Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995)

For the first two thirds of this direct-to-video sequel, it’s a pretty solid little number in that mid’90s-horror kind of way. Not unlike “Hellraiser 3” or “Night of the Demons 2,” it actually propels the franchise’s overall narrative forward in a way that’s fairly satisfying, changing the overall setting from Nebraska to downtown Chicago which has the positive effect of making the movie pop a bit more than its underwhelming predecessors. The acting isn’t particularly strong overall but it’s largely serviceable, although special notice should go to Daniel Cerny as Eli, who is effectively menacing in a number of scenes and manages to get under the audience’s skin once in a while. But in the last 15 minutes, the movie just goes absolutely, hilariously haywire as the infamous He Who Walks Behind the Rows is finally revealed… and then like several campy bad movies playing at once, the climax becomes a jaw-dropping, camp “crapsterpiece” straight out of a ’50s sci-fi cheapie that just has to be seen to believed. So it’s not a good movie per se, but it sure is a memorable one in its own way. Watch for Charlize Theron as an extra in the finale.

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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