Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Review - Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981 - Dir. Frank De Felitta)

This one is not strictly a film but a TV movie. The cover looks promising though, even if it does make it look like an early 3D film, so we'll give it a go. 

It starts off well enough. Bubba (played by Larry Drake of Darkman fame) is a 'Lennie' type character with his 'George' being  a little girl called Marylee. She teaches him songs and how to make flower chains. Aw. Then there's a large incident involving dog teeth and suddenly Bubba is on the run from a gang of crazed vigilante farmers and mechanics including Mr Hazelrigg (Charles Durning), their leader, and Harless Hocker (that is his proper name, honest, and it's the second obscurendure appearance for Lane Smith too - see the Prison review).

Everything goes pear shaped obviously and the vigilantes become stalked by the alternative evil dimension version of Wurzel Gummidge. Except without the pointy beard. You can then delight in the game: 'Which order are they going to get killed in?'. 

The deaths are extremely gore free. It was for television remember. The main problem though is the pace. Everything takes so long to happen and it's not that suspenseful when thing finally do occur. I don't mind your villain only being fully revealed in the latter part of a film, but this takes that idea to extremes. Maybe it's the cover that builds up your expectations. I was rubbing my little hands expecting pitchfork death and plenty of it. Sadly, you don't get it.

If you want a gentle horror thriller for all the family then you might like this. Well maybe not all the family. I can imagine it being fairly scary for younger viewers, like the best episodes of Doctor Who. No age rating on it either. I'd probably say it is a 12.

This is only compatible with televisions that can cope with NTSC.

If you like this you could try:
Children of the Corn, Pet Sematary, Husk.

Actually, I'd be afraid of mailmen if they're all as creepy as you mate.

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