A brilliant little low-budget and sadly forgotten horror gem from the late '80s, "Scarecrows" was written by Richard Jeffries, who would later be tapped to write "Tron 2.0" for Disney. His script is brilliant. At 83 minutes, however, the movie runs a tad short. But if you're looking for a killer horror rental, you'd be hard-pressed to beat it.
The film starts with a bang: A group of robbers have hijacked a small airplane and are attempting a getaway, with a pilot and his teenage daughter on board as hostages. When one of the crooks steals the loot and parachutes out of the plane, they force the pilot to land and go looking for him.
What they discover is an abandoned farm house and dozens of scarecrows. Naturally, the ex-owner of the house was a Satanist. When the scarecrows and some of their dead buddies start rising and attacking them, they decide to screw looking for the money and focus on just getting the hell out of Dodge.
They also get the sense that others have been in a similar situation at the farm too. Somehow, the scarecrows look strangely … human. One of their friends even comes back from the dead, stuffed with straw.
No one involved in this film has gone onto anything really magnificent, which is a shame. This is a great '80s horror movie, set entirely at night and featuring some decent make-up effects. The concept of killer scarecrows has only been used once before, to my recollection, in the TV movie "Night of the Scarecrow." But it's used to much, much greater effect here.
Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, the film was definitely out of print and had become quite rare. But you'll likely run into it in older video stores or perhaps in the horror section of your local Blockbuster. See it.
Thankyou! It's good to read some appreciation of a really underrated work of art. In this age of self concious irony, it is difficult to find films in this genre that actually mean it. Harder still to find ones that aren't steeped in sleeze and cynicism.
Posted by Maurie on October 4, 2009
I saw it years ago - different and great.
Atmosphere plus. I really liked it.
Posted by zombiegirl on March 12, 2012
One of my favourites...atmospheric and a unique take on the zombie genre. Nothing quite like it!
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