C.H.U.D.

Oh shit, it’s like halfway through November, huh?

Oops.

We had some Life Things happen that made writing my blog through the end of October inconvenient, and then I had some Not Wanting To Write My Blog and that made writing my blog like SO HARD so anyway I’m sorry I lied and I promise it’ll never* happen again. I’m blaming it on an overdose of corn, proving once again that, when you get right down to it, everything truly is Monsanto’s fault, even if we have to call it Bayer now (which is sort of like changing your name from Shit Co. to Vomit Co. but I digress).

But on the bright side, it is now time for C.H.U.D., THE ACRONYM YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING TO READ ABOUT!

C.H.U.D. is a classic that I had not actually seen until doing this project, so I would like to thank Netflix and the unending anxiety that was late-stage graduate school that could only be alleviated by constant escapism through media for exposing me to this beautiful piece of horror history that I kind of don’t even really know how to describe.

If you have somehow missed every pop culture reference to this movie from The Simpsons to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to Tony Hawk’s Underground and you have zero idea of the premise of this movie, let me give you a brief summary. C.H.U.D., which stands for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller (OR DOES IT??? That’s called foreshadowing.), starts with our hero John Heard and his girlfriend going to photograph the NYC homeless population living in the subway system and sewers only to discover that there are a bunch of gross, flesh-eating sewer monsters down there and also a bunch of missing homeless people. Related? Possibly.

But John Heard isn’t the only one interested in the Case of the Giant Man-Eating Monsters. Police Captain Bosch is also kinda curious about that and the higher-ups at the station are strangely secretive about the topic, so he goes to visit Daniel Stern, who runs a homeless shelter and is convinced that the missing homeless people are the result of a GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY and he wants to fight The Man to get to the bottom of it (a move which presumably leads to his downfall and his future as a common thief in the Home Alone series. Does investigating murderous slime people in abandoned subway tunnels not make you a Wet AND Sticky Bandit? *gestures wildly at the incontrovertible evidence I have presented*).

Turns out that the C.H.U.D.s used to be just regular ol’ homeless people before being transformed into monsters by TOXIC WASTE (remember when we were very very concerned about toxic waste turning people into monsters? Captain Planet lead me to believe this would be a bigger issue than it has been thus far, but the way the government is operating right now perhaps I should be concerned about that again. Someone get the Captain out of retirement, please.) The C.H.U.D.s used to roam the subway system eating their former homeless brethren until oops, they eated them all! Meaning that now they must COME TO THE SURFACE TO EAT YOOOOOOUUUUUUU and John Heard and Daniel Stern simply will not have that and they do their ding dang best to get the EPA, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and local reporters involved, OR ARE THEY ALREADY???? Or do they just get eaten by C.H.U.D.s? Does EVERYONE get eaten by C.H.U.D.s???

In fact, I think this is as far as I can take you with this movie, if you, like I had, have somehow managed to avoid having the DRAMATIC TWIST spoiled for you (I mean, we all kinda see where this is going, but still) because you really really should watch this movie. Not because it’s good, because it isn’t, but because it is GREAT. Kind of like how absolutely no one should watch Mars Attacks but also EVERYONE SHOULD WATCH MARS ATTACKS? It’s like that. Do you want to watch a bunch of laser-eyed sewer beasts eat everyone they can get their clawed, webbed hands on in 1980s New York? Yes. You do. And you want to watch Daniel Stern and John Heard run around the sewers trying to catch them.

I give this masterpiece…….FOUR AND A HALF HORRORS.

Wait a minute, John Heard and Daniel Stern were in something else together, weren’t they OH MY GOD

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*ps that was definitely a lie

 

 

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C.H.U.D.

Children of the Corn: Revelation

WE FINALLY MADE IT, GANG. THE LAST CHILDREN OF THE LAST CORN. JESUS CHRIST IT HAS BEEN A JOURNEY.

Of course this is actually CotC 7, which means this one comes before the last one chronologically, but again, time is a flat circle, reality is an illusion, nothing matters etc. etc.

