two things he have seen before: littered corn stalks and mentions of "He Who Walks Behind the Rows". Little does our male protagonist know that the Children are well aware of their stop in Gatlin. The children decide to kid nap Vicky. While in a police station, Burt starts to have a gut feeling that Vicky is in trouble. He runs back to the home, to find a petrified Sarah and his car ruined with a ton of corn clogged into all of the different places in the front of the car. Burt also finds the key to finding Vicky: Sarah’s newest artistic endeavor: a picture of the Children taking Vicky into the clearing in the corn. Burt decides to walk into the corn. All of a sudden, the corn opens all by itself. Burt walks in. With each passing row, the row closes. Burt’s attention is interrupted from the pursuit of Vicky though, as he hears church bells ring. Though as Burt leaves the corn, an eerie noise rises from the corn.
In the clearing, Vicky is crucified onto a giant corn cross. However, something is amidst. Isaac tells his henchmen, Malachai, that He Who Walks The Rows is displeased - especially with Malachai. Malachai offended He Who Walks Behind The Rows when he killed Joseph not as an offering. But then another thing Isaac says seems weird - that He is displeased with the killing of Diehl because his gas and oil was still used to the children. Malachai argues back that they can get their oil as gasohol from the corn. Then Malachai tells that maybe He is displeased since they have not offered unto him Sarah and Job. But Isaac says something else: that it was Sarah’s gift of sight that warned them of the coming of the outlanders.
When Burt gets to the town church, he sees something rather revolting - a 19 year old with a pentagram carved into his chest, a girl about to drink blood from a corn boll, an altered picture of Jesus, and a heavily edited version of the Bible. The girl calls for Malachai and then continues to stab Burt in the left shoulder. Burt runs while Malachai makes an appearance before Burt. But Burt runs until he meets Job. Him and Job hide from the children in a cellar behind their house, built durring the Cuban missile crisis. And it is then which Job tells Burt all of the events from the last three years. Afterwards, Burt, Job, and Sarah decide to go and try to rescue Vicky and stop the Children of the Corn once and for all. Burt waits to strike durring nighttime - His time. However, little do they know is that Malachai has had another argument with Isaac - one that has Isaac become the one to sacrifice instead of Vicky (she is still gonna be murdered though).
At night, Burt is in the corn, with a giant wrench as a weapon. Soon, an eerie voice comes out of the corn. Amos walks into the corn as He Who Walks Behind The Rows devours him. Isaac starts to freak out since he knows he has also offended He Who Walks Behind The Rows. He Who Walks Behind The Rows gets Isaac and shoots that corn cross into the air. While everyone is in amazement, Burt does battle with Malachai, freeing Vicky. After giving a "Captain Kirk" speech and showing the children that the ways of He Who Walks Behind The Rows are faux, Isaac comes back and kills Malachai.
At the coming of a storm, Burt and Vicky assume that "the monster" is now attacking them. Burt asks Job about the people who originally tried to stop the cult. Job pulls out a page form the Bible - Revelation 20:10. With that, Burt decides to burn the corn field. He hooks up the huge tanks of Gasohol to the crop watering decides and let that spray down the crops while baking a beer bottle bomb out of filling a bottle with Gasohol and part of Job’s sweater vest, which he has to light. However, He Who Walks Behind the Rows tries to stop Burt - from taking the form of burning clouds to a moving mound of Earth to even having the corn itself grab and tie down Burt. But Burt throws the bottle and burs the field. As the field burns, the face of He Who Walks Behind The Rows raises up and roars into the dark, night sky. That is it for our heroes as they start their long walk to Hemingford.
Here it is, the original film of the series. This is the one which left a big mark in pop culture. Children of the Corn. It is not a perfect film by no means at all, but it did start a revolution.
It is interesting which actors they picked. John Franklin is cast as Isaac. He looks creepy and is actually 21, so he knows how to act. In fact, he is the only cast member of any of the Children of the Corn films to appear in more than one film. Courtney Gains plays Malachai, and he would continue to be a cult horror actor, even having an appearance in the director’s cut version of the 2007 remake of the classic, "Halloween". Linda Hamilton is in this film, which was shot simultaneously with "The Terminator", which made her a superstar in that year of 1984 - having two films out in one year. And Peter Horton is in this film, though I only recognize him from the film "T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous" (in which he was a lot more rouged). All of the actors do a good job and keep this film at a great creep level. No fail here!
