Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Night Of The Scarecrow (1995)(Minor Spoilers Review)
**This review contains MINOR spoilers, no character deaths, major reveals, or plot twists**
After a lengthy hiatus, Claire Goodman (Elizabeth Barondes) returns to her hometown of Hanford. Here, Claire has a tense reunion with her bitter father, Mayor William Goodman (Gary Lockwood). Claire befriends a local farmer named Dillon (John Mese) after Dillon's heated confrontation with Danny (John Hawkes), one of Dillon's more disgruntled workers.
At the Mayor’s house, Dillon is introduced to the entire Goodman family one by one. Dillon meets the town sheriff, Frank Goodman (Stephen Root), his wife, Lorraine (Cynthia Merrill), and their two children Toby and Martha; the town priest, Thaddeus (Bruce Glover), his wife, Barbara (Martine Beswick), and their daughter, Stephanie (Cristi Harris); and George (Dirk Blocker), who lives alone on a farm.
Claire tries to enjoy a happy and peaceful return to Hanford, but the harmless trip down memory lane is disrupted by a murderous scarecrow. After an unintentional resurrection, The Scarecrow (Howard Swain) embarks on a murderous rampage with one mission: Destroy the entire Goodman family one by one. Claire slowly uncovers secrets behind a troubled past for her ancestors, and the origins of The Scarecrow. With Dillon’s help, Claire fights to stop The Scarecrow’s killing spree, but a bigger problem emerges after a confession from Thaddeus. Using an ancient tool of evil, The Scarecrow plans to resurrect an invincible warlock.
I’m used to seeing a few generic and clichéd characters in a slasher film, but Night Of The Scarecrow has a bad case of overkill in this department. Claire is the innocent good girl, who transforms into the unlikely heroine as the movie progresses. Mayor Goodman is the typical greedy and corrupt politician. George is the angry booze guzzling drunk, who totes a shotgun. Thaddeus is the self-righteous priest. Dillon is the guy, who inexplicably falls for the leading lady (Claire), he’ll do anything to protect her, and Dillon forms a team with Claire to fight The Scarecrow. And I can’t forget about Danny, because he’s the one guy, who’s a jerk to everyone.
Although, Stephanie is a nice refreshing change for this cast of characters. At first glance, you’ll get the impression Stephanie is pure and harmless as a priest’s daughter, but behind her father’s back, Stephanie is a loose and promiscuous teenage girl, who’s in a secret relationship with her wild boyfriend.
And yeah, the characters are clichéd and generic, but you’ll see the familiar faces of a few veterans here. Root gives one of the better performances, but Root also had more breathing room to work with as Frank, because Frank is the conflicted sheriff, who’s torn between doing the right thing, and obeying strict orders from his overbearing brother (William). Overall, the cast isn’t bad, and Barondes is a decent leading lady.
Night Of The Scarecrow’s mundane through the motions predictability really annoyed me at times. The horror clichés? Oy vey. You name it, and you’ll see it in Night Of The Scarecrow. The car won't start, victims fall down while running, a few morons accidentally resurrect an ancient evil, and of course, you have the miraculous Hail Mary comeback at the end.
Still, if you’re the type of horror fan, who enjoys mindless fun, Night Of The Scarecrow is a passable guilty pleasure film. Night Of The Scarecrow is loaded with some really gruesome and creative kills, and you’ll see a some genuine cringeworthy moments. Night Of The Scarecrow is a corny B-movie slasher flick with some hilarious one-liners, including Claire’s “How bout some fire Scarecrow!” But I’ll warn you now, if you watch Night Of The Scarecrow with a serious mindset, you’ll have a miserable viewing experience, and I’m pretty sure you’ll hate yourself for taking the time to watch this one.
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