Linda Hamilton played a lead role in Stephen King movie Children Of The Corn, but during one interview she stated it was easily her worst film.
While the original Children Of The Corn has become something of a cult favorite, Linda Hamilton feels it’s her worst movie. Following the success of 1976’s Carrie, it didn’t take movie studios long to realize there was gold to be mined from adapting Stephen King’s work. The 1980s was a real mixed bag in this regard, featuring highlights like Stanley Kubrick’s masterwork The Shining or The Dead Zone, to King’s own critically mauled directorial debut Maximum Overdrive. Children Of The Corn arrived in 1984 and adapted King’s short story of the same name.
Children Of The Corn is set in a small Nebraska town, where the local children have murdered all the adults and formed a cult around a being dubbed “He Who Walks Behind the Rows”. A couple named Burt (Peter Horton) and Vicky (Linda Hamilton) drive through the town and soon get caught up in the madness. Children Of The Corn was met with mixed reviews upon release, though a fanbase has developed around it. While it suffers from bad special effects and sluggish pacing, it does have its good points, including the eerie performance of John Franklin as cult leader Isaac.
Children Of The Corn was a solid success in 1984, which was also the year The Terminator was released. These movies set Linda Hamilton’s career off to a strong start, but reflecting on the film years later, she revealed she really wasn’t a fan of Children Of The Corn. In a 1992 interview with genre magazine Starburst Magazine (via The Terminator Files), Hamilton spoke with interviewer Alan Jones about Terminator 2. When listing some of her past disappointments, she stated this about the Stephen King adaptation.
“Nothing has beaten ‘Stephen King’s Children of the Corn’ yet which still haunts my past as the worst film I’ve made. Can you believe they’re making a sequel? They didn’t dare ask me to reprise that role!”.
In the same interview, she also bashed 1986 sequel King Kong Lives as “…the most ridiculous movie.” Hamilton doesn’t do a deep dive on why she felt Children Of The Corn was her worst movie, but her response likely mirrored the critical reaction it received. In a later 2009 interview for Blu-ray featurette “It Was the Eighties!” she cited the production’s constant struggles with money leading to key scenes not being filmed. One example includes the corn turning black as Vicky and Burt try to escape the fields in the finale.
Of course, Linda Hamilton dubbed Children Of The Corn her worst movie over 30 years ago, so her option may have softened over time. In the aforementioned featurette, she recalls the time she spent filming it warmly and was glad it had a fanbase. Stephen King’s Children Of The Corn would become a long-running horror franchise, though after 1992’s Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice, every entry has gone straight to video. In a 2016 Deadline interview King himself claimed he liked the first movie, but “I could do without all of the Children of the Corn sequels.”
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