Scarecrows (1988) Poster

(1988)

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6/10
Low key, but creepy little horror flick
The_Void19 April 2006
Scarecrows shows what you can do with a very flimsy plot line and a low budget. Rather than concentrate on characters or story, the film leans more towards aesthetics; as the tale is portrayed within a very creepy atmosphere, and the central monsters of the title capitalise well on their natural scare factor. Like clowns, scarecrows are eerie creations and it's clear that director William Wesley knows that, as their dark and foreboding image makes up the backbone of this tale of terror. The only real theme that is put on display in this film comes from the idea of greed, as it is that very thing that gets all the central protagonists into life-threatening danger. The film follows a bunch of soldiers that have stolen a lot of money. They take a pilot and his daughter hostage and force the pair to take them to Mexico; but the ride has a hitch when one of the crooks decides that he doesn't want to share the money, and parachutes out of the plane with the loot. His partners in crime are soon on his tail, but the story has another twist when it turns out that the field they've jumped into is infested with scarecrows that want to do more than keep the birds off the crops!

This film isn't very well known and it's not hard to see why. Scarecrows is very short, running at about seventy minutes when you don't include the credit sequences. The film also feels very low-key, as the focus is more on the atmosphere than anything else, which can leave the film lacking at several intervals. Scarecrows is basically a glorified zombie movie, and pretty much plays out like one as the characters are picked off by their unworldly adversaries. The fact that the entire film takes place in what appears to be real time and in only one location ensures that it benefits from a claustrophobic tension, which benefits a film like this greatly. There isn't a lot of gore here, as the killings don't tend to be very bloodthirsty, and most of the violence takes place off-screen. The killings aren't bad, however, and I was impressed with the way that the film handled the scarecrows' victims after they had been savaged. Overall, this film certainly won't win any awards, and you won't really be missing much by not seeing it; but any horror fan that gets the chance to see Scarecrows probably won't be disappointed.
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10/10
Creepy, Atmospheric, great special effects, and one hell of a horror movie!!
jeff-822 February 1999
SCARECROWS is one of those films that never seemed to get much recognition when it came out, yet it is one of the best horror movies ever made!! A group of bank-robbers must land their hijacked cargo plane in a deserted cornfield out in the middle of nowhere when one member of their group (Burt) greedily parachutes out of the plane with the stolen money. Unfortunately Burt must find where the money landed amidst the giant cornfield and get away before the rest of his angry group track him down...but that's only half the problem! The other problem is that unbeknownst to Burt and the rest of the robbers is that somewhere lurking around in the fields are some of the scariest looking scarecrows in motion picture history and they're not just hanging around! They're out for Blood! But with so many scarecrows hanging around throughout the fields, how do you know which ones are alive and which ones are not? As Burt and the rest of the robbers begin to discover that something supernatural is possessing these cornfields, they're in for the Fright of their lives (and deaths) as they become hunted throught the dark night fields! This film is incredible! The scarecrows are some of the scariest looking Movie Monsters ever created! The special effects are both Gruesome, realistic, and amazing! The movie is very suspenseful and atmospheric. The haunted cornfield sets for one hell of a creepy mood and the supernatural story will keep you on the edge of your seat. If You are looking for a truly frightening and wonderful horror film that you may have missed the first time around, Look No Further...SCARECROWS is one hell of a ride!!!
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4/10
Slightly overrated
Tikkin24 April 2006
A lot of horror fans seem to love Scarecrows, so I won't be very popular in saying that I found it to be rather boring. The idea behind it was interesting, but it seems to drag so much. I think the main problem is that it is all set in darkness. Sometimes horror films set in darkness can work (such as Humongous), but Scarecrows is in darkness for the whole film. A lot of the time it's hard to figure out what's actually happening, and although some shots of the scarecrows were creepy, most were hard to even see. If a little more lighting had been used, perhaps it could've been better.

