Sunday, October 21, 2012
Dark Night of the Scarecrow
The plot is simple. Four good old boys with a grudge against a local mentally challenged man called Bubba seize an opportunity to get rid of him permanently when it looks like he has savaged a little girl. They hunt the frightened man down in a field, where his mother has disguised him as a scarecrow, and shoot him. Only minutes after they've killed him they learn by CB radio that Bubba actually saved the girl from an attack by a vicious dog. The leader of the group, played with scenery chewing relish by Charles Durning, decides to make it look like Bubba came at the four with a pitchfork and that they shot him in self defense.
The men are tried, but acquitted, and it looks like they've gotten away with murder until a familiar scarecrow starts showing up in odd places. The men are killed one by one until it comes down to Durning's character, who meets a suitable end.
One thing I really liked about the film was that for the majority of the movie, it plays almost like a whodunit. The viewer doesn't know if the scarecrow is actually a ghost or if one of the three townspeople is stalking the killers. There are some genuine creepy moments and some good performances by various actors, Durning in particular. Oh, and it takes place near Halloween so there are some scenes at a school Halloween party.
Definitely worth your Halloween time. Thanks, John!