Best Blu-ray Deals
Best Blu-ray Deals, See All the Deals »
Top deals |
Night of the Scarecrow(1995)
No synopsis for Night of the Scarecrow.
For more about Night of the Scarecrow and the Night of the Scarecrow Blu-ray release, see Night of the Scarecrow Blu-ray Review published by Jeffrey Kauffman on May 3, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: John Mese, Elizabeth Barondes, Gary Lockwood, Stephen Root, Bruce Glover, John Hawkes
Director: Jeff Burr
» See full cast & crew
Night of the Scarecrow Blu-ray Review
It's not nice to fool Mother Nature.
Reviewed by Jeffrey Kauffman, May 3, 2013
Thomas Tryon was an actor of some note in the fifties and sixties who is probably best remembered for his starring roles in The Cardinal and The Longest Day. Tryon really seemed to hit his stride, though, as an author, penning the huge 1971 bestseller The Other, which was turned into a haunting 1972 film by Robert Mulligan (a film that would look—courtesy of its beautiful cinematography by Robert L. Surtees—and sound—courtesy of its gorgeous Jerry Goldsmith score—fantastic on Blu-ray). Tryon followed up The Other a couple of years later with a somewhat lesser remembered but just as chilling novel called Harvest Home, which played almost like a first person retelling of Shirley Jackson's immortal The Lottery, only with certain other atavistic elements added. One of the chief ideas running throughout Harvest Home (which was made into a pretty lamentable television movie starring Bette Davis) was that of a seemingly idyllic little country village that was harboring a rather disturbing secret, one that ultimately involves death and destruction. The denizens of Harvest Home would nonetheless have next to nothing on the townspeople of Hanford (what is it with these places starting with "H"?) at the center of Night of the Scarecrow, for if the residents of Harvest Home were reliving a pagan past, the folks in Hanford were in a way trying to bury their past, and none too successfully at that. Perhaps at least a little humorously, Night of the Scarecrow is actually only one of several "evil scarecrow" movies or made for television outings that have been released over the years, and in fact one of the others bears the very similar title Dark Night of the Scarecrow. Both of these somewhat similar Nights offer some excellent thrills and chills and both have a certain Southern Gothic element (even if it's Southern California in this film) that plays rather well into a possessed killer scarecrow wreaking vengeance on various less than savory characters.
There's another (no doubt coincidental) relation to Thomas Tryon in Night of the Scarecrow, in this case the film version of The Other. In the film, one of the young twins at the center of the story is being taught by his mystical Grandmother, kind of like the future King Arthur at the hands of Merlin, how to mentally inhabit creatures in the natural world. The young boy starts to see things from a bird's point of view and Surtees' camera soars through sylvan fields as Goldsmith's sumptuous music swells. Rather strangely, there's something quite similar during Night of the Scarecrow's credits sequence, though in this case it's evidently a crow's point of view and the music is rather reminiscent of John Williams' iconic half step motif that made Jaws so memorable. The crow finally lands on a decrepit scarecrow in the middle of a corn field and rather rudely plucks one of the button eyes off of the sad sack of straw. Immediately, the crow falls dead. It's an unsettling turn of events, and it actually doesn't even make sense within the confines of the film's rather tenuous grasp on logic, but it gets things off to a rousing start.
We're then introduced to the bucolic little town of Hanford, California. (There actually is a Hanford, California, where the location work on this film was done, and one has to wonder what the civic fathers of that burg might have been thinking when they allowed their pretty little village to be portrayed as such a den in iniquity. They may have thought—kind of like the characters in the film—that they had made a deal with the devil.) The mayor, William Goodman (Gary Lockwood, 2001: A Space Odyssey) is helping the town celebrate a big new building project. A pretty young woman named Claire (Elizabeth Barondes) pulls up in her bright red MG and begins listening, immediately attracting the attention of a young man named Dillon (John Mese). Dillon of course puts the moves on Claire, trying to impress her by telling her he works for the Mayor as a construction foreman and that he thinks the Mayor is a big gasbag. Guess what? Claire is the Mayor's daughter. Oops.