The screenplay - adapted from the original short story - is something of a mystery. But then again, what do you expect to do when you only got a 30 page short story to make into an hour thirty film? The film fallows well enough the original short story, though what was added was just pure Hollywood talking. And you would think twice about that, since New World Pictures is an independent studio, not a Hollywood one. The story does seem to be complex enough: they add into the mix that Malachai and Isaac have an argument. They added the corn cross part. The most iconic part of the whole "Children of the Corn" image. Something which Stephen King, in my opinion, should have had in the original short story - instead of a giant cross bar. But then we have it that Burt and Vicky are not the bickering couple like in the short story. This is where Hollywood starts taking it toll. While it was the 1980’s, I do not think that it would have been that brash to have them arguing. Although an argument does seem to come up every now and again, so it is not always gay (learn the real definition of that word people).
Something I never got what where people say that Isaac was too power hungry. I can see that in "666: Isaac’s Return", but not in this film. It is more Malachi being too power hungry. The only real reason why he failed and was wanted at the end by "He Who Walks Behind the Rows" the first time was that he lost control over the children after three years. I bet people get it from the scene when Isaac claims that Sarah was the one who warned the children about the coming of the outlanders and not He Who Walks Behind the Rows when the film got to the 35 minute mark. Though the biggest difference between the original short story and it’s film adaptation would be the source of the corn religion. In the film, it seems that religious fundamentalism has lead onto a style of religiosity in which they start fallowing a demon in the corn. But in the story, He Who Walks Behind The Rows IS God.
The direction of this film is simple. It is just simple. There is nothing really complex when it comes to the look of the film or of the message of the film. The only real message or moral that this film has is to be against fallowing blind. But other than that, there is nothing which really makes the audience member think. Nothing left for them to "chew on" once the movie is over. This also goes for the special effects, which were either animated or added in from another source (see the production notes on this film for more information).
The music is something which has become Iconic as hell. Some say it is Omen like. Whatever it is, it is all thanks to Jonathan Elias. While there is not that much variation in the soundtrack, the soundtrack is easily one of the more suspenseful soundtracks in the whole series, deserving to be among the other iconic soundtracks like "The Amityville Horror", "Halloween", "The Exorcist" and "The Omen" (notice that all of the good horror films are from the 1970‘s). And there is especially all of the themes which has Latin chanting. Very suspenseful on a psychological level. Too bad that the original theme which he composed for this film was not used in any of the subsequent films, until the remake in 2009 in which actually had Jonathan Elias come back for the score.
Overall, there is not much to say about this film. It is the original and the best, though the remake and the first sequel really do give this film a nice run for it’s money. At least that for an adaptation which Stephen King did not care for, this film has become a cult classic and a pop culture icon that will be with us for the next century.
Through all of Anchor Bay’s endeavors to produce "making of" documentaries for this film, it is shocking how much already published information is not listed. So here we go!
One thing which was at one time only considered to be a rumor would be that durring the late 1970’s, Stephen King actually did have a screenplay treatment being shopped around the movie studios at the time. But no studio would except it because at the time, there were simply too many Stephen King-based movies being produced at one time. Interesting to note that unlike many of the other adaptations of his works, this was a script he had written.
But then comes in the early 1980’s Harry Wiland, a 35 year old documentary maker from Main. With his support, Stephen King re-worked his script. This one attempt at a film adaptation was originally to star Lawrence Kerwin - an actor who has been in another Stephen King adaptation: the TV version of "Salem’s Lot" (1979). Mr. Willard did release a statement on the project, saying, "We are on the same wavelength and we both see the potential of this movie. We both see things that need to be fleshed out or polished, and we're doing it." The project also already had it’s shooting locations found: Butler and Lawrence, Kansas. Principle photography was to begin in summer 1981, but it was canceled when Twentieth Century Fox backed out of the project. With this, the project lost most of it’s budget ($2,000,000). With the only cash left for Producer Joe Mansfield and director Harry Wiland was a sole contribution by Home Box Video which was only $750,000.
