“A terrifying evil is about to be unleashed.”
Director: Jeff Burr / Writers: Dan Mazur & Reed Steiner / Cast: Elizabeth Barondes, John Mese, Stephen Root, Bruce Glover, Dirk Blocker, Howard Swain, Gary Lockwood, John Lazar, Martine Beswick, Cristi Harris, John Hawkes.
Body Count: 10
Not a 90s video remake of underrated 80s TV creepfest Dark Night of the Scarecrow, but a mildly diverting and endearingly entertaining late-night cable B-flick from the director of Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.
A warlock imprisoned inside a harmless (and borderline cutesy) looking scarecrow for the past couple of hundred years is resurrected by some drunk teenagers and decides to reap revenge on the ancestors of the townsfolk who cast the spell.
Pretty Barondes is the wayward daughter of one of four cursed brothers. She teams up with prime suspect Mese to try and put an end to the mayhem, while the button-eyed scarecrow systematically goes about offing the family and various extras using everything from his own brand of magic to a sewing kit. He channels Freddy to deliver some lip-curling one-liners at every turn.
There are some funny moments, including Bruce Glover’s nervy preist trying to banish the fiend with a crucifix, which is plays along with for a moment before laughing in his face.
Whether or not the film has graduated to DVD is a mystery, but for slickly produced, inoffensive pre-Scream-irony horror, this is a fun hayride.
Blurbs-of-interest: Dirk Blocker was Brad Pitt’s gym teacher in Cutting Class; Bruce Glover was in Simon Says; John Hawkes was also in Identity and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer; Jeff Burr directed Stepfather II.