There's not many films involving killer scarecrows to my knowledge, apart from Dark Night Of The Scarecrow, which is much better. I would recommend that over Scarecrows any day.
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1/10
Scarecrows a real straw dog.
DevastationBob-32 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILER! This movie is terrible. It was unavailable on DVD for a long time for this very reason. However some people, (I'm looking at YOU Internet), kept talking it up and ascribing to it some cult status. I hope the cult for this one drinks the kool-aid.

We're dumped into the action with no character introduction or explanation except for what we hear over the radio on WXPO, All exposition, All the time. Somebody double crosses somebody else and we find ourselves at a spooky farmhouse surrounded by spooky scarecrows, who are stood up in a forest with no crops in sight. I waited most of the movie for a hero or even a protagonist to show up, but no luck there. A lot of the dialogue seems to have been reintroduced in post production so a lot of times, people that are talking aren't even in the scene. Characters change depending on scene convenience, the one guy that poses the idea that evil scarecrows have come to life and want to kill us is the one who, when hearing a voice over the radio that nobody else hears, insists it's his friend and turns a gun on the only other survivors. The girl who was kidnapped and is being kept alive only because her pilot father is dead risks her life to save her kidnappers. Oh, and the plane has a wooden floor. Since, i'm a sadomasochist and I watched this til the end, the credits are finished out by dedicating this movie to the director's sister and mother. I wonder if he liked them.

And the worst thing about it is, all things considered, it's a fairly original idea. Scarecrows haven't been given much limelight. Anyone with a modicum of talent could remake this and just realize all the unrealized potential and have a neat little horror flick. Until that happens, I'd give this one a miss.
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7/10
The best non-zombie horror discovery I've ever made
frobrousa27 October 2000
"Scarecrows" is great. The action starts immediately and doesn't let up; the atmosphere is dark and creepy; the special effects are good. But best of all is the fact that the plot retains a sense of mystery. The only people on the farm are the bandits trying to retrieve their money. There aren't any crotchety old crones who relate the supernatural history of the farm via soft-focus flashback, the way so many movies do. No. Instead we are given a few clues as the bandits explore the farmhouse, and that's it. We see a photo of the farmers. We wonder where are they now; what happened to them. But that's all. There's too much creepiness going on to worry about the past. There's too much creepiness going on to remain on the farm. Forget the money. And that's part of the fun too--shouting at the television screen, trying to convince the characters to get the hell out of there.

This movie is fun, bizarre, and the supernaturally inexplicable unfoldings will freak you out.
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6/10
Atmospehre and scares make up for lack of plot
claptonisgod5316 November 2008
The plot in Scarecrows is extremely generic, cardboard, and simple. If you want a movie that will have you thinking for hours on end, the Scarecrows will not suite you fine at all, period. However, if you are a person who would rather watch a movie for the sheer atmosphere, then you have found a nice little gem.

Scarecrows is far from perfect, the plot is extended out to nothing, which takes away any chance of this movie being gripping at all. The characters are also paper-thin, and have no personality whatsoever. The actors were also pretty bland. The script was poorly written, and extremely forgettable.

The only redeeming aspect is the fact that this movie has a great amount of sheer atmosphere, and the fact that the scarecrows are extremely creepy. If it wern't for the terror in the atmosphere of the film, then this movie would resemble a 1980s House of the Dead.

If you want a creepy movie with a plot that you don't really have to get into, then Scarecrows will fit you.

Recommended to B-Movie enthusiast only.
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Greed kills
Dr. Gore2 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
*SPOILER ALERT* *SPOILER ALERT*

I bought the unrated video. There's nothing I like more than to sit down and watch a Heist/Killer Scarecrow movie. It's amazing how well these two genres meld together. A bunch of robbers skydive into a haunted cornfield. They are looking for their money. The scarecrows are looking to fillet and stuff them. The thieves will have to do battle with the scarecrow crew if they want their loot back. Let the battle begin.

