How Star Trek Shaped An Iconic Stephen King Villain

By Zack Zagranis | Published

star trek spock

If you’ve ever seen 1984’s Children of the Corn, then you’re familiar with one of the creepiest kids ever put on film: Isaac. The kid just exudes evil —thanks in no small part to his severe haircut. It turns out we have Star Trek’s Spock to thank for Isaac’s unique hairstyle in the Stephen King classic.

Children Of The Corn

star trek stephen king

For those unfamiliar, Children of the Corn is an adaptation of a Stephen King story of the same name from the anthology Night Shift. The movie follows a young married couple (played by Peter Horton and Linda Hamilton) who find themselves trapped in a small town where a cult of children led by Isaac (John Franklin). Isaac and the other children are compelled to kill anyone over the age of 18 at the behest of a demon known only as He Who Walks Behind the Rows.

A Prior Trek Engagement

star trek stephen king

Children are already inherently creepy, but children with Vulcan hair are even more so. Prior to taking the role in Children of the Corn, actor John Franklin was cast in a TV commercial for the 1983 home port of Star Trek for the Atari 2600.

The commercial required Franklin to copy Mr. Spock’s hairstyle as well as the Vulcan’s pointy ears. As a result, Franklin’s hair was still in that weird Vulcan bowl cut when he began shooting the Stephen King adaptation.

Vulcan Of The Corn

According to a documentary about the making of Children of the Corn, Franklin shot the Atari commercial the literal day before he arrived on the set of the film. In the doc, Franklin describes what happened when he showed up to set sporting the square bangs and pointy sideburns from his Star Trek shoot. “They looked at it, and they go, ‘That kinda works. It’s weird and creepy. Keep it!'”

Children Of The Corn 666

Keeping the hair was the right move, as it only enhanced Franklin’s unsettling performance as Isaac. Franklin would return in the sequel Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return sporting the same Star Trek haircut as he did in the first Stephen King movie. Unfortunately, the hairstyle doesn’t have quite the same effect on an adult as it does on a child, and Isaac went from creeptastic to just a regular dude with a near-sighted barber.

More Trek For Isaac

Meanwhile, the actor would have another run-in with the Star Trek franchise. In 2000, 17 years after he made the Atari commercial for the Star Trek video game, Franklin showed up in a small role on the Voyager episode “Critical Care.” Franklin played Kipp, a merchant who was duped by an evil grifter played by John Kassir, who coincidentally voiced the Crypt Keeper on HBO’s Tales From the Crypt.

Six Degrees of Star Trek should be the new Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon because, in Hollywood, all roads eventually lead to Starfleet.

Issac’s haircut isn’t the only link between Star Trek and Stephen King, but it’s definitely the weirdest.