But this would not be the death of the project. In early 1983, the project came to the doorstep of Hal Roach Studios. It was now which George Goldsmith was hired to revise Stephen King’s treatment of the screenplay. Goldsmith has commented on writing the screenplay, saying: "It's the idea of dogma being an evil thing." Goldsmith was told by Stephen King that, "The story is not calculated to send you out of the theatre with sunshine in your heart." Many aspects were changed in the screenplay, including the ending which King said was to leave the audience with melancholy. When asked about this, Goldsmith replied, "It's ok sometimes if the protagonist dies at the end. But it is not often that the film succeeds commercially."
Interesting bit is that on some copies of the original theatrical poster, Stephen King and George Goldsmith are credited with the authoring of the screenplay. However, after a judgment was passed by the Writers Guild of America, it was decided that George Goldsmith was to be given full credit. King later found out that the screenplay that was presented to him as the "final draft" wasn’t actually a final draft and was drastically different from the finished film.
Soon afterwards, the screenplay made it to Donald P. Borchers - the Senior Vice President who was made producer of the film. It was now that Don Borchers hired Terrance Kirby and Fritz Kiersch. Borchers, Kiersch, and Kirby had a history together. Borchers was actually someone who was hired continuously by Fritz Kiersch and Terrance Kirby’s company in Los Angeles, "The Kirby/Kiersch Film Group", which specialized in television mediums (TV shows and commercials). It was like pay back gift from Borchers to Fritz Kiersch "You know, for all the times you put ice cream in my freezer because I was out of work and you let me and use your offices, I got a bunch of projects. Do you want to make a movie?" (quote by Kiersch). And so Kiersch was brought on to do the film.
After accepting the project, pre-production went into effect the fallowing day. While scouting locations, Kansas was ruled out due to a heat wave from the summer damaged the corn there and Nebraska lacked the certain city which would be ideal for "Gatlin". 6-8 weeks afterwards, principle photography began in Siouxland (Sioux Falls), Iowa. Shooting would be over the course of 27 days from September to October 1983. The budget was $3,000,000, though most of it was paid to Stephen King, so the budget was set more around $800,000. Through shooting, everyone agreed that the worst part about it was the night scenes, filmed over the course of 2-3 nights. They were filmed until morning when it was still dark out and it got really cold. This especially effected Courtney Gains and Peter Horton, who have to fight on cold, hard, soil. And all though provisions were made (like covering Isaac up with a blanket in between takes), they just wanted it to get done.
One phase of shooting which must be applauded would be the shooting with veteran actor R.G. Armstrong who plays Diehl in the film. The character took up 10 pages in the script and got all of the scenes with him done in one day. Incredible! Though what would you expect from someone who works with commercials.
Casting was handled by Linda Francis and Fritz Kiersch. "Children of the Corn" marked the first time that either Linda Hamilton or Peter Horton would get staring roles. Kiersch would say in the documentary, "Harvesting Horror" that they were chosen for their enthusiasm in the project (and Hamilton knew Francis) and that Peter was an actor who "always bought something to the table. The other children were just 30 extras picked up in and around Sioux City. "They had to come off as terrifying... and they did" said director Fritz Kiersch. Such is the tale of John Philbin who plays Amos in the film. This was also John’s first film. Turns out that Amos was the only part he auditioned for and he got it!
Another child actor from the film is Corey Frizzell, who played as one of the children of the corn and a stand-in double for Job (Robby Kiger’s character). Corey believes he got into the film because his mother knew some people involved with production (Frizzell‘s family has been filled with people having success in the country music business). However, something revealing is told in an interview with Corey, "I believe we had the parts without having to do any real auditions. I remember the first time we met the director and some of the other crew, my brother Michael and I were carried over to what was a Howard Johnson’s hotel at the time and were just simply asked if we could make a mean face (some audition). I think they really just wanted to size us up since we would be playing the character Job in one form or another." Both Corey and Mike would be stand ins for Job at one point or other in the film.