I enjoyed this film. The version I saw had plenty of good gore effects. The scarecrows are lonely monsters who want their intruders to enjoy the benefits of a good stuffed torso. If they get their hands on you, it's stuffing time. They usually do get their hands on people because the thieves just can't bear to let the money go. I guess if they weren't greedy, they wouldn't be professional crooks. Overall, this is a solid B-movie. Blood, guts and stuffings. It's worth a look.
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8/10
Totally overlooked and creepy horror flick!
HumanoidOfFlesh28 November 2000
Warning: Spoilers
After robbing an army payroll,the thieves escape in a stolen plane,taking the pilot and his daughter as hostages.While flying away,one of the robbers dives out of a plane with all the money.He lands on a small farm house with a large corn field and strange looking scarecrows all over it,hanging on crosses.He steals an old truck and begins to escape through the large corn field.But the other robbers land the plane to go after him and the money.Soon they are all murdered by evil scarecrows.This is surely one of my favourite horror movies.It is loaded with some eerie and creepy shots of the woods and the scarecrows hanging on crosses.There is also some gore and the makeup effects made by Norman Cabrera("Fright Night 2")are extremely well-done.The killings are brutal,especially the scene when one robber is stabbed in his face.If you like the gory stuff,you'll love this one.Highly recommended.
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Not many movies scare me, but this one...
one4now423 October 2003
Man, what a horror movie! The idea about killer scarecrows may turn a lot of people off by sounding cheezy, but this is talented filmmaking by people who knew what to do, and, best of all, what NOT to do. The dark, quiet, breezy cornfields of a deserted-looking rural area, with no one around for who knows how many miles, is served with some great creepy atmosphere. The music helps, with a lot of the soundtrack's more sedated moments being the creepiest of all. The gore and visual shocks are very detailed and well-done, but they are kept to a minimum for a lot of the running time. Still, as they say, when it rains, it pours! The acting is great, and the writers did the right thing when they knew NOT to try to give any explanation for how the killer scarecrows came to be other than as much as the characters can figure out (a cleverly vague theory about a family that had been living on the farm who were probably in league with Satan). A lot of great powers are wielded by the scarecrows, including the exact imitation of victims' voices and the ability to reanimate their victims for use to their own fiendish means. There is some humor, but it's character-to-character banter rather than any type of comedy. This is no goofy movie by any means. It really also creeped me out about how the scarecrows move with a sort of stealth, and silently run right up behind a character and off them in seconds, without warning. I had some serious trouble sleeping after this one, but that is a compliment. Not many movies have been able to do that with me, and even fewer are ones I still found enjoyable enough to search down in a used video store and shell out ten bucks to buy. I would only recommend the unrated version, but this is one of those movies that is hard to find in its rated version, so if you come across it, it will probably be unrated. Creepy, creepy stuff, the best way to describe this sadly overlooked masterpiece of horror cinema.
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1/10
You've got to be kidding me!!!
Maciste_Brother29 July 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I watched SCARECROWS because of the buzz surrounding it. Well, I can't imagine anyone liking this movie because it's just bad, bad, bad.

It's obvious that whoever made this movie doesn't know a single thing about horror. The whole story is an unsuccessful marriage of two genres: action movie (guns and criminals) and horror (living scarecrows). When the criminals are killed one by one by the poky looking scarecrows, the two genres automatically cancel each other out because, first, they're criminals and who cares about criminals, and second, because they're stupid criminals to boot! Having zombie scarecrows go after them just doesn't work here. Where's the horror in that? I wanted the criminals to die horrible deaths.

But the story is so badly constructed that this marriage of genres, which could have been original if handled well, NEVER gels. We're simply left with is a bunch of super dense criminals and a bunch of scarecrows, which are 'alive' for whatever flimsy reason the filmmakers thought up. Making things even worse is the fact that the pitch black cinematography is terrible (TV like), worse offense of all, entire parts of the dialogue are heard on CBs/walkie-talkies, and we continuously hear the inane dialogue spoken over disconnected (super dark) images as if we're 'watching' some sort of radio show. This part was really BAD. The director should have been shot on the spot for coming up with such a stupid and poor concept! I can't tell you how annoying that was.

