Dark night of the scarecrow
One Saturday night in the fall of 1981 I was watching TV with my family and a made for TV film called "Dark night of the scarecrow" came on. The plot involved Bubba (Larry Drake of Darkman and Dr. Giggles) being accused of hurting a young girl. A group of good ol' boys lead by Otis Hazelrig (Charles Durning) quickly grab up their guns and hunting dogs and head off in hot pursuit after Bubba. They eventually chase him to a field where they realize he is hiding in the scarecrow's clothes. Birds fly up suddenly and shots ring out as the four "hunters" let loose over twenty bullets into Bubba in their form of mob justice. Only minutes later they are informed that it was actually a dog that hurt the girl and Bubba actually saved her. Quick thinking Hazelrig plants a pitchfork in Bubba's dead hands and the four men are found innocent as they claim self defense. Bubba's mother and the prosecuting attorney both have words with the four killers, but Hazelrig and his friends shrug it off and go on to celebrate at the local bar. The mood changes when a scarecrow begins to appear in the fields of the four men and one by one they meet sticky ends in "farm accidents" until leading to a final chase with Hazelrig in a pumpkin littered corn field. It's unclear who is getting revenge until the very end of the film. This film made a huge impression on me back then. It's a film that revolves around suspense and is actually scare without much good. All of the acting is strong with Charles Durning's despicable Hazelrig being the top stand-out. I remember the next Monday in school that the main topic of discussion amongst sixth grade boys was "did you see that horror movie with the scarecrow?". It was probably another 15 years until I saw it again in the 90's on cable and again it was just as good as I remembered it. In recent years bootlegged DVD copies made the go around and rumors of an official DVD release came and went with no results until this year. In September the kind people at VCI finally put this film out on DVD complete with an audio commentary with the makers of the films and the original TV commercial. Definitely the most anticipated horror DVD release of 2010 for me and it's just as good as I remember it being almost thirty years ago.