Corey also remembers a lot about some of the making of the church scene: "I remember a lot of down time. The filming for the interior of the church scene was located in a church on 5th and George St. in Sioux City and took all day long, about 17 hours of shooting. While the crew was preparing the church for the scene I can remember having to stay in the basement with all the actors including Courtney Gains (Malachai) and try to pass the time. Everyone mostly played cards. I think Courtney was teaching a lot of the kids how to play poker. I was too young and preferred wrestling around. On one occasion Courtney and I were horsing around and he hog tied me and tried to stuff me in a closet. I think the church may have been the place where Robby, my brother and I got in the most trouble with the crew because we were all over the place. We had a lot more room to run around at the farm house in Hornick. It was during this time that I learned how they made fake blood and how someone could be stabbed in a movie and look so real. They showed us that the blood was just white corn syrup and red food coloring and the knife used to stab Peter Horton had a corncob handle in which the blade retracted into when he was struck. I do remember them having to shoot the scene where Peter is stabbed several times because the blood pack under his white shirt kept malfunctioning and exploding. There are so many stories I could tell, you just don’t have enough website for them all… This scene was shot several times and if you watch it you will see that they really pieced it together. One moment the kids are standing, then they're sitting, and then standing again. I was sitting in a front row pew on the side where Peter is attacked and my brother Michael is in the second or third pew. We must have chased Peter out those doors a dozen times after he is stabbed but the one scene they put in the movie is where I was knocked over and trampled by Peter on the way out, then a girl grabbed my hand to help me out and yelled "Come on." So we are the last two out of the church."
But Corey also remembers how it was to be the stand in. "I remember having the little Job outfit on and having to walk with a crouch to this counter and peak over it at Peter… Also I remember the scene at the end where "He Who Walks Behind The Rows" comes to attack, which was just a wrecking ball being pulled under a layer of dirt through a trench. Anyways it wasn’t cooperating the way they wanted. They shot that a few different times. That same night, they were trying to film the explosion in the cornfield and the first time it didn’t go off so well. By the time they were able to prepare a second explosion I had already fell asleep in my moms lap while her and Linda Hamilton were sitting Indian style in the grass talking. I believe my brother Michael had some issues with his stunts and the Molotov cocktail that night, but that’s another interview."
Another interesting character to look into the production history of is Joseph, played by Jonas Seaman Marlowe. "When I was about 12 or 13 I made the decision that I wanted to live with my Dad. It was a pretty hard thing to do. I felt bad for my Mom, who really only wanted what was best for me. That summer I moved to Los Angeles. My step mom Bobbi, who is a photographer, took some pictures of me in a photography studio she built in the garage. She also built a darkroom in one of the closets. She submitted the pictures to a couple of agents. Estelle Hertzberg from 20th Century Artists' Agency called me in for an interview. She liked what she saw, and within a week I was out on my first audition. It was that summer that I was called in to audition for Children Of The Corn". Joseph was the only role that I was being considered for. I remember I used a yellow highlighter to highlight all my lines in the sides that they gave me. It was the scene in the barn before I run off and get killed by Malachai. There weren't a lot of lines to memorize, but I was only 13, so it seemed like a lot at the time. I then rehearsed the scene with Bobbi a couple times. About a week later, the phone rang, and I'd got the part."
However, it was interesting on his memories on his famous death scene. "I remember it pretty well, and no, it wasn't difficult to film. I was having the time of my life. They'd yell 'Action!'...and I'd start thinking that someone was after me. Really believing it, getting psyched up, and then I'd book it through the cornfield all scared to death until they yelled 'Cut!' It was a blast. And yes, I was paper cut plenty all over the place. That corn is razor sharp. But I was really into it, so I really didn't care." But then when it came to a certain close up when Burt is about to run over Joseph: "If you mean the POV shot from the car as it's approaching me, yes, that's me. I'm standing in the street and the car is coming towards me while I'm holding my throat. They actually put the camera in the car and had a stunt driver speed towards me and then put on the brakes, stopping the car before hitting me. It was fun. Especially, trying not to flinch as the car was coming towards me. Of course, the shot of me actually being run over is a dummy." But there was special detail paid to the gore effects on Jonas. "The make up artist, who was this wonderful lady that I had a mad crush on, put a pigs wind pipe sticking out of my neck. I thought it was awesome. You'll notice in the close up of me dead in the road, I really am attracting flies."
John Franklin would be the man cast as Isaac. Franklin has an interesting casting history, mostly due to his medical condition dealing with growth hormone deficiency. Franklin is no stranger to playing child parts that are evil, having done the play, "The Innocence", which deals with a possessed child. Though other than his age/look difference, he was also chosen because he looked creepy with the hair cut he had - all thanks to a commercial for Star Trek Atari. Within the first six weeks he was in LA, he got an agent instantly (he was noticeable because of his look), and that is how he got into the audition. It was by Kirby and Kiersch that he got the news that he got the part.