As I've already mentioned, the criminals in SCARECROWS are unforgivably stupid. For instance, when someone suddenly shows up, gutted and filled with money and straw (yep, straw) in a huge open wound, the others ask "What drug is he on?" after they shoot tons of bullets in him, unable to kill him (he's been "zombiefied" by the scarecrows. Don't ask...). Morons. I've never seen such stupid people in a movie. And then there's the girl. I wished one of the scarecrows had killed her quickly because she was a pain in the butt. When she finds her father nailed to a scarecrow "cross", she actually blames the criminals in an embarrassing scene (bad acting), even though the criminals couldn't have done it. What a dimwit! But the scarecrows themselves are the biggest weakness in this very weak flick. They're not scary. Nothing much is explained about them. They're just a plot device in this plot device filled movie.

Mr Wesley, filming the face of a scarecrow in a static shot for 30 seconds nonstop doesn't elicit anything but sheer boredom. And that scene with the talking head in the fridge. Thanks for the laughter.

All in all, this had to be one of the worst movies I've seen recently (and I've seen a lot of movies these days!) Between the equally woeful SILO KILLER or SCARECROWS, I'd rather watch SILO KILLER again. Yep, SCARECROWS is that bad.
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10/10
Downright Creepy Masterpiece of a film!
FrightMeter20 April 2001
SCARECROWS is one of those films (like BLACK CHRISTMAS) that I can't help wondering why it never gained more popularity and acclaim. It is certainly more scary than any HALLOWEEN or FRIDAY THE 13th film and is executed extremely well. It centers around a group of crooks, for lack of a better term, who steal multi-millions of dollars from the government and make their getaway via a plane. One of the crooks gets greedy and decides to take the money and parachute out of the plane, leaving the others behind. Unfortunately, he lands in a a creepy maze of a corn field that has an unusual amount of VERY CREEPY looking scarecrows and an almost equally scary looking shack of a house. Of course, his fellow thieves parachute after him and demand that the plane be landed in the field (the are holding a pilot and his daughter hostage). Well, turns out that these scarecrows are alive and use humans as replacements for their wore out body parts! Using elements from NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, FRIDAY THE 13th, and even DELIVERANCE, this is certainly one of the best horror films that nobody has seen!! The killings are gruesome, the atmosphere and direction are incredible, and the scarecrows are among the most terrifying movie monsters in history! 10 out of 10!
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10/10
DVD PLEASE!!!!!
NewSilver21-111 May 2002
Every now and then I come across a great horror movie that gets no credit, "Scarecrows" is one on them. This is one of those movies that makes you really think than just say "Wow" that was creepy. Picture yourself as one of the people on the screen and ask yourself. "What would I do in that situation?" William Wesley you are a genius at horror! This movie kicks almost every other horror movie in the butt. They need to re-release this movie for sale and rent again. And I mean a.s.a.p.! William Wesley only made one other movie, "Route 666" which is also a great movie but not as good as this one. Where is Anchor Bay Entertainment when you need them! RE-RELEASE THIS MOVIE!!!!!! 10 stars out of 10 stars! William Wesley don't quit keep going!
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9/10
Nearly Forgotten Gem ... BOO!
Poe-176 August 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Small (as in itty-bitty), knockout film, previously tied up in some kind of legal snarls, finally got a decent release by Warner Brothers (thank you).

In 1989 it garnered a nomination at the International Fantasy Film Award, lending it credibility, but it's enduring favor has been carried on the shoulders of fans for all these years, including mine.

Zero extras (bad, bad thing because this little horror gem has a lot of extras-in-waiting). Nonetheless, it got its release. A visually nice one, at that.

Many things going for it that should demand inclusion in any library of horror films including, but not limited to, scariest scarecrows ... ever.

Seriously.

Nearly non-existent plot (if that's a shocker, check out the faces around you, you're probably in the wrong genre).

Paramilitary-type male/female crew in a bank heist, escapes in a plane (?!!!) and one of them channels D.B. Cooper and parachutes into some remote and immediately starts looking for the money that preceded his flying leap. Those he is trying to cross find a field to land the plane and the hunt, with extreme prejudice, for the traitor and money, begins ... at night. Everyone is wearing headsets at the beginning so all conversations bump the skinny plot along.

