Director: Frank De Felitta
Writers: J.D. Feigelson (screenplay), J.D. Feigelson(story)
Stars: Charles Durning, Robert F. Lyons and Claude Earl Jones
What they say: When young Marylee Williams (Tonya Crowe) is found viciously mauled, all hell breaks loose in her small rural town. Officious postmaster Otis P. Hazelrigg (Charles Durning) leads a gang of bigots in pursuit of the suspect: her mentally challenged friend Bubba Ritter (Larry Drake). Finding him hiding inside a scarecrow, they exact brutal mob “justice”…only to discover a tragic mistake! Now a strange apparition stalks the land seeking each of them out, as the legend of the Scarecrow begins.
What I say: As a youngster in the early 80’s, I was always on the lookout for my next scare. I devoured everything I could get my hands on. I would even “settle” for TV movies if I had nothing else. Thus, I was nowhere near ready for what Dark Night of the Scarecrow would unleash.
What I witnessed that dark, chilly October night certainly left an impression. My memories are vague but I remember having the hell scared out of me. The film became legendary among my friends. And now seeing the film 30 years later, it has not lost any of its chilling power.
The film is highly effective in making you hate the villains, and even though the moody atmosphere works it’s magic on you, you feel the anger of Bubbas friends and family, and you cheer when the bigoted jerks are dispatched. Truly a masterpiece of horror storytelling and visuals.
While I am frequently disappointed in how a lot of studios treat their films, it never ceases to amaze me how even older TV movies can look fantastic on Blu-Ray when the studio cares about doing right by the film. And VCI certainly does right by Dark Night of the Scarecrow.
The picture quality is quite simply amazing. Lots of fine detail, nice deep blacks, and crystal clear visuals are the highlights of this release. The only problem I personally had with the disc was the sound. While generally very good, occasionally the music overpowers the dialogue, but it’s not that huge a deal, and fortunately it happens pretty rarely.
All-in-all, Dark Night of the Scarecrow is a great release of a fantastic film, and it belongs in every horror fans collection!