While practicing for the role, John studied boy preachers and even looked at actual preachers to see their flamboyant ways and how they captured their congregation’s attention. Mr. Franklin’s attention to detail also fallowed through with his performance. While he described himself as a "green kid" on the set due to his inexperience with film, he was known to nail lines down - earning him the pseudonym "one take kid".
Courtney Gains plays the blood drunk right hand man Malachai. Just out of high school, Courtney was cast for his intense delivery durring the casting stage of things. Her was picked up by Linda Francis since she knew Courtney’s work. While wearing a black kimono-esque article of clothing, he would sit cross legged in the room "in a vibe" (Kiersch quote again). While reading from the screenplay with assistant Jeff Greenburg, Courtney pulled out a faux prop knife and pulled it against Jeff’s throat. Due to the intensity of that performance and how effected Jeff was afterwards, Courtney got the part.
Courtney Gains described himself as a method actor, that he would get himself in the mood when he walked through the corn saying to himself, "This is MY cornfield" repeatedly. Part of what makes Malachai spooky is the stare he gives off and his extended jaw line throughout the film.
While commenting on direction, Fritz Kiersch has made it known that he wanted to bring out the visual elements of the film. He tried to use the Hitchcock effect with this film: show the blade, show the wound, but never show the penetration of the blade into the flesh. This is most noticeable in the coffee shop massacre scene. He also wanted to make the mood of isolation - made famous the previous year with "John Carpenter’s The Thing" - prevalent in this film with the corn. And not to mention many money shots with the bladed weapons. Fritz though split the town of Gatlin into four distinct sections, each with a different quality which made it spooky. And he never did more than three takes of a scene. In fact, one scene which got messed up but kept because of the look was the opening of the barn door scene. Cinematographer Juan Fernandez was ill the day that scene was shot, so the lighting was off, but it worked well. An almost dark scene and then a colored but creepy look at the corn.
When it came down to the special effects, even Kiersch claimed that he had some disdain against them. ""The effects at the ending really do suck. We has a lot of problems there mainly because we had to shoot all those scenes first, before the corn changed from green to gold." Most of the special effects were more conventional than anything - making good use of animation at the time. This was used especially when animation was used to enhance a matted in shot of some test footage of some ink which a friend of Kiersch had which Fritz thought was cool. But one thing which was not practical was the giant explosion at the end, which became a one time gathering for everyone in Sioux Falls (about 500 people) to see something epic in their little town other than a tornado.
Something more practical is what was used for the other two incarnations of "He Who Walks Behind The Rows". For the famous moving mount of Earth form, a ditch was built in the earth so that a wheel barrow - covered with canvas that is covered in soil - could be pulled by an off screen tractor with some aircraft wire. All for around $100. Then for the part where the corn got squashed, put forks were attached to the front of a tractor and for $50, another incarnation of He Who Walks Behind the Rows - though nothing like what the short story claimed. Though for when Isaac was to come back from the dead to kill Malachai, a last minute decision was made to attach pork sausage to John Franklin’s head. For the scene in which the corn was to be grabbing at our protagonist, it was filmed backwards with the corn actually unraveling from Peter Horton’s character. Basic SFX techniques.
A big problem with the film though was the corn. Craig Sterns - production designer - had to the job of making corn stalks something of a constant everywhere you would go in Gatlin. Though the look of the old buildings would be already accomplished due to the buildings already being vacant. The corn - due to the timing of the shooting - was also dieing. When producer Terrance Kirby got wind of this from Craig, Terrance said, "Then spray it green", which is what happened.
Doing the score is another newbie: Jonathan Elias. Starting off as an orchestrate doing movie trailer music, his hiring was ultimately a decision made by Producer Borchers and Director Kiersch after getting a top from John Barry - friend and teacher to Elias. The only musical direction which Fritz Kiersch gave was mainly surrounding the action/dramatic moments in the film. Other than that, it was just either composing music by a scenes mood or by just the look of the scene. "Usually I would rely on one of my themes and then impose it into the scene using cue points that Fritz or Donald gave me." But one thing which was classic Elias is the main theme for the film, which is also Elias‘s favorite piece he composed for the film. The score and that specific theme was composed using an orchestra of 40 players and 6 choral children. "I am very fluent with vocals and like to work with them. It's also a very chilling effect using children singing with the title." Later on from the same interview which I got the above quite from, Elias said, "The vocalization chants were just syllables that I took from a Latin dictionary, they don't mean anything but it's something we all learn from Carl Orff and the classical piece Carmina Burana. Yes, they were used in high suspense moments because that was another character, the chants. They were adult singers, 6 of them again. "
But the easiest aspect of the whole production was the response which the cast and crew got from the citizens of Sioux Falls. "People in that part of the country were terrific. They embraced the whole opportunity. We said, ‘Could we stop traffic?’ ‘Can we board up the buildings?’ ‘Could we ask all of the citizens to stay indoors?’ ‘Of course, no problem! And we’ll make a cake for you, and afterward could you come to BBQ, and then we have casino night, would you like to come to casino night?" Certainly a lot more positive than what people on future y a production would get in terms of response - especially the next film "The Final Sacrifice".
