Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981)

Stupid people hate that which they do not understand. Whether it’s why someone else has a different colour skin, worships at a different altar (be it Jehovah or alcohol), lives in a mud hut or a mansion, scars their skin with tattoos and piercings, falls in love with someone of the same sex, has fled their war torn nightmare of a county and is seeking asylum in a country that seems to have everything but sympathy, or has a disability, mental or physical, which makes it harder for them to lead a life which is considered normal or mainstream; they just don’t seem to get the idea of live and let live, or at least mind your own gorram buisness.

Society claims to have evolved, and we have laws set out to protect the less fortunate, or discriminated against, but let’s face it, we all know human crap bags who walk round spouting 12th century ideas about how they think the world should be run, and what they would do if they had their way. These are usually uneducated white ‘patriots’ who know more about their favourite sport than they do about their own history or politics. Unfortunately, they seem to be everywhere these days, proving the theory that only stupid folk seem to be breeding.

I think its way past time that someone made a torture porn featuring a killer that only targets fascist bigots …

Dark Night of the Scarecrow is the story of Bubba, a man with learning disabilities who has the innocent and playful nature of a young child. Obviously, he finds kindred spirits with children, and has many playmates among the town’s little darlings. The adults of the town look at him with suspicion though, and view Bubba as a danger to his little friends, seeing his connections as nothing more than a sinister ploy to get close to naïve jail bait. When his best friend Mary Lee is savaged by a dog, and the finger of blame is wrongly pointed at Bubba, the town vigilantes see this as the perfect opportunity to get rid of the man that they hate once and for all. Bubba is urged to hide inside the scarecrow by his mother as he has done time and time again, but is caught and murdered in cold blood by the angry mob. That isn’t going to be the end of sweet old Bubba though, and thanks to a bloody end, this time round he isn’t so docile and forgiving as he once was.

This made for television outing is a true horror gem, right up there with the best of Carpenter, Argento, Craven and Romero, and easily falls into my top ten genre classics of all time. Suspenseful, intellectually engaging, with some genuinely emotional scenes, Dark Night of the Scarecrow, ticks every blood spattered box in the book for me. Vengeance is one of the most popular and powerful themes in any film, and this is no exception, being neither camp nor cheesy, and has echoes of real greatness. Displaying some excellent acting, and incredibly chilling, if not disturbing scenes and twists. A much darker film than you will expect, and reminds me very much of films such as The Innocents (1961) and The Lady in White (1988) which don’t so much grab your attention as grab you by the throat and choke you into submission, giving you an immediate and incurable case of Stockholm Syndrome. A must see for any true fan.

If The Dark Night of the Scarecrow teaches us anything, it’s that those who shout loudest have the most to hide.

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