Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror (1998) Dimension/Horror RT: 83 minutes Rated R (horror violence and gore) Director: Ethan Wiley Screenplay: Ethan Wiley Music: Paul Rabjohns Cinematography: David Lewis Release date: June 21, 1998 (US, DTV) Cast: Stacy Galina, Alexis Arquette, Eva Mendes, Greg Vaughan, Angela Jones, Ahmet Zappa, Adam Wylie, Fred Williamson, David Carradine, Olivia Burnette, Matthew Tait, Dave Buzzotta, Aaron Jackson, Kane Hodder.
Okay, I have to admit Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror isn’t too bad. It’s a vast improvement over the fourth movie which isn’t saying much at all since making a better movie than The Gathering isn’t an impossible feat. For one thing, He Who Walks Behind the Rows is back… sort of. He’s mentioned frequently but we never see him or it (as the case may be). Instead, a kid is possessed by the entity we first met as a glowing red blob in 1984 when it tried to kill Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton. This time around, it’s a group of teens mourning a dead friend that find themselves in the wrong cornfield.
The movie begins with a boy, Ezekial (Wylie, Picket Fences), killing the owners of a home on the edge of a cornfield that belongs to him and his brethren, all worshipers of He Who Walks Behind the Rows. He has special powers so he’s able to telepathically lift the man off the ground and electrocute him with lightning. The wife gets surrounded by a group of kids with farm tools. Bye bye, wifey!
An indeterminate amount of time later, a group of teens-Allison (Galina, Knots Landing), her boyfriend Greg (Arquette, The Wedding Singer), their friends Kir (Mendes, 2 Fast 2 Furious) and Ty (Vaughan, Poison Ivy: The New Seduction)- find themselves stranded in the town of Divinity Falls after their car is run off the road into a ditch near a huge cornfield. Ezekial and a few others appear and inform the lost travelers that they’re on private property and he can’t/won’t be of any help. The teens walk into town and head straight for the bar where they learn that the property is owned by a cult leader (Carradine, Lone Wolf McQuade) who takes in unwanted and/or abused children. In a coincidence that only happens in dopey movies like this, one of them happens to be Allison’s younger brother Jacob (Buzzotta) who she was forced to leave with their abusive drunken father when she ran away from home. Needless to say, their reunion isn’t a joyous one.
Naturally, Allison and her friends stick around, even though the town sheriff (Williamson, Vigilante) orders them to leave a couple of times, and try to rescue Jacob. He’s about to turn 18 which means he’s obligated to sacrifice himself to He Who Walks Behind the Rows by jumping into a silo of flaming corn.
As far as plots go, Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror is fairly standard. The kill scenes are pretty good. Once again, most of the deaths are by farm tools. Two characters’ heads explode. A few people burn to death. It has a decent body count. The acting is no better or worse than any horror sequel. It’s great seeing Carradine and Williamson in the same movie. Their one scene together is really cool. Wylie makes a good creepy kid who, for a change, doesn’t dress like an Amish preacher. There’s at least one plot twist you might not see coming. I didn’t but only because I wasn’t looking for it. Written and directed by Ethan Wiley (House II: The Second Story), Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror is actually pretty good for a direct-to-video horror sequel. I tend to avoid those because they’re usually lame. If it’s not good enough for theaters, it’s certainly not worth my time. I’ll make an exception with the Children of the Corn movies. They’re actually kind of fun. They’re junk, no two ways about it, but good dumb fun.
SPECIAL NOTE: For some reason, the copy I watched shows the title as Children of the Corn 5: Field of Screams. I like that title better.