So THIS TIME, we actually don’t have a broken down car by a corn field, instead we get a young woman named Jamie looking for her grandmother who hasn’t been answering her phone calls and the grandmother lives by a corn field. Don’t worry, there is still a corn field. There is always a corn field. Jamie drives all the fuck out to Nebraska, which is more than I’ve ever done for my grandmother, and upon entering her grandmother’s corn-adjacent apartment building, she discovers an eviction notice, no grandmother, and a whole bunch of weird kids. The building manager has zero advice for her, but he does introduce her to some of the non-weird-kid occupants of the building, who are the exact type of people unlikely to survive a horror movie. Weird.

Jamie wanders down to the basement where she finds a bunch of various crops growing and hears giggling children, which could just be how they do things in Nebraska, but this time it’s accompanied by a guy with a gun who appears out of nowhere telling her to NEVER GO IN THE BASEMENT so she…leaves and stops going to the basement. After having some weird dreams about children and corn, Jamie learns that her grandmother was in a child corn cult and that she was the only survivor of a fire set by the child corn cult leader and that the fire was set right where the apartment building is now!!! LE GASP. 

Then some other shit happens and then more shit happens and then the movie is over the end. Goddamn is this movie forgettable, as evidenced by the fact that I had to google the plot synopsis and it barely registered with me. I do sort of remember a couple of the kills but like……after seven other childrens and corns……ugh. The sounds of creepy children are now meaningless to me, and I’m taking an extended break from eating the haunted vegetable that is corn, not because it is haunted, but because I’M FUCKING OVER CORN. (Unless it is in dog form, I can still fuck with that.)

I can’t review this movie anymore, sorry guys, let’s just get this out of the way so we can move on to ANY OTHER THING.

Children of the Corn: Revelation gets……..TWO HORRORS.

THANK CHRIST.

WE MADE IT.

IT’S OVER.

Or is it……

NO, IT IS.

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I’M DONE HERE.
Children of the Corn: Revelation

Children of the Corn: Genesis

I AM DROWING IN DERIVITIVE CORN MOVIES.

Let’s get this over with – Children of the Corn: Genesis is actually CotC 8, which is where alphabetizing this series gets tricky. I actually reviewed Children of the Corn IV before I was supposed to, since I comes after G, so when I watched these in order, I watched 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 4, 7. You would think that would be a confusing way to watch a franchise, but it turns out NOPE you barely even need to have seen the original to make sense of any of these many many many many MANY FUCKING SEQUELS because none of them connect in any way whatsoever, and if that bothers you, then you’re gonna have some serious issues with basically any horror franchise begun in the 70s and 80s (I’m looking at you, Jason X).

Genesis was released direct to DVD in 2011, so let that inform you as to the importance and quality of this film. We begin with a young couple whose car breaks down by a corn field – jesus, do we really? AGAIN? There’s no better way to start one of these motherfuckers? Anyway, they run into a weird preacher who is clearly trying to be Charles Manson but without enough peyote to really pull it off, and he offers to let them use his phone, where they promptly learn that this is the ass end of nowhere and they can’t get a tow until the next day. Churles Munson and his, seriously, inexplicable mail-order bride from Ukraine allow the couple to stay the night, but with strict orders to not go sneaking around all lookin at shit, which is the clearest possible evidence that there’s definitely shit to be looked at.

Which means that the second the Young Lady of the couple has to go pee in the middle of the night, she IMMEDIATELY starts snooping around the outhouse and finds that they have a culty corn church in their garage AND a culty corn shack that sounds like crying children. Young Lady returns to Young Man and tells him what she saw and heard and Young Man decides the best way to handle this is to go straight to Carl Monson and tell him about how they definitely went snooping and definitely looked at some shit. Luckily Chales Monsoon doesn’t immediately helter skelter them, but instead does some ooky spooky hypnosis that allows said cult child to enter the room unnoticed and PLANT A CORN SEED IN YOUNG LADY. I’m not sure this is how corn works, but it’s probably Demon Corn, so who am I to impose natural laws on such things. You do you, demons.

Shit immediately gets whack and the entire house is taken over by a mysterious supernatural force (hint: it’s definitely He Who Walks Behind The Rows) that won’t allow Young Couple to escape or call for help. At this point, the whole movie basically turns into a haunted house flick that’s generally light on both children and corn as Young Couple attempt to escape the forces of He Who Walks Behind The Rows. And then yadda yadda yadda, ending that leaves it open for another sequel.