Luckily, Claire is the estranged daughter of the Mayor, one who has been away from Hanford for years and whose return is not immediately met with approval by the blowhard Mayor. To spite her father, she invites Dillon to dinner, where he meets a weird assortment of other Goodman kin, including the town Sheriff, Frank Goodman (Stephen Root), the town Priest, Thaddeus Goodman (Bruce Glover), and the Goodman who manages the vast (and very fertile) Goodman farming concern, George (Dirk Blocker). Meanwhile, a punk named Danny Thompson (John Hawkes, Winter's Bone, The Sessions), whom we've already seen fighting with Dillon at the town pride celebration, is wreaking havoc with some of Dillon's construction equipment. With a buddy of his, Danny drunkenly takes a grader on a mad rampage through a cornfield, ultimately striking something that sounds very hard, which cracks open. Cue spooky music.
Things begin heating up between Claire and Dillon while a number of gruesomely disturbing things start happening to various other members of the Goodman family. Without spoiling too much of the gory fun that's in store, there are of course murders galore (including one that's quite similar to one in Dark Night of the Scarecrow), as well as some pretty frightening maimings, all at the hands of a possessed scarecrow who has a particular obsession with something he (it?) thinks is in the possession of the Goodman family. Who is possessing the scarecrow turns out to be a secret that several older members of the Goodman family had been hoping to keep secret, and it plays into why their lands have always been so incredibly lush.
Night of the Scarecrow has some real chills in it and it features some rather good special effects work. Again, without spoiling anything, there are some spectacularly graphic effects that include all manner of mayhem, including a patently phallic finger like device that the Scarecrow attempts to force into the mouths of various young women, to disastrous consequences. The film works up a considerable head of steam until it gets just a little too silly in the final showdown (which of course involves Dillon, Claire and the evil Scarecrow). Director Jeff Burr stages things very effectively and gets some good performances out of a game cast.
Night of the Scarecrow Blu-ray, Video Quality
Night of the Scarecrow is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Olive Films with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1. This is a very nice looking high definition transfer that only has one or two very minor issues to report. The elements are in very good condition, as befits a work of relatively recent vintage (that is, compared to a lot of Olive's older catalog releases), and colors are nicely robust and very accurate looking. The image is nicely detailed and some of the close-ups of both the Scarecrow as well as some of the disturbing makeup offer more than adequate fine object detail. There are some transitory mosquito noise issues in just a couple of nighttime shots that flit through the image briefly but which are noticeable.
Night of the Scarecrow Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Night of the Scarecrow features a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix that offers some surprising spatial ambience despite its overall narrow confines. Right off the bat in the opening sequence there's unexpected depth to the sound of the crow cawing and the encroaching underscore. Dialogue is presented cleanly (though the Scarecrow's guttural utterances can be a bit hard to make out at times). The John Williams-esque score also sounds fine. Fidelity is excellent and dynamic range is fairly wide.
Night of the Scarecrow Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Night of the Scarecrow Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Night of the Scarecrow only has one or two really cheap scares. The rest are rather well crafted and the Scarecrow is a really spooky manifestation of long dormant evil. The film gets a little too hyperbolic for its own good in its final chase showdown sequence, but that's a small price to paid for so much (admittedly pretty gruesome) fun. This Blu-ray features great looking video and sounding audio, and unlike most Olive releases, this one actually has some supplementary material. Recommended.
Use the thumbs up and thumbs down icons to agree or disagree that the title is similar to Night of the Scarecrow. You can also suggest completely new similar titles to Night of the Scarecrow in the search box below.
Similar titles suggested by members
Night of the Scarecrow Blu-ray, News and Updates
No related news posts for Night of the Scarecrow Blu-ray yet.
Night of the Scarecrow Blu-ray, Forum Discussions
Night of the Scarecrow Blu-ray Screenshots
Back to Night of the Scarecrow Blu-ray »
Trending Blu-ray Movies
Trending in Theaters
This web site is not affiliated with the Blu-ray Disc Association.
All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners.
© 2002-2014 Blu-ray.com. All rights reserved.