3 from the Mind of Stephen King (Children of the Corn / Creepshow 2 / Maximum Overdrive)

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Children of the Corn
The murder rate is as high as an elephant's eye in this drooping adaptation of Stephen King's short story. While driving through Nebraska en route to a new job, medico Burt (Peter Horton) and his other half Vicky (a pre-Terminator Linda Hamilton)nearly run over a mutilated kid who staggers from the cornfields. Seeking aid, they enter the town of Gatlin, whose under-20 locals have actually butchered their parents per the decree of junior-grade holy roller Isaac (John Franklin), who preaches the word of a being called"He Who Walks Behind the Rows." King's initial story(from his 1978 collection Night Shift )was a lean and ruthless mélange of Southern-gothic environment and E.C. Comics-style gore, which scripter Greg Goldsmith successfully reduces the effects of by adding a youthful storyteller(a grating Robbie Kiger)and putting an upbeat spin on the story's morbid conclusion. Fritz Kiersch's instructions is TV-movie flat, with the sole inspired minute(horrible religious iconography glimpsed throughout a bloody" service" )delivered as a throwaway. Aside from Horton and Courtney Gains( as Isaac's hatchet male Malachai ), the performances are dreadful, and the depiction of the Lovecraftian monster-god as a sort of giant gopher inspires more laughter than horror. Remarkably, the film generated six sequels; Franklin( Cousin Itt in the Addams Family films )later on appeared in and composed 1999's Children of the Corn 666.-- Paul Gaita Creepshow 2 What is it about hitchhikers that makes them such a sure-fire bet for scary? This concern is attended to in the lastsector of Creepshow 2, another Stephen King-George Romero partnership. "The Hitchhiker"is the simplest and best of the 3 tales on display screen right here, with Lois Chiles as an unfaithful other half who just can't appear to obtain rid of a hitchhiker ... no matter how tough she tries. The collection leaves to a slow start with" Old Chief Wood 'n Head, "a drowsy story of Native American justice. "The Raft" is a passable teens-in-peril number, however it worked better on the page than on screen. Romero adjusted the King stories however absolutely did not direct, which accounts for the drop-off from the kicky enjoyable of the very first Creepshow. King looks like a dimwitted truck motorist-- a foreshadowing of Maximum Overdrive!.?.!? In any case, this one's for diehard fans only.-- Robert Horton Optimum Overdrive"I'm gon na scare the hell out of you,"intones Stephen King in the trailer for his sole directorial effort, the much-maligned Maximum Overdrive. While the end result does not live up to that boast, this sci-fi/horror tale is

n't as terrible as it's been described. King's script(based upon his short story" Trucks" )focuses on the customers of a North Carolina truck stop, which comes under attack by a convoy of trucksand other machines animated by Earth's passage through the tail of a" rogue comet."King's fans, tired of half-baked screen adaptations like Cujo and Children of the Corn, expected a scary home run from Maximum Overdrive and instead got an old-fashioned drive-in motion picture fulled of car crashes, cheapjack gore, and fart jokes. While the film is torpidly paced and typically amateurishly acted, it's no even worse than any direct-to-video thriller, and King's ear for dialogue occasionally shines through the gloom. Emilio Estevez and Pat Hingle register as a heroic cook and his black-hearted employer, respectively; the cast consists of Yeardley Smith(Lisa Simpson's voice ), Giancarlo Esposito, and Marla Maples (!)as a victim.-- Paul Gaita

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