Genesis isn’t a terrible movie, it’s more atmospheric and creepy than most of the 90s entries in the franchise and at least it’s not just about more murder children getting adopted, so that’s a plus. Would I still be perfectly happy and fulfilled and have an hour and a half of my life back if I hadn’t watched it? Yes. But would that life really be worth living? Also yes.

Children of the Corn: Genesis gets……THREE HORRORS.

Christ almighty kids, ONE MORE LEFT and then we get to move on to….hoo boy.

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I’ll give you three guesses.
Children of the Corn: Genesis

Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return

Aaaaaaand we’re back with more corn. Always corn. Forever corn. Never-ending, eternal corn.

And speaking of never-ending, this film actually does continue where the original one left off, if not where literally any of the other sequels left off, because they all left off in completely different and mutually exclusive scenarios. Just as any good horror franchise should.

So we return to Gatlin, Nebraska, home of corn and…..it’s all corn. A young woman named Hannah is visiting the town to try to find her birth mother, as she was the last child born in Gatlin before The Cornening. Naturally, the first thing she does when she gets there is immediately crash her car into a corn field and get sent to the hospital. At the hospital she starts wandering around the other patients, as any hospital would of course allow and encourage, and she discovers that Isaac, the first leader of the child cult from the very first film, was actually not quite killed when He Who Walks Behind the Rows took over his body and has in fact been in a coma this entire time! All nineteen years! Isn’t that convenient! Still in Gatlin, which managed to scrape together enough adults to open a hospital somehow, just in time to save a dying murderous middle-schooler inhabited by a corn demon. Isn’t that something!

Now we’ve established that all that makes sense, Hannah leaves the hospital to try to find her mother and instead encounters a bunch of weirdos, and not just because she’s in Nebraska HEYOOOOOO. These weirdos all make references to a prophecy connecting her and Isaac, and the only people who aren’t weirdos are either trying to kill her or telling her to get the hell out of Gatlin, though arguably those are also both weird things to do. Maybe it is just Nebraska.

Turns out, the prophecy was that when she, the last Child of the Corn, returns to Gatlin on the eve of her 19th birthday, He Who Walks Behind the Rows will awaken to reclaim the earth and oops she’s turning 19 and also Isaac just woke up from his NINETEEN YEAR COMA and has some fun thoughts on religion that he would like to share.

Will Hannah renew the Cult of Corn, or will she murder as many small children as it takes to save Gatlin? Who is her mother? Why is she important? How did Isaac survive a two decade-long coma with no apparent neurological damage and immediately return to normal life? Is it the corn? Is it??? Will Isaac live to corn again???

FIND OUT IN….CHILDREN OF THE CORN 666: ISAAC’S RETURN! If you want to. You don’t have to. It’s not a must-see, if I’m being honest. It’s pretty okay, I’ve seen worse.

…..THREE HORRORS.

JUST TWO MORE TO GO WE CAN DO IT GANG

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I CAN SEE IT, IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL

 

Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return

Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror

Just this one and then three more exactly like it until we can move on to literally anything else and we’ll all live happily ever after and never eat corn again.

It’s not very nutrient-dense anyway, did you even look at those corn facts?

So as I said, Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror is my second favorite CotC movie, an abbreviation I’m finally using that I encourage everyone to pronounce as “cotck” with a largely silent “t.” It’s my second favorite for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being that it has a fun cast, including Alexis Arquette, Eva Mendes, and David Carradine, and because it finally finally isn’t about people adopting these freaking murder children and then being murdered by them (well, mostly, anyway), but also because it has what’s possibly my favorite one-word sight-gag-based joke in any film ever. It’s not even a particularly funny joke. And it has nothing to do with children or corn. But it is MY FAVORITE joke, and I won’t let you insult it. I LOVE IT. We’ll get to it later.

We begin as we do in approximately 75% of horror films, with some Cool Teens lost in the middle of nowhere. Coincidentally, this also happens to be the middle of He Who Walks Behind the Rows territory, which, in this case, is lead by FREAKING DAVID CARRADINE who, you’ll notice, is an adult. He is, in fact, a creepy old man who has taken in some Gatlin Murder Children and claims to be the current incarnation of HWWBtR (okay so not everything lends itself to abbreviation, I’m trying). And yes, spoilers, this will go poorly for him, but not for the reasons you thiiiiiiink, ooooh so spooky and mysterious is the CotC! 

