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Friday, December 25, 2009

Dark Night of the Scarecrow

       Just in time for the Halloween season, the legendary made-for-tv horror classic "Dark Night Of the Scarecrow" has finally arrived on DVD after 29 years. With its eerie pumpkin patches and scarecrows, it perfectly captures the mood of October.  This is one of the most beloved tv horror classics of all time, and was seriously scary stuff way back in 1981.  I know it scared me to death when I saw it.  And I loved every minute of it.

        Larry Drake plays Bubba,  a mentally challenged man who has befriended a little girl.  The local townspeople, (hicks) led by Charles Durning, don't like his relationship with the girl, or Bubba, for that matter.  It's pure ignorance and prejudice, you see.  So they decide something has to be done about it.
They take matters into their own hands and sends the local posse out to Bubba's home.  Bubba's mother hears the angry mob coming, and tells him to go hide in a scarecrow.  However, the hounds track him down and before you know it, poor Bubba's dead by firing squad.  Of course they get off in court, and Bubba's mother vows something will be done about it...

     The men go about their lives, thinking they got off scott-free. Until one of the men involved discovers a scarecrow standing in his field, that is.  And shorty after discovering that eerie scarecrow, he dies in a mysterious accident.  Is Bubba back from the dead for a little revenge? Or does somebody know what happened to Bubba, and is playing a sick and frightening joke on Durning and his cronies?  Soon all of the men involved in Bubba's murder start finding the same scarecrow in their fields- and each one of them meet a grisly death shortly after. And even more unsettling than that is the fact that the little girl starts saying she's been talking to Bubba recently...

     "Dark Night Of The Scarecrow" is pure, raw suspense.  It's scarier than a lot of modern theatrical movies I've seen, and is one of the most beloved of the classic tv horror films.  This was when movie makers still cared about scaring the audience while presenting a story, not just trying to attract the youthful market without taking the genre itself seriously.  I love this movie, and I highly recommend it.  Watch it!


Matthew Coniam said...

Yes! I saw this as a kid and found it pretty scary. I have one vivid memory of it: there's a guy who's about to fall into a thresher or something, and just as he's about to get shredded the film cuts to a big blob of strawberry jam landing on a plate.
Am I right?

waxartist72 said...

Yes you are right. Thanks for the comment!

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