92 min., 1995
Written by Dode B. Levenson
Directed by James D.R. Hickox
My rating: ★★★★
A surprisingly good sequel.
* * *
It’s been an unknown amount of time since the incident in Gatlin and Hemingford, and brothers, older Joshua (Ron Melendez) and younger Eli (Daniel Cerny) are still living in the town with their abusive father. He is chasing Joshua through a cornfield when Eli tells him that he will handle papa. When the father gets there Eli takes out a corn covered bible and suddenly the father is bound and pretty much turned into a scarecrow. We then jump to the city of Chicago where husband and wife, William (Jim Metzler) and Amanda (Nancy Lee Grahn) are waiting for Joshua and Eli because they are adopting them. As the movie moves on, Eli plants some corn in honor of He Who Walks Behind The Rows in an abandoned building behind the house and Joshua makes friends with Malcom (Jon Clair) and his sister Maria (Mari Marrow), but Eli doesn’t want to be separated from his brother. Instead of making friends Eli decides to make some followers. He “infects” the soup that the school serves and most of the kids drink it and become followers of He Who Walks Behind The Rows. While all of this is going on William finds the corn and is convinced by Eli to sell it because it is the best that William has ever seen. Is Joshua strong enough to overcome his younger brother or will Eli’s plan come to fruition?
The weakest point of the movie is the acting, but it’s not as bad as I was expecting. Daniel Cerny plays the character of Eli with complete believability. He’s not as creepy as John Franklin or Courtney Gains, but he is leaps and bounds better than Ryan Bollman. When he is giving his speeches you can see the conviction in his eyes which a lot of kid actors just don’t have. On the other end is Ron Melendez who I just couldn’t believe in. He is extremely wishy-washy and when he is supposed to turn into the tough guy it’s pretty much impossible to buy, unlike Cerny who plays his role with complete confidence. Now Jim Metzler and Nancy Lee Grahn both bring in good performances. My favorite of the two was Nancy Lee Grahn. She wasn’t phenomenal or anything like that, but there were scenes where she just played it so good, that all her bad scenes were pretty much forgotten about. Especially when Eli sticks his tongue in her ear, her reaction is priceless. Another actor that did a really good job was Michael Ensign who played Father Frank Nolan. He is another actor that took his role and put everything behind it.
Now comes the best part of the movie, the effects. Yes it may be hard to believe that the effects of a number three can be great, but they really are. Don’t get me wrong there are a few scenes where the effects are just terrible, especially at the end when He Who Walks Behind The Rows appears and grabs Maria. It’s painfully obvious that Maria is just a doll. Also any time they use fire, it’s just horrible. But those aside there are three scenes that make this movie so good. The first is when Eli and Joshua’s father is turned into a scarecrow. His eyes get sewn shut as does his mouth, and it is done soooo well. Another is when Malcom and Marie’s parents are eating some of the corn and they start puking up cockroaches (the dad is terrible and the mother is awesome) and the mother falls to the floor and her head cracks open. It just looks great. The last one that I’m bringing up is also my favorite. A character gets attacked in the cornfield and (using reverse) roots (I think) start shooting into is body. Then they wrap around his neck and yank off his head. Now you may be like, “so his head got ripped off, I’ve see that about a billion times”, but instead of it just being his head, the head is still attached to his spine that they keep pulling out until he’s like a giant tower with a head at the top. It just looks really awesome.
This movie really surprised the hell out of me. For one it is the third in a series and the title itself didn’t raise my hopes at all, but this is actually a pretty good movie. The story is a ton better than part two and the characters are well fleshed out. We get great performances from Daniel Cerny and Michael Ensign, and the effects of the movie (for the most part) are just awesome. I would actually suggest that you watch the first, forget the second and jump right to this one (pretty much how I feel about the A Nightmare On Elm Street series). Another thing that I really liked about this movie is the ending. SPOILER. Both of the parents die and even though Eli dies, his corn is still getting shipped all over the world. END. It surprised me because I was expecting your typical ending. A great movie with a few sore spots.
On a small side note this movie is the first time two actors have ever appeared on screen. Now I didn’t even catch them in it and it was only because of Wikipedia that I even knew they were there. First we have Nicholas Brendon (playing Basketball Player One) who you might know from Buffy The Vampire Slayer or Criminal Minds, and the other is Charlize Theron (playing ?, because she isn’t even listed) who you might know from Monster, Æon Flux or the super awesome Reindeer Games. Actually Charlize Theron is one of the best reasons to watch this movie because she basically gets tentacle raped (albeit for only about a second), but whoever thought that Charlize Theron and Hentai would ever be thought of in the same sentence.Have You Read...?