The Stephen King short story that spurred all these flicks about corn obsessed children was about sixteen pages long. That’s not a lot of story, but somehow it birthed a long-ass film series. The fifth one, Children of the Corn 5: Fields of Terror, manages to be a bit original by expanding on the death cult’s practices and its indoctrination tactics.
Those who follow He Who Walks Behind the Rows believe that children are born pure, but they are made evil by being raised by adults. They stop being pure on their 18-year-old birthday, so not being raised by adults seems like a tactic that is just delaying the inevitable. Those brainwashed by the cult, are willing to commit suicide when they reach adulthood to escape the evilness, but are also willing to kill and torture, which is quite evil. It doesn’t really make sense, but cults never make sense to those on the outside of it.
This time, the cult does have an adult leader—in name at least. It’s an old man that sits in a rocking chair while being portrayed by David Carradine. The de facto leader though is a nerdy looking annoying child that isn’t the youngest brother from “Malcolm in the Middle,” but rather the youngest brother from “Picket Fences.” That kid is up to no good.
When six young adults happen to pass by the town where the cult is located, they quickly find out that you don’t steal corn from children of the corn. They will kill you. One of the characters realizes that her brother, who ran away from home, is a member of the cult and it’s up to her, and her surviving friends, to save him before his 18th birthday comes around.
Knowing that the series was on the verge of becoming even more irrelevant than it already was, they spiced it up a bit with three famous faces. Carradine, of course, a huge name in the b-film industry. Blaxploitation star, who had seen mainstream attention a few years earlier in From Dusk till Dawn (1996), Fred Williams is the sheriff and Kane Hodder plays a bit part as a bartender. In the younger crowd we have Eva Mendes, in her first role, and Alexis Arquette, who I always loved seeing in films until her tragic death in 2016.
No “Children of the Corn” film is ever going to be a masterpiece, but “Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror” manages to be entertaining by putting the focus on the cult itself, and having younger people fight off these god damn children.