The Corn-Fed Children From Hell

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Suggested Audio Candy:

Jonathan Elias Children of The Corn

TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, 1983, © Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

There was once a time when children were seen and not heard. Long before the term Anti-Social Behavior Order had any meaning, before curfews were enforced or youths wearing hooded tops were barred from local newsagents unless in single file, a swift slipper to the back of the knees was exorcism enough and the warning of bed without TV too unbearable for contemplation. Smarties shouldered the blame for unruly adolescent behavior based on their high level of E Numbers and a bag of marbles was considered sufficient to ignite their young minds. There were no handheld game consoles or all-singing iPhones and Messenger could only mean that kindly gentleman who delivered your daily post. Things were easy back then and we would never dream of complaining as it would likely get us nowhere fast.

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Of course, there are rotten apples in every bunch and none more so than Isaac Chroner. Undoubtedly the kind of downtrodden dweeb to receive daily lashes to the back of the legs with a damp towel in the school showers, Isaac likely spent most of his semesters fearing for his lunch money and wondering why the other kids were sporting thick pubic bushes where his own growth was not forthcoming. Perpetually on the cusp of puberty and brimming with pent-up sexual frustration, it was only a matter of time before he lost heart and found a different way of locating his identity. The good book came to his aid and taught Isaac everything he needed to know although he may have conveniently skim read the parts that spoke about being kind to your fellow-man and headed straight for the worshiping an idol blurb.

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It’s all ultimately about acceptance and, while most of his peers likely considered him little more than a pathetic pipsqueak, others were quick to show their allegiance. One such fellow was Malachai Boardman and, while Isaac’s stunted status offered scant immunity from his meat-headed perpetrators, Malachai was far less likely to be trifled with. Let’s not get it twisted, he was never likely to gain acceptance into the in-crowd on account of his garish ginger locks and a face that even a mother would question loving. However, his intimidating height and no-nonsense look served him particularly well with the bullies and this was just the kind of right-hand man Isaac needed to build the foundations for his own little unit of God’s little soldiers around.

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Alas, Malachai was never what you’d call the best public speaker and overlooked in the smarts department also. Running an intricate operation such as this would be beyond his capabilities and, besides, his lanky frame and beady black eyes typecast him into his supporting role. He would be the muscle while Isaac, with his superior intellect, would be the mastermind and woe betide any pesky adult that dare to stand in their way. An army of two could not be expected to make much of a difference so numerous others were recruited to make up numbers. The stipulations to becoming a fully fledged Child of The Corn weren’t particularly in-depth; so long as you looked mildly demented and were still a minor then Isaac would welcome you behind the rows with open arms.

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That’s right, the primary ingredient to any fledgling venture outside of the personnel is its HQ and the town of Gatlin, Nebraska just happened to have plenty of corn in harvest to conceal these murderous munchkins. Granted, Malachai had a little trouble keeping his flame-colored head down but, for the most part, this secret society were fairly adept as being neither heard way before they were seen. The audio would likely be that of a handheld sickle making decisive contact with your Achilles tendon as you stuff your pockets with corn on the cob and these weapons also doubled up as delightful tools to cut through any dense foliage and clear space to set up Swing Ball. Slaying adults was all well and good but they were still only children remember. When you bear in mind that the poor bleeders had to dress up like Amish peasants and have their hair cut using a wheat bowl as a guideline, a little downtime was the least Isaac could grant after a hard day’s sacrificing.

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Being the chosen messiah for this crusade, Isaac had the final say in all affairs. If needed, Malachi was called upon for any of the dirty work; a role he had no qualms over taking on. Of course, even a devious mastermind like Isaac’s needed guidance as one failed crop could spell a lifetime of detention for the Children of The Corn. He Who Walks Behind The Rows took on any parental duties and kept these young whippersnappers in check when they stepped out of line. You see, they may have been a particularly heinous posse of hellions but they still needed guidance. Alas, somebody forgot to tell David Price as he looked to franchise their operation and opened a can of fairly wretched worms in the process. Once was a charm but six increasingly withered sequels and a made-for-television remake later and it is some way past their bedtime in my opinion. Fuck off back behind the rows you little pests and don’t show your faces again until you learn how to masturbate with one thumb up your anus.

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Perhaps I’m culpable of being a tad harsh but kids in horror really get my goat by the scruff. Malachai I’m prepared to let slide as I’m fairly assured his thumbnail would smell like ass and Isaac admittedly resembles a middle-aged man with a growth defect by the rest of the Brady Bunch can burn in hell for all I care. No respect the youth of day. Bring back the slipper I say and best reinforce the sole with hard plastic as we know only too well of their persistence. If I sound vaguely bitter then you’re damn skippy I am. You see, it’s my thankless task appraising all eight of these bastard films and, alongside The Howling undertaking, that’s not a consideration I cherish. For now, you’ll have to make do with Fritz Kiersch’s 1984 original as that’s all I can muster right now. With a bit of luck, puberty will kick in before any more rehashes can surface and these nihilistic numbskulls will be too busy flipping burgers for minimum wage to terrorize the inhabitants of Gatlin any further. A following stroke of good fortune would see senile dementia setting in before I tackle any one of these wretched movies.

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You see what you started Isaac? Fucking little punk. Take a peek behind the rows and you’ll find the back of my palm. Moreover, my thumb will smell remarkably similar to ass. I’ve got thirty years on you and I’ve spent each of those wisely. Don’t cry little man. Here, suck it for comfort and watch out for any temporary blindness associated. When you’re no longer looking, you’re going straight over my knee and I shall tan that hide until redder than raw. Just don’t tell Malachai okay? I’m fairly assured that one has a full crop of pube corn.

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Click here to read Children of The Corn Appraisal

 

Truly, Really, Clearly, Sincerely,

Keeper of the Crimson Quill

Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2013 (Revised Edition 2016)

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