Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (David Price, 1992, USA)

Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice is the second entry in the Children of the Corn series. The original film from 1984 was quite profitable, but the franchise remained in limbo until Dimension Films bought the rights. Dimension went on something of a horror buying spree at this time, also buying the rights for the Hellraiser franchise - the second installment of which was shot back-to-back with Children of the Corn IICotCII was also the last film in the series to receive a theatrical release, as the direct-to-video boom in the 1990s ensured that non-theatrically released genre titles could still see profitability.

The film's premise is remarkably similar to another Stephen King sequel made a few years earlier - A Return to Salem's Lot. Like in that film, this film centers around an estranged father and son who are making a road trip together and get roped into supernatural happenings. In this case, the father and son are played by Terence Knox and Paul Scherrer. Avoiding the suspense of the original film, CotCII goes full splatter very early on into the film. The action takes place immediately following the action of the first film, as the remaining cult kids are taken into a nearby town to start new lives.

CotCII is abundantly stupid and has some ridiculous scenes (one woman gets crushed to death in a Wizard of Oz-style moment). The absurdities of the story are too numerous to count, but one of the film's weaker points is convincing us that the Paul Scherrer character would consider joining this cult - especially if he is not even being seduced by the girl he is interested in. CotCII marks a step down tonally from the first film, although some of the sheer stupidity and bad taste of the film makes it at least enjoyable.



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