The farm where all this takes place involves lots of claustrophobic overgrowth, an abandoned farmhouse and a grove of scarecrows. Yeah, a grove of 'em.

Kinda sorta SPOILER!!!

Ya' see, all scarecrows really want to do (like any other thing on the planet) is make other scarecrows. Since they can't procreate the traditional way, they ... well ... find a way.

Kinda sorta END OF SPOILER!!!

Dark, oppressive, sweaty and ponderous mood throughout. Atmosphere so thick you can use it in a calligraphy pen ... on dark paper. Not a bad thing for movies of this ilk and this one in particular.

Several years back I had the opportunity to visit with, online, a gentleman I'm 99% certain was directly involved in the film (Internet hesitation). So, for those who've had some confusion about what the film was about, who the scarecrows were, how they became what they are and all that ...

SPOILERS AHEAD!

I haven't a clue.

END OF SPOILERS.

I did have that conversation and there is some back story but it doesn't solve or advance anything.

That wouldn't be the subject of the extras (okay a small feature). The extras would tell us who William Wesley is (Cuban born Jose Rolando Rodriguez - also responsible for "Route 666"), collect all the people possible who worked on the film, collect all remaining photos and film and do a "filming of" , even if it all had to be interviews.

A director/actor/actress commentary would be appreciated.

This is a genuine cult film, for a reason; it taps that "spot" that can give one the subterranean creeps.

There's very much the sense of dropping into the middle of a nightmare. It starts and it's over but there is no beginning and no end. Just a middle that doesn't give you a place to set your feet.

I've thought this, regarding this film, many times (some others as well) ... if one really stumbled into one of the horrors of campfire tales, literature or film; if would happen just like this. There wouldn't be a clean and understandable beginning and a tidy denouement nor all the rules (stake through a vampire's heart, take out a zombie's brain, beat a scarecrow a Sudoku). There would be a nightmarish chaos and, if you survived, it would akin to "What the hell was that?" which was pretty close to my reaction when the credits rolled on my first viewing of "Scarecrows". That was a long time back.

Not certain someone without an "original" viewing would be "skull whacked" the same way today.

Doesn't matter, the fan base is in place.

Horror gem.

Boo!
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Not terrible, but-- wait, yeah, nevermind-- it's terrible
seth_yeah14 July 2006
I just rented it on the strength of some online reviews, and because it did look & sound creepy. Misleadingly, it seems that some people give it more credit than it deserves, taking into account its small budget and placing it in some "genre" that allows for it to be bad, or something. That is a schooled take of the movie that is removed from the natural context of a regular viewer sitting down and wanting to see a good scary movie.

The legitimate gripes you'll hear about this one are the standard criticisms you'll hear of any bad film, coming from anyone-- the acting is bad, the characters are stupid, the script is awful, it doesn't make any sense, and if the scarecrows are so supernatural, then why do they use big knives to kill everyone? Kind of for keeping with the slasher-movie trend, I guess.

So much potential was wasted, in this movie. It's the kind of movie that you don't need a big budget to turn into a classic. These people are stranded in this creepy old house in the woods one night (for meaningless reasons), and these really scary-looking scarecrows are surrounding the place, for no reason. I like the fact that it never explains who put the scarecrows there, and why the scarecrows come to life, or who owns the place in the first place. It makes for good atmosphere. Really good premise. You're not even supposed to ask "why," which, for a horror film, is a good thing-- it means anything goes. However what could be a straight-forward and barebones horror story is weighed down by a tendency toward fast-paced action; wise-cracking criminals, guns and explosions, a crime subplot that drains the supernatural mood.

A group of criminals with no charisma or brains, who you remain typically indifferent to, are on the run and as they hide from the law, they find their selves in the backwoods, hunted down by these freaky scarecrows. These are not characters who you get to know, empathize with, or understand. They bicker unintelligently, swear a lot, shoot guns and recite corny lines. No one's really heroic, you don't know who to root for-- basically the scarecrows end up the most endearing characters, though it's not intended that way. It's just that- with each person the scarecrows kill, you know the movie is sooner to being finished. It's not really suspenseful, and other than the appearance of the scarecrows (which you kinda get used to), it's not really scary, unless you're young or watching it alone out in the country, late at night.

