Sunday, October 21, 2012

Dark Night of the Scarecrow

(1981) ***1/2

Does everybody remember Dr. Giggles? No? Well maybe this image will stir your memory.
 Still not sure, well who gives a shit! Why are we talking about Dr. Giggles anyway this film is all about Bubba.
Bubba is a simple man who enjoys singing and flowers and hanging out with his best friend Marylee. On this particularly sunny day Marylee made beautiful flower leis for each of them, they sang and skipped until they reached a fence. Beyond that fence was an enchanted looking garden full of gnomes, Marylee pushed aside one of the planks and invited Bubba to sneak in with her but Bubba knew better, he wasn’t supposed to go into other people’s yards. Marylee was naughty and she went anyway. Bubba watched as she danced around the garden gnomes laughing, when suddenly she stopped, she heard a growl. It was big dog and before Marylee could run it had sprung on her gnashing its teeth, biting her furiously. Bubba burst through the fence and scooped up Marylee and ran all the way to her house. Presenting her limp body to the girl’s mother, through tears Bubba could only manage one phrase, “Bubba didn’t do it.”
Now you see it’s this opening scene which tugs firmly at the heartstrings and we all see what a lovely sweet gentle giant Bubba truly is. But get real folks, this is horror film so you know some bad shit is gonna go down from here. Four of the town’s biggest assholes the leader of which is the local postman, get wind of what has happened and immediately jump to the conclusion that Bubba killed the girl. Now these guys have been looking for an excuse to eradicate poor Bubba because they just don’t like having a mentally challenged person in town, ruins the town image you know. In the meantime Bubba runs home and his Mom tells him to play the hiding game so Bubba disguises himself as a scarecrow and hides in the field. The men find him and gun him down without hesitation only to find out immediately after that the girl was fine and Bubba was actually the hero that saved her. Now here is where things get really interesting, the men concoct a story and get the murder charges dropped but they don’t get off so easily. A mysterious scarecrow appears in the field of one of the men and next thing they know he winds up dead. Seems Bubba has come back and he’s pissed.

Larry Drake (Dr. Giggles) is exceptional as the sweet and simple Bubba while Charles Durning (Desperation) is so convincing as the towns biggest asshole I couldn’t wait for him to get what was coming to him. It was so great to watch a film that took its time giving the bad guys their just desserts. It’s not a splatterfest but it is thoroughly enjoyable watching these bastards sweat it out not knowing when the next hit would come. A genuine piece of early ‘80’s gold.


DCD said...

Sounds like a winner!

Octopunk said...

Ooh, a good old supernatural revenge flick that targets prejudiced hicks! I got confused in the beginning because I thought you meant actual gnomes. I probably should put "actual" in quotes.

Catfreeek said...

I meant to do that Octo because to Bubba and Marylee they were "actual" gnomes.

Crystal Math said...

Great review! I might just check this one out :-)

Crystal Math said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AC said...

sounds fun!