Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995)

children of the corn iii urban harvest poster 1995 movie
2.0 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 1/10
Visuals: 1/10

So bad it is good, a couple of clever deaths

Pretty much everything about this movie is laughably bad

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Children of the Corn III:  Urban Harvest

Studio:  Dimension Films

Genre(s):  Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s):  September 12, 1995

MPAA Rating:  R

children of the corn iii urban harvest daniel cerny ron melendez nancy lee grahn jim metlzer

Hi…If we talk about sacrificing you to a corn god, we’re just kidding…that’s how we talk in Nebraska

Orphans Eli (Daniel Cerny) and Joshua (Ron Melendez) have been taken in by William and Amanda Porter (Jim Metzler and Nancy Lee Grahn) from Chicago.  The children from Gatlin find themselves outcasts in the new school but outgoing Joshua quickly makes friends with Malcolm (Jon Clair) and Maria (Mari Morrow).  Eli has his own goals in the city and with a case of corn from Gatlin, he intends to grow a garden and bring in others to follow him.  Eli is set new roots in the city…and He Who Walks Behind the Rows could go worldwide.

Directed by James D. R. Hickox, Children of the Corn III:  Urban Harvest is a straight-to-video-horror thriller.  The movie is based on Stephen King’s 1977 story published in Penthouse (March 1977) and was later collected in Night ShiftFollowing Children of the Corn II:  The Final Sacrifice in 1993, the film was largely panned.

Children of the Corn was a so-so movie with some good jumps.  Children of the Corn II was a pretty poor sequel to the movie, but this movie might be slightly better (but that is not an endorsement).

children of the corn iii urban harvest he who walks behind the rows monster

Oh no! The Dark Overlords from Howard the Duck are starting to eat Barbies!!!

The movie’s story is where it shows a bit of improvement, but it has a ways to go to be good.  The idea of taking the story to the city at least changes up some of the ideas.  The basic story however is pretty poor.  The movie could have set up Joshua as “the good son” in a family where Eli is trying to destroy it…but the family is pretty much already a mess when the two kids are added.  Amanda is quickly dispatched and William proves to be a poor father replacement.  The kids fall under Eli and only Joshua stand between him and “world domination”…but fortunately he beats him with a book.  It all feels kind of random.

Daniel Cerny is a decent evil kid and Ron Melendez gets to be the hip country kid that ends up fitting in Chicago (unrealistically).  Character actor Michael Ensign plays the doomed Father Frank and Mari Morrow and Jon Clair pretty much get their lives ruined by arrival of Eli and Joshua (especially in Malcolm’s case).  The movie is also noted for having a small first screen role for Charlize Theron.  Also making his first appearance in a small role is Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Nicholas Brendon.

children of the corn iii urban harvest charlize theron first role

Dammit…I can’t wait to be a serial killer hooker

The special effects are all over the place.  There are some ok practical effects involving monsters and deaths, but much of the “big deaths” are poor.  The big finale involves a Claymation monster (that looks a lot like the Overlords that Howard the Duck fought) eating kids…some of which are obvious toy dolls.  It is pretty bad.

Children of the Corn III:  Urban Harvest has a few laughable moments and the movie isn’t that long.  In that sense, you can watch it as a goofball type horror movie with no merit and more of a comedy.  There are few jumps and scares, and it really lacks what it needs as a horror film.  I always hate when a low-budget movie doesn’t go all-in at least to give the viewer something insane to watch…and most of the Children of the Corn films fail to make that leap.  Children of the Corn III:  Urban Harvest is followed by Children of the Corn IV:  The Gathering in 1996.

Related Links:

Children of the Corn (1984)

Children of the Corn II:  The Final Sacrifice (1993)

Children of the Corn IV:  The Gathering (1996)

Children of the Corn V:  Fields of Terror (1998)

Children of the Corn 666:  Isaac’s Return (1999)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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