What really spoils it, seriously, very badly, is the terrible acting. You can't even overlook it. And the dialogue. Everyone is constantly talking, in their stupid voices, making stupid jokes all the time, saying stupid things. You can't get around it. If the movie had dropped at least half the dialogue, it could be viewable. And if it had lost, ideally, about 95% of the dialogue ('cause so much of the drama and conversations is so stupid and annoying and pointless) the film itself could be worth repeated watches with no other alterations. Unless you're into bad movies, and that's cool, too-- some people are.

The scarecrows are pretty frightening-looking. I live out in the country. If I saw a scarecrow like that, it would make me say yikes and run away. I think that, in this movie, the scarecrows have a dialogue going back and forth, sharing corny one-liners, but you can't tell if they're talking or if the main characters are the ones talking, because they all sound the same and talk the same way, and they're just always talking. Maybe this movie would be better if you watched it with the volume all the way down.

Rating: Worse than fair, but not bad enough to be bad.
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6/10
Has its moments but is ultimately bland...and dark!
fibreoptic28 August 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this round about 1989 at my sisters house and the one thing i can always remember about this movie was the fact that it was too dark. Yeah that's right, i'm moaning about the really poor lighting. I got the chance to view it again after all these years and my memory is totally correct. It's too dark even with the brightness turned up a notch. This movie is shot entirely at night but that's no excuse because other films have been but they've been OK. It's sometimes hard to see what is going on.

*SPOILERS*

I am a big fan of 'Dark Night Of The Scarecrow' which is an excellent movie so when i originally saw 'Scarecrows' i thought it would be kick ass. Unfortunately it wasn't. It has a crap story with crap actors and takes an eternity for it to get going which is pretty stupid for a movie which is on for only 79 minutes. When things do liven up there's not that much to see as there are only about 4 killings and one of them is off screen. The killings are over all too fast with little build up to most of them. The characters are pretty stupid too. When Jack is on the roof of that house and he see's through his night-vision a snarling scarecrow in the distance he panics for a few seconds then is OK and proceeds to go outside to search for the lost money. Er i wouldn't have stepped foot outside till day break! What a dumbass! Also, when the robbers know that something is severely wrong do they barricade themselves in the house? Nope, they leave the front door wide open. When Curry realises that bullets don't work against the scarecrows do they think of using fire against them? Nope, they obviously go with the simple solution of using exploding shells, duh! If you can't tell, i'm being sarcastic.

But the scene with the night-vision that i just mentioned is extremely cool and scary. That scarecrow really looked nasty and evil. The few gore effects were good as well. The idea of the scarecrows gutting a human and stuffing their insides full of straw is pretty twisted. The trouble is...why? We learn next to nothing about who the scarecrows are (we're supposed to assume they are the three guys in the picture, i think) and why they are doing what they are doing. One of the robbers comes up with an half arsed assumption which we the viewer are supposed to accept as gospel. The background story is sketchy at best. And why did that guy Bert decide to turn on his comrades at the beginning? He didn't seem to have too much of a plan and the guy is a stupid wimp so why did he fancy his chances on the run?

All in all a scaryish film which relies more on its twisted nature than its scare factor. That scarecrow in the night-vision shot was excellent though and the zombie/scarecrow Jack at the end wasn't too bad either. Yeah, watch this even if the character who is going to survive this is painfully obvious straight from the beginning. An averagely bland horror movie with a couple of cool scenes. Way too dark though. 6/10
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1/10
Scarecrows Full of Empty Straw
Gorbo11 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
If you enjoy movies with repetitive shots of scarecrows, and the standard knife entering torso death scene, than this move is for you.

This movie contains absolutely zero character development, and while all of the characters die the same, you can't really find much of a reason to stay hooked to this move. Even the make-up effects were non-existent, I didn't expect too much, but be cautious while reading the other reviews, this movie isn't scary, funny, or even close to being so bad its good.