The deleted scenes of "Children of the Corn" are something of a myth. According to IMDB, 1.)"A longer prologue where several other adults are killed, most notably a deputy whose throat is slashed and then stabbed in the chest, and a farmer who is hacked to death outside his barn by a group of pick-axe wielding kids." 2.) A scene between Sarah and Job's parents before the slaughter. They talk over the breakfast table about Sarah's drawings of the upcoming massacre and how they think something awful is about to happen. 3.) A scene where Isaac prays to He Who Walks Behind The Rows only to receive a horrific vision of his impending fate. There only some of the scenes which may have been cut since it took 10 weeks to edit the film totally.
On the topic of the original’s deleted scenes, I got a pretty good feeling that it is all garbage. The only real alternate cut of the original "Children of the Corn" I know of is the 88 minute cut that was released by Cinema Club in the UK before Anchor Bay got the rights. I used to think that the deleted scenes were in these edited cuts (who knew? It could have been another case like "Godzilla, King of the Monsters!", cut footage but add also). But I was wrong. And actually, it is quite a sad tale really. The first three "Children of the Corn" films all suffered from extensive editing, mostly just the bloody parts. In most cases, the running time for these European "edited" cuts was something between 85-88 minutes. Here is a list of scenes which were missing, albeit not a full list:
37 seconds is cut from the Coffee Shop massacre, mostly the bloody parts
3 seconds is cut of when Burt runs over Joseph
A minute 5 seconds is cut afterwards of the conversation from "Is he…?" to (insert last line before Burt goes into corn)
19 seconds in cut when we see Amos cut into his chest
9 seconds is cut when Malachai cuts into Vicky’s left cheek
14 seconds is cut when the glowing force of He Who Walks Behind The Rows covers Isaac and hurls the corn cross into the air
28 seconds is taken out of the scene at night where Malachai and Burt duel
12 seconds is cut when Isaac breaks Malachai’s neck
I have only seen proof of three deleted scenes - that being the killing of a cop (not THE blue man, but another cop). The other two includes scenes found in the theatrical trailer, including a shot of the two corn crosses at dusk and us getting accouple more frames of Joseph’s death before we switch to the shot of blood splattering onto Joseph’s suitcase. The extended version of Joseph’s death and the corn cross scenes could be spliced back in save the need to tack on a little extra music, but it would not be that hard to do nor that time consuming. As for the scene with the death of the Blue Man…
There have been two main pictures from the Blue Man death scene that have been published: on the back for the LP for the soundtrack and a German lobby card. However, one source claims that the deleted scenes are somewhere in the UK, more specifically in the TV version. This is something interesting, seeing that people in Europe always get the top line products first (except for the blu-ray release of the original).
If someone wants to try to be the next Mark Kermode (who horror fans know for trying to look for the deleted scenes from the critically acclaimed, "Exorcist 3: Legion") , then your best guesses when looking through film archives is look at the television film archives of Warner Brothers Television or Lakeshore Entertainment. For theatrical film archives, then look through Anchor Bay’s bunch. In Europe, Anchor Bay is the current copyright holders of the film, so it can be safe to assume that the aforementioned company’s UK branches would also have the film’s deleted scenes. I really hope that someone tries to look through the film archives and find these lost scenes to a classic film. Maybe there is more.
All in all, everyone involved with the film - except maybe Donald Borchers - was happy with the turn out. "We did very well for the amount of money this film cost as it does come across as a more expensive production knowing the size and scope of it. It works well on certain levels." "Children of the Corn is extraordinarily successful" Donald P. Borchers said, "but I do not think it is true to King's original."