At this, Cool Girl Teen realizes that this is the cult that her brother joined, and she has to take advantage of this opportunity to save him, and not just because the cult children have destroyed their car and they are effectively trapped in Corntown the Third (or is this the fourth new corn-founded cult village? I’M LOSING MY MIND). She is finally able to meet with her brother, who is pissy because she’s not his real mom, and he announces that he is getting married to another Corn Child that he has already impregnated, because when your cult kills all adults, some icky shit has to go on to keep membership up.

Gang.

This is when I get my joke.

My favorite joke.

The Cool Teens tool around looking for somewhere to stay and stumble upon an unoccupied shack that they decide will be their shelter until they either rescue Cool Girl Teen’s brother from the cult or until the next bus comes in a few days, whichever is more convenient. They start picking through cupboards when Cool Boy Teen finds a can shaped like Spam, looks at it, grins, and holds it facing the camera, smiling. He points at it and says “Smeat!” And the can indeed says SMEAT.

I FUCKING LOVE THIS JOKE FOR REASONS I CANNOT FULLY UNDERSTAND.

The first time I saw it I had to pause the movie and roll it back to check and see if the can label actually said FREAKING SMEAT. IT DOES. IT IS MY HERO.

I just love canned meat-based humor, guys.

Oh man….SMEAT!

The rest of the movie is also good, though not as good as Smeat. It more deeply covers the rituals of the CotC cult and their ritual sacrifices, as well as how they deal with babies (hint: with corn demons) and ends in a pretty epic bloodbath at a corn silo engulfed in the fires of Corn Hell. I’m not going to ruin it because it’s worth watching, relative to the other CotC movies at least, and because I peaked at Smeat so I’m sort of done writing now.

I give Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror……..FIVE HORRORS, BUT REALLY THEY ARE ALL JUST FOR THE SMEAT JOKE. GOD I LOVE SMEAT.

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You know what’s not a joke? The existence of smeat.net.

 

Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror

Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering

We’re at the halfway point, guys.

The only way out is through.

Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering is basically just a wasteland between Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest, which is my favorite Children of the Corn movie, and Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror, which is my second favorite Children of the Corn movie, because I have now mentally ranked all eight of the Children of the Corn films, be jealous. I have next to no memory of this film, despite the fact that it stars a young Naomi Watts as a med student taking care of her creepy mom while trying to figure out why all these dang kids are so weird around all this dang corn!

From what I can remember, combined with a quick google search, Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering ignores all the amazing groundwork laid by Urban Harvest and, rather than following up on the fact that DEMON CORN HAS NOW BEEN DISTRIBUTED GLOBALLY, it takes us back to freaking Nebraska again and tells us about kids being weirdos and murdering adults, again. And then something something only Naomi Watts can stop it blah blah blah Corn Jesus something something they can’t all be winners. Jeezers creezers am I sick of these corn movies already.

Blah blah blah….TWO HORRORS it sucks, I’m tired.

Instead of summarizing the plot of The Gathering, since it’s basically some combination of the first two films but with Naomi Watts (who, by the way, claims to have been paid a full $5,000 for her FIRST-BILLED STARRING ROLE IN THIS FILM, which is pretty sad even in 1996 money), I’ve decided to provide some Fun Corn Facts For Kids™ :

Did you know that the only continent that does not produce corn is Antarctica? But did Children of the Corn ever come up with an installation on a Thing-style frozen research base? No. Because Stephen King lacks imagination. If anyone would like to see my script for Children of the Corn IX: Ice Kernels, let me know.

Did you know that all corn cobs have an even number of rows, and that most have 800 kernels arranged in 16 rows? That’s 800 seeds per corn, which means 800 chances to grow Urban Harvest demon corn anywhere on the damn planet, but does Children of the Corn IV give a shit about that? NO, LET’S GO BACK TO NEBRASKA, EVERYONE LOVES NEBRASKA. Fucking Hollywood execs. Anyway.

Did you know that corn is now a completely domesticated plant and it no longer grows wild? So if you see a random field of unorganized corn, run, because it has definitely been planted by a twelve year-old with a name like Malachai or Job to enslave anyone under 18 and enmurder anyone over 18.

Did you know that the entire rest of the world calls it “maize” and that pretty much just the US calls it corn? This is because we are assholes and need to feel special. See: our shitty measurement system.