A heist nets 3.5 million dollars, but when one of the crew absconds with the money, the others give chase. No need, because the traitor reappears of his own accord, dead, reanimated and eviscerated. He doesn't die again easily however, so his comrades shoot him repeatedly and lop off his head. Full of wonderment over this, the crew cuts him open (a curious lot they are) and finds him stuffed full of cash. Ode to joy. So, there's the money! How did get there? No worries. His friends pull bloody cash out of every orifice, since he has more than any person should be rightfully entitled. Yep, this one's a real knee slapper. A Horrible flick. Bad dialogue. Worse acting. Was going to bring to a friends house for Halloween. I'm glad I previewed it first. Too bad too, because the premise is interesting and the scarecrows are cool looking.

However, you mostly see the scarecrows when they're hanging on their posts. Not much happens for a good 80 minutes. Clearly this was a straight to video release. I have seen tons of horror flicks from the 80's during the 80's and I don't remember ever seeing this one advertised. Heed the warning of the one star reviews unless you have really low standards for your horror flicks.

If SCARECROWS was cut down to the opening 3-minute credit sequence with the shot of the scarecrow and the foreboding piano score, this would be a really creepy film. Unfortunately, there's another 80 minutes to wade through after that and it feels more like 180. Take into account that the end credits are almost 10 minutes long and that about 20 minutes is devoted to close-ups of scarecrows hanging on crosses, a picture on a wall or just random shots of things,and what you're left with is about 50 minutes of awful dialogue, zero character development, bad acting, limp directing and unintelligible editing.

You don't even get to see the robbery at the beginning. You hear about it on a radio broadcast. In fact, most of the dialogue in this film isn't even said on screen. You hear it over a radio or what people are thinking or someone is talking just off screen. Since all the males sound alike you don't even know who's talking half the time...not that you care about these paper-thin but fully annoying characters.

Nothing really makes sense either. There's very little spatial coherence when the characters are outside. The explanation behind the scarecrows is hinted at but never fully explained. That's okay. Sometimes explanations in horror films are worse than just hinting. However, character motivations and actions are another thing. One minute someone says, "Screw the money!" but the next they're outside scarfing it up off the ground only to get gutted. One guy sees a team member get killed by a scarecrow and 5 minutes later he's screaming that the guy's coming back to the farmhouse for his gun. What? There's also a phone call that's supposed to be scary, but it was just dumb.

The only positive thing I can say about SCARECROWS is that the Scarecrow effects were good but that doesn't make SCARECROWS a good film. I wanted so badly to like this movie.

It's one of those films that I've read about in various movie review guides and assorted cinematic horror articles over the years and I put it on a personal list of films to see that "are not currently on DVD." Unfortunately, for all the talk, it had many more similarities than differences to the things we've grown to dislike bout the '80's horror film.

The scarecrows' (and their victims') actions and motives seem to change as needed to fit the story's progression. The characters' question fairly ordinary things yet completely accept some very bizarre supernatural events. Admittedly spooky and atmospheric setting (which is lessened by repeating footage of the scarecrows and the nocturnal surroundings shot in flood lights) but that alone can't carry the film. If you saw this years ago and have fond, scared memories, keep it that way and do not rent.

BOTTOM LINE: Make like a crow and fly as far away from these scarecrows as possible!
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4/10
Creepy but script logic, acting could be better
zomboscloset22 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Scarecrows is one of those films that, with a little more acting, a little more direction, and a lot more story logic, would have been quite compelling as a horror entry. As it stands, it is still a creepy film that has solid make-up and gore effects, and a premise that sustains the mood of terror in spite of itself. And hey, there are no teenagers getting killed one by one--just dumb adults, so that is a refreshing change of pace. And the plot line is amazingly similar to Dead Birds, with a precipitating robbery, an abandoned spooky house in the middle of nowhere, and demonic monsters. But just like Dead Birds, the adults are still witless, they run around cluelessly before getting slaughtered one by one, and they ignore the obvious danger.

