Many a modern horror fan will argue ’til they’re blue in the face that horror movies have to be R-rated to be any good. I’m guessing most of them have never seen the genuinely eerie 1981 made-for-TV chiller Dark Night of the Scarecrow. A chance to correct that oversight arrives this fall when this classic scarecrow shocker returns to terrorize DVD players.
Director Frank De Felitta’s Dark Night of the Scarecrow tells of a mentally handicapped young man (Larry Drake of Darkman and Dr. Giggles villainy) wrongfully accused of assaulting a young girl in a rural farm community. Veteran character actor Charles Durning leads a lynch mob of locals to hunt down the gentle simpleton, who attempts to disguise himself as the scarecrow in his mother’s field, only to get gunned down in cold blood by the mob. The murderous rednecks get away with murdering an innocent man by putting a pitchfork in his dead hands and claiming they killed him in self defense — that is, until the night someone dressed as that scarecrow begins picking them off one-by-one with that very same pitchfork.
I saw the film as a very small child when it first aired on CBS in ’81 and was so creeped out I could never bring myself to watch it again during my formative years when it re-aired. Can’t wait to see it again with adult eyes since I hear from those who have that it still holds up even better than many other celebrated gore-soaked horror films of its era.
VCI Entertainment gives us all that opportunity on September 28th when Dark Night of the Scarecrow gets plucked from obscurity for a new special edition DVD release (digitally remastered, director and writer commentary track, and a world premiere trailer) just in time for Halloween season. Feast your eyes on the truly sinister DVD artwork VCI has cooked up for this long overdue release, and pre-order your copy below.
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