Origin/Director: USA/Frank De Felitta
Viewings Tally: This is my first viewing. A community member on Letterboxd recommended it to me.
Synopsis: Bubba, an intellectually disabled man, is falsely accused of attacking a young girl. Disguised as a scarecrow, he hides in a cornfield, only to be hunted down and shot by four vigilante men. After they are acquitted due to lack of evidence, the men find themselves being stalked by a mysterious scarecrow. [Letterboxd]
Reely Bernie’s Take: It’s the misunderstood Michael Meyers or feared and bullied Jason Voorhees revenge story but in the guise of a scarecrow, which may or may not be the culprit executing paybacks on the numbskull town folk. In a way, it’s a low budget made-for-TV precursor to a much better movie in Pumpkinhead (1988).
In typical 80s B-movie fashion, there’s an over the top synthesizer film score, overacting, and overgrown comb overs that put Trump to shame. However, once you get past the hasty, beyond believable setup, the movie takes on a satisfying Charles Bronson tone you only get from the 80s. Also, it’s a wise move to not show what is not seen by the characters. The imagination fills in the spook void and viewer anticipation like Jaws did in 1975 and Alien did 4 years later.
(Of course, we’re talking about a scarecrow, not a shark or an…alien.)
Charles Durning plays a despicable town mailman who abuses his retirement privileges so he can take advantage of lodging and bacon-filled breakfasts with the certified nursing home guests. It’s a comical an odd touch that keeps this little flick entertaining.
I recommend Dark Night of the Scarecrow to viewers who grew up in the 70s and 80s and can forgive the borderline exploitative premise and cheesy acting. When the 90 minutes flash by, the images of the scarecrow continue to linger, and you won’t look at a scarecrow the same way again.
The Shot that Won’t Let Go:
Final Score: 3 mailman antagonists out of 5
How you seen it? What did you think?
Can you think of another movie in which the mailman is the bad guy? How about one named Otis P. Hazelrigg?
(I wonder what the “P.” stands for.)