In addition to the usual reviews and comments you would find on a horror movie blog, this is also a document of the wonderfully vast horror movie section of the video store I worked at in my youth.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Scarecrows


A group of bank robbers make a daring escape in a small plane, taking the pilot and his daughter hostage. When one of them parachutes out with the money, the others land and give chase. They soon come across a decrepit cabin surrounded by scarecrows. As night falls, something lurks in the shadows.

Whilst watching this month’s Final Girl Film Club selection, I realized two things. The first was how little I remembered of this movie from the first time I watched it. It was essentially like viewing it for the first time, kind of like when I revisited Nail Gun Massacre last year - although Scarecrows was a much more pleasurable experience than that was. The second thing was how much the scarecrow is underutilized in horror. You would think that something with the word “scare” in the title would have more than the half a dozen entries that appear on Imdb. I'll avoid the Hallowed Ground title Final Girl mentioned, but I must admit this one pictured to the left has me intrigued. Eat your heart out Joe Francis! Look at it this way though. If you were stuffed with straw and hung out to dry in the hot sun for years at a time, wouldn’t you be pissed? With the exception of the one that got to hang with Judy Garland, being a scarecrow must suck a great deal. It’s a pretty thankless job. So, along comes the 1988 flick Scarecrows, where the straw men finally get some payback.

The film opens with a pretty creepy intro with an endlessly staring scarecrow that you expect to go BOO at any moment. Then, once we are on the ground, one of the characters for some reason, spends the first act thinking his lines, instead of saying them. It was as if the narration was added in after the fact because the filmmakers thought it was needed. It wasn’t. Also, I was surprised to learn that grenades come in short and long fuse varieties. Then again, maybe the fact that I noticed this means I've been playing too much Call Of Duty 4. I think my “favourite” part is when the remaining bank robbers calmly pick blood soaked c-notes out of their dead friend’s eviscerated husk of a body, one scooping them out of a severed head like he was digging into a grapefruit at breakfast. Just another day at the office when you are ex-military I guess.

I jest, but despite all the eighties cheesiness, hazy logistics and the fact that the majority of the movie is people walking - when they are not driving around in trucks with no engines, that is - through the forest looking for the loot, the gore is pretty good and the design of the scarecrows works. It also never goes the route I was expecting – including an overused conclusion that they tease you with halfway through. It’s definitely watchable fare if you are starved for some scarecrow action, and I think it’s safe to say we all are really.

1 comment:

Craig Moorhead said...

Yeah, the design of those scarecrows really stood out. They really did the lion's share of scare work...