Is this a blog yet? Am I done?

Three more to go, guys, at least the next one has David Carradine.

Yes yes, we all know.
Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering

Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest

Did I say I’d be doing this blog every day in October? I meant most days in October. You knew that. Anyway.

GANG.

THE CORN HAS LANDED.

Children of the Corn 3: Urban Harvest is probably my favorite Children of the Corn film because it is CORN. IN. THE. CITY. That’s right, bitches, He Who Walks Behind the Rows is getting the heck outta Gatlin and heading to the BIG CITY, but like still a big city that could potentially be near corn, so it’s Chicago, Illinois. And not only has corn hit the big city, but the children of that corn have hit HIGH SCHOOOOOOOOOOL WUT UP, COOL TEENS, GET READY FOR SOME REGRETTABLE 1995 HAIR AND SOME SICK PRODUCE.

Urban Harvest begins like our previous corn entry, with the adoption of fucking cult kids from Corntown, NEVER ADOPT PREVIOUSLY MURDEROUS CHILDREN, GUYS, I DON’T KNOW WHY YOU NEED A SECOND MOVIE TO LEARN THIS LESSON BUT OKAY. Joshua and Eli are adopted by a family in Chicago after Eli killed their father, which should have been more of a red flag but here we are. Joshua is eager to fit in and become the Cool Teen he’s always dreamed of being (he’s the goofiest white boy to ever wear a pseudo-Amish get-up, so this dream will not be realized, but he will try) but his brother Eli is not having it. He shows up with a suitcase full of corn and a creepy bible and refuses to let go of his culty ways, keeping his Am-ish clothes and insisting on giving a terrifying sermon every time the adoptive family sits down to eat. On his first night there, Eli sneaks out of the house TO GET SOME DANK NUGS AND HOT CHICKS oh wait, no, it’s to pray in a factory parking lot and plant some of his special corn seeds. Cool kid.

As Joshua attempts to integrate himself with the normals by playing basketball with some Urban Youth, Eli, seeing how kids these days are all sport-playin and fun-havin, loses his damn mind and decides to….START A’KILLIN. Or at least he gets He Who Walks Behind the Rows to start a’killin for him, as our demonic friend responds to Eli’s prayers by murdering a homeless man and growing some corn really really fast, which is not terribly impressive as far as demons go, but it’s probably pretty good for a corn demon I guess.

A few deaths later and that cornfield is POPPIN (not literally, it’s fresh corn), and the adoptive dad sees a business opportunity. Since Eli’s demon corn grows overnight, out of season, in shitty soil, and is ACTUALLY UNKILLABLE as we learn in a scene where Adoptive Mom tries to kill it and gets herself corned to death instead, he strikes up a deal with Eli to work on distributing the corn across the country in the hopes of rollin in that sweet, sweet corn money for the rest of his life as a Corn Tycoon. (Tycorn? Nevermind, that’s nothing.) But what Eli doesn’t tell him is that consumption of said demon corn leads to MORE CHILDREN OF THE CORN!!! Eli starts sharing his corny goodness with the kids at school and one by one the Cool Teens all start to worship He Who Walks Behind the Rows, which leaves it up to Joshua and Friends to try to stop the corny onslaught before Chicago goes the way of Gatlin, Nebraska, i.e., before it becomes a wasteland of dead adults and fibrous plants.

I won’t get into what happens after this, except to say that it involves A GIANT CORN MONSTER THAT, GODDAMN, EVERYONE HAS TO SEE IN ACTION. It’s all the mid-nineties practical effects you could ever want and more, and also it starts killing teens, which makes you sort of root for the corn monster? Anyway, Children of the Corn 3: Urban Harvest is 100% everything you could ever want out of Corn in the City, from the Cool 90s Teens to the child-devouring Corn Monster to the anti-Monsanto I mean anti-indeterminate-corn-magnate message.

I give Children of the Corn 3: Urban Harvest…….FIVE HORRORS, SUCK IT, GOOD MOVIES, THIS IS MY BLOG, I DO IT ALL FOR THE CORN MONSTER, ALL HAIL THE CORN MONSTER, ALL HAIL CORN.

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AAAALLLLL HAAAAIIIIIL COOOOOOORN
Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest