April 02, 1984 12:00 PM

Aw, shucks. This would-be chiller is based on a Stephen King story. (Yes, another one. Say, Steve, you haven’t made any pacts with the devil that guarantee you a movie a week, have you?) It’s set in Nebraska—though actually filmed in Sioux City, Iowa—where one day all the kids in town up and slaughter all the adults. The children are religious fanatics devoted to a being called He Who Walks Behind the Rows. This is not an usher, but a something or other that burrows around underneath a cornfield, emitting a glow. For three years it lets the town’s little darlings live happily ever after, or at least until they reach 19, at which point they are sacrificed. But then a young couple, TV actors Linda (Secrets of a Mother and Daughter) Hamilton and Peter (Seven Brides for Seven Brothers) Horton, happens by. Perhaps mistaking them for truant officers, the youths of the town get murderous again. Little Robby Kiger, 10, and AnneMarie McEvoy, 8, as the kids who manage to defy the rebellion’s leaders, show some charm. But director Fritz Kiersch, in his first feature film, has turned out something as satisfying as one of the unexploded kernels at the bottom of a popcorn bowl. (R)

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