6.9/10
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87 user 93 critic

Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981)

Not Rated | | Horror | TV Movie 24 October 1981
In a small Southern town, a wrongfully-killed man exacts revenge on those who murdered him from beyond the grave.

Director:

Frank De Felitta

Writers:

J.D. Feigelson (teleplay), J.D. Feigelson (story) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,568 ( 1,697)

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Durning ... Otis P. Hazelrigg
Robert F. Lyons ... Skeeter Norris
Claude Earl Jones ... Philby
Lane Smith ... Harless Hocker
Tonya Crowe ... Marylee Williams
Larry Drake ... Bubba Ritter
Jocelyn Brando ... Mrs. Ritter
Tom Taylor ... D.A. Sam Willock
Richard McKenzie ... Judge Henry
Ivy Jones ... Mrs. Willams
James Tartan James Tartan ... Mr. Williams (as Jim Tartan)
Ed Call Ed Call ... Defense Attorney
Alice Nunn ... Mrs. Bunch
John Steadman ... Mr. Loomis
Dave Adams ... Deputy (as David Adams)
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Storyline

In a small country town, the retarded Bubba Ritter has the mentality of a child and is the best friend of a young local girl. When the girl trespasses the yard of a house and is attacked by a dog, he saves her, but is wrongly accused of killing her by her mother. The postman Otis P. Hazelrigg joins three other vigilantes' friends of him and the group executes the poor man, who was disguised as a scarecrow in a cornfield. They forge some evidences that Bubba had attacked them, and they go to a trial but they are declared not guilty. They are released, but justice comes from the grave and the men are mysteriously killed, one by one, in the revenge of the scarecrow. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Original Classic See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 October 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La nuit de l'épouvantail See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Wizan Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Durning did most of his own stunts of the climatic chase scene when he's running away from the tractor. A double can be seen for a few shots with darker hair. See more »

Goofs

Position of Hazelrigg's right hand when he tries to guess Marylee's costume. See more »

Quotes

Skeeter Norris: [the scarecrow has appeared, then vanished from Philby's field] Maybe we should just go tell the sheriff.
Otis P. Hazelrigg: Are you crazy? You wanna spend the rest of your life in prison?
Philby: Well, it's better than dyin'!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very effective....
7 October 1999 | by Mister-6See all my reviews

It's probably for the best that this was originally made for TV. That way, "Dark Night of the Scarecrow" doesn't have to rely on blood, disembowelings and gratuitous special FX for its shock value.

All you old-school horror fans check this out: here's a relatively recent movie that earns every shock and scare it gets with its eerie atmosphere, earnest performances and an especially villainous turn by Durning as tyrannical postman.

Everything is sweaty, nail-biting and almost unbearably tense from first frame to last. If you can bear the fright, watch very carefully at the end. I won't tell what happened, but it's intriguing how they combined such emotions as shock, fear and love in only two shots. Just watch it and see what I mean.

Ten stars. No wonder Larry Drake gets these kind of parts.


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