In Scarecrows, though, we never really find out the supernatural why, and that sustains the atmosphere of creepiness. And like clowns, scarecrows can be very creepy; unless they look like Ray Bolger, of course. Escaping in a hijacked plane with the pilot and his daughter, after a robbery netting millions, a para-military bunch is double-crossed by one of their own; a very nervous guy named Burt. He jumps out of the plane with the big, and heavy, box that holds the money with apparently no plans as to how to move it around once he is on the ground. Being the dumbest of the bunch, he is murdered first. But not before he happens upon the Fowler residence, nestled snuggly amid lots of really creepy-looking scarecrows, and surrounded with a wooden fence encircled with barbed-wire and lots of warnings to stay away. And the weird weathervane on the roof, with the pitchfork and pterodactyl, should have been a warning sign, too. The inside of the house is also quite foreboding (to us in the audience, anyway).

Annoyingly, we must listen to Burt's thoughts in voice-over, as he walks around and mysteriously comes across the key to the decrepit truck in the yard. The way the key pops up would be enough to have my pants--with me in them--flying out the door. Perhaps it's just me, but I really enjoy watching people's lips move on screen, even when they are just thinking out loud. It helps to intensify the action, and gives the actor more to do than just look like what the voice-over is saying. Burt hoists the box onto the truck and makes his getaway. Sure why not? decrepit trucks always have lots of gas in them, especially with today's prices, and the battery? no problem. Now, I did mention that Burt was the dumbest of the bunch, and here is why (in addition to the above, of course). Wearing night-vision goggles to walk through the foliage and find the house, he takes them off to drive the truck away, and instead, turns on the headlights to see where he is going. Of course, the crooks still in the plane spot the headlights of his truck, and know where he is headed. Brilliant. He deserves to die. Definitely. I am not sure why he needed night vision goggles in the first place, as every scene is brightly lit, from the interior of the plane, to the night-time outside scenery, and the house. The cinematographer was either a. myopic, b. just out of school, or c. dealing with really cheap filmstock.

Burt meets his demise when the truck dies in the middle of nowhere. Go figure. One very nice touch, and there are, I must admit, a few in the film, is the fact that when he opens the truck's lid, there is no engine. Creepy, to be sure (and insert pants comment again here). The story logic fails when dead, now-stuffed-like-a-flounder-with-money-and-straw-Burt returns to the house. The rest of the bunch are there, rough him up, then realize that he is indeed dead, and was gutted and stuffed like a flounder with money and straw. Dead Burt does manage to put up quite a fight, though, and grabs one fellow by the mouth, pushing him through a window, causing him to bite off more than he could chew in a gorylicious scene. At this point, you would think they'd would be racing out of the house and back to the plane--but noooo, they decide to stay and look for the rest of the money. In fact, the whole Burt is dead episode is treated rather matter-of-factly, although one bright bulb in the bunch does argue, "Burt was walking around dead, for chrissakes!"

The stolen money suddenly appears on the grounds outside the house, and the crooks blithely go for the bait. Soon, another one of them, Jack, is dispatched, and again the scene is well done and horrific, involving a dull handsaw and no anethesia. Now there are three scarecrows going about wreaking mayhem, and one of them needs a hand, literally.

When one of the crooks sees the scarecrows and Jack getting scarecrow-ized, he starts screaming, running away like hell, and shooting off his gun in typical para-military fashion. So much for all that training under pressure crap. He meets up with the others and stops in his tracks to explain why he is screaming, running away like hell, and shooting off his gun, even though the scarecrows appear to be chasing him. Again, that script logic thing... Dead and gutted, Jack returns to the house, and goes after the screamer with the usual results. If you listen to Jack's demonic growl, by the way, you may notice, depending on your age, that it is the same monster-growling sound heard often in the Lost In Space TV episodes.

The last two survivors race away from the house and back to the plane, barely escaping. But do they? You will have to see the film to find out.
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Don't be fooled by the "buzz."
creativeguy012316 August 2003
OK, look. In my opinion, there are five catagories of horror films.

GRADE A - These are films like "The Exorcist," "Silence of the Lambs," "The Shining," "Rosemary's Baby," etc