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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 22.45%
Average: 4.08%
Pretty Bad: 16.33%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 43 user ratings

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Dark Night of the Scarecrow
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by Scott Weinberg

"Why review a movie nobody's ever seen and never will see?"
2 stars

Why review THIS movie? Because I saw it when I was like nine and it was a made-for-network-TV (HORROR) movie and my Mom and Dad let me stay up late to watch it. So when it was on TBS the other night, I went ballistic. I was so psyched. Then I watched it. Nothing ruins sweet childhood memories like a cold shock of reality. (And yes, Charles Durning has always been fat, apparently.)

First, the memory: I had seen the commercials in between Diff'rent Strokes or Alice or some such nonsense. I think I broke my neck to turn around and ask if I could watch it and When was it on and Did everyone think it would be scary and What was your favorite part of the commercial? I remember liking it, and it's a forgotten little movie-nugget that I carried around until last week. (That's over 20 years!)

So I watched it. The main difference was that I now recognized the actors. That sucked. Larry Drake plays a moron, only much younger than the morons he played in LA Law or Dr. Giggles. Charles Durning stars as the most evil and apparently the most powerful and influential mailman in history. Seriously! He barks at everyone and they shutup and listen and say 'yessir'. I couldn't believe nobody just smacked the porker and took his stupid hat. HE WORE the mailman's outfit for the WHOLE movie! In bed, running through the forest, stuffing his oval head with pancakes. ALWAYS in his mailman outfit! It was some obscene Cliff Claven nightmare.

So what I remembered the most from the movie was the story: A mildly retarded guy is accused by four imbeciles of tragically hurting a little girl. We all know he didn't do it and he's innocent, but they go after him anyway. He hides inside a scarecrow outfit in the middle of a field, and the four inbreds shoot him dead.

After perhaps the funniest courtroom scene in TV-movie history, they are set free. Of course, they soon begin seeing scarecrows and dying. One guys gets buried in a silo, the other gets dropped in this farmy-grindy thing, and big rotund Charles Durning, being the head villain, gets his but good.

What stands out the most now when I think of Dark Night of the Scarecrow? It's laughable junk, but it WAS made in 1981. The ridiculous nature of the clothes is overshadowed only by the haircuts and the waka-waka music. But hey, if you're the kind of person who LIKES made-for-TV horror movies from the early 80's, go find it.

It's got a cool title, and I always like the 'revenge from beyond the grave' thing, but that's pretty much it. It's a curio from a stranger, more polyester time. Plus it's got some wonderful down-south stereotypes, which are always good for a hoot.

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originally posted: 02/29/00 21:09:37
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User Comments

12/17/18 Ajp wales Very good tv movie. 4 stars
2/13/17 morris campbell i saw this years ago & its pretty good 4 stars
9/03/15 The Big D If you watch this film and keep your sanity, no other movie will ever scare you again. 5 stars
4/17/12 Alam Smithee Did a great job of getting younger kids ready for the real R rated slashers, great atmosphe 4 stars
2/27/11 Violet Scarred me for life as a child. But I want to see it again. 4 stars
10/10/10 likewow NOT dated, totally creepy, very unsettling! Lots of subtext, subtle but disturbing terror! 5 stars
7/19/10 art GREAT FILM,once more i saw it,on the cbs saturday night movie halloWEEn of 1981 4 stars
3/07/10 Durwood The scarecrow wasn't Bubba's ghost; it was the DEVIL himself-the scariest film of all time! 5 stars
10/23/07 bob stinkypants i like when da tin man went " a tu tu tu.... suprise for america!!!" 5 stars
8/18/06 brett great movie 5 stars
10/26/05 dmonet great movie that is underrated for a TV movie 5 stars
10/26/05 Vicki Liso Best film for Halloween without all the gore that people crave these days need more like it 5 stars
10/12/05 Deborah Fantastic and under-rated! 5 stars
5/19/04 kevin i have a tape of this show. it is the greatest show ever made. 5 stars
4/01/04 Mike Kamyszek Kind of hokey, but scary-I liked it 4 stars
2/05/04 Virgil Hicks Unlike the crap that flows from the sewers today. 5 stars
1/21/04 Paul Counelis Creepy enough to warrant a viewing, but not a great film. Scary for me as a youth, though. 3 stars
1/18/04 bbbbb this movie is great, when is it on video/ dvd in the uk? 5 stars
1/08/04 Anthony Manning A must for early 80's horror movie buffs 4 stars
10/31/03 Marilyn S. I loved the movie. 5 stars
10/25/03 krista helt awesome 5 stars
10/23/03 hourontex2 Saw the first broadcast and loved it! The first is sad; the rest is creepy! 5 stars
10/01/03 RanPerry Scariest movie of my entire childhood! 5 stars
8/02/03 Double G ***** 5 stars
7/05/03 dizzylooker needs alot of work on this movie 3 stars
3/10/03 jason morris the biz 4 stars
2/26/03 Patrick not very good except the last scene, when the scarecrow gives the flower to the girl 2 stars
2/01/03 T.Harding a truly excellent film.hope they show it again soon! 5 stars
11/08/02 Matt Horsman Saw it years ago......wanna see it again. 4 stars
11/04/02 Tommy Victor A Classic. Done the way a Horror film should be done. A Must See.. A+ 5 stars
8/24/02 A. J. What can be said? This movie is a classic in every sense of the word... 2 Thumbs Up! 5 stars
7/02/02 T.Harding found it a very good movie. 5 stars
4/28/02 rick This movie scared the heck out of me when I was a little kid. I saw it last night it's bad. 2 stars
3/28/02 Casey Boone This Movie is awesome, i pee all over myself everytime i watch it 5 stars
2/20/02 Shelly B. This movie kicks ass! It needs to be on DVD 5 stars
2/09/02 Mark A great Halloween TNT tradition 5 stars
1/24/02 Sheri A movie I'll never forget. I've actually been looking for it. 5 stars
1/16/02 David A. Dark Night of the Scarecrow is the BEST horror movie ever made. It makes The Excorcist look 5 stars
6/21/01 Mark Fantastic 5 stars
12/20/00 Gunter one of my 5 stars
9/24/00 Russell Shiley Not bad, definitely interesting 4 stars
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  24-Nov-1981 (NR)
  DVD: 28-Sep-2010



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