Is It Worth It? “Disciples of the Crow” (1983)

This is part of the Horrorathon for the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO). Is It Worth It? is where I talk about sequels a lot of people skip, and determine if they are worth a visit or better left in the bargain bin. Fair warning, there will be spoilers in my recap, so if you just want the verdict skip to the bottom.

From IMDb: A couple passing through a small Oklahoma town discover that it has been taken over by a homicidal cult that worships a crow god–and that all the cult members are children.

This short, low budget adaptation of the Stephen King’s short story “Children of the Corn” is basically a condensed version of the story and first movie. Originally bundled with other short adaptations of the Stephen King works, it can be watched free on Youtube now for your…enjoyment?

Recap:

This movie starts with images of corn, a crow, and a creepy child with dubious religious practices. This all checks out so far.

It is 1971 in Oklahoma and we meet a group of creepy children who give each other creepy looks during a Baptist church ceremony. One of the children seems especially upset to see a man touching his mother’s thigh next to him while the pastor mentions immoral behavior. Later, that child appears to axe his own mother to death in a clever edit that goes from her opening her mouth to scream to a crow screeching.

Caw!

We flash forward to 1983 when a tense couple named Burt and Vicky accidentally run over a child while driving down an Oklahoma road. They open his satchel and find…you guessed it…corn kernels. Burt also notices a ritualistic crow head/corn cob/knife sticking out of him. They put the body in their trunk and drive to the next town named Jonah. 

This couple noticeably has Texas plates and I will just add as an observation I have never seen more roadkill than when I drove through Texas in the late aughts so…

 

As they continue to drive, they see a series of signs that read “Defile the land….”; “And it will…”; “Vomit you out!”

Which is honestly one of the only signs I’ve seen on the side of a long stretch of country road I agree with!

They arrive in Jonah and Vicky is very upset that the town is deserted. She seems to have forgotten that it should be the most upsetting that they have a child’s body in their trunk.

Not even the Coke product placement can soothe her

They enter a restaurant with a picture of Nixon and a calendar that says October 1971 on the wall. Between this and the lack of people (aside from the sound of children’s laughter in the distance…) they realize something is wrong. Vicky responds to this in a completely normal way by absentmindedly licking the ritualistic knife they found stabbed into a dead child’s body.

If you wondered if this was directed and adapted by a man…wonder no more.

When Burt asks her to stop licking a dirty knife she responds, “No. You play your games and I’ll play mine.”

They stop at the Baptist church we saw at the beginning which has definitely taken a turn of crow-worshipping cult variety. While Burt investigates inside, children hop down from trees in the background behind their car to attack an unsuspecting Vicky.

The couple manages to narrowly escape a murderous mob of teenagers and get away. But a corn cob ominously sticking out from the vent of their car and a “hot” indicator flashing on indicates they may not get away after all…

Hot corn is NOT a victimless crime!

Verdict:

It is such a quick watch it is probably worth it if you really enjoy Children of the Corn or you want to skim watch the general concept. Ditto if you are from Nebraska – this short film places the cult in Oklahoma so Nebraska’s name doesn’t have to get besmirched.

Now that my appetite for corn is whet, next will be revisiting the original film which I actually remember enjoying when I first watched it.

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