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Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981)
Movie Review by The Undertaker

Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981) This movie ranks, to me, as the best made for TV horror movie I have seen. If you're old and saw it on it's original airing, you know this thing kills. I got lucky and saw it when I was 11 on TV and I was like 'Holy Shit, this is scary'. If you missed it, maybe you have caught it on its short video run, if not, good luck finding a print. Try maybe your local friendly video reseller i.e. Bootlegger or Ebay. I got a chance to view it again recently (2004) and it's lost none of the fun or magic I saw way back when. It's basically a cool story of revenge from beyond the grave as a mentally handicapped 36-year-old man is wrongly accused for the death of a young girl. He is mentally inferior, acting like a child himself and is friends with the child, pissing off the mailman for some reason. I think and it's kinda suggested later that the mailman, played by Charles Durning in one of his best roles, is a pedo and wants the girl for himself. Either way, he sure hates poor Bubba the retard and has a little gang of local assholes that he's convinced to help make the guys life hell. Then one day the mailman gets his chance he's been waitin' for as Bubba and his friend Mary Lee sneak into a neighbor's backyard and she is attacked by a large dog. The girl gets mauled and Bubba breaks the fence down trying to help. Bubba takes the girls ravaged body home to her mother, crying and heart-broken, unable to find the words to tell what has happened to them. All he can mange to get out is Bubba didn't do it. Things go to shit for Bubba then, as everyone assumes he has killed the child and when the mailman hears the news he goes postal and rounds up his own shitty pose to hunt the retard down without the police giving them any right. Bubba runs home crying to his elderly mother who tells him to hide, as she knows these men have bothered her son before. He hides in a pretty cool way, by getting inside an old scarecrow out in a field. But, the men have dogs and guns and find him near his home and shoot the defenseless man firing squad style, then put a pitch fork in his hand to make it seem like it was self-defense. As soon as the deed is done, they get a report on the radio that the girl is okay, not dead. The dog was to blame and Bubba actually saved the girl's life. Well, the shit-for-brains gang decides to make it all seem his fault anyway, and even manage to get off on the self-defense shit. Twenty-one bullets in the body, yet, they still get off, geez! They slide outta court faster than O.J. and go celebrate at the local watering hole. However, Bubba's Mom let's 'em know that there's other justice in this world and those words prove prophetic. A strange wind blows through town that night and this tale of rural justice gets going full force. Soon after, the farmer of the gang of murderers sees a scarecrow in a field near his house. It looks just like Bubba's disguise. Then, he ends up 'accidentally' falling into his own woodchipper. Nasty stuff! The remaining three killers get scared, the mailman gets even dirtier, making you hate this fucker even more, and soon more justice gets done. The mailman goes so far as to scare Bubba's Mom to death by accident and burn her house up, and then when only two remain, he digs up Bubba's grave, revealing that the body is still there. So again, Bubba didn't do it! Scared shitless after the fat miller gets drowned in his own silo full of grain, the mailman and the mechanic go dig that grave up to see what's what. The mailman double-crosses and kills the guy and heads home getting piss drunk on the way. It's on the journey home that he meets his big surprise, as Mary Lee is standing in the road blocking his way. He follows the girl, who leads him to a pumpkin field. He tries to grab her while she hides behind the blade of a large tractor, but she screams for Bubba and the tractor fires up. The mailman retreats in shock, still thinking it might be someone else, or that it's the pissed prosecuting attorney who vowed to bring his ass in. Chased by the tractor, fat boy stumbles through the pumpkin field, finally impaling himself on a sharp object... a pitchfork held by a lone scarecrow. Justice is done. Then the films scariest shock ends the movie as we hear footsteps in the field approaching the young girl. She looks up to see a scarecrow standing over her, then it looks down and hands her a flower and she begins to talk to it as if it were her old friend. This TV movie is better than 98% of the shit that makes it to theaters these days and has more blood to boot. Great acting, a great story, and a bizarre creepiness let the movie haunt you for years. Let's face it, scarecrows do look kinda spooky and after you watch this film they will be all the more. Great movie, hope you get a chance to catch it sometime, it's well worth it. A truly cool tale of revenge that will make you happy and scared by the end, watch it!
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Rating: 9.6 out of 10.0 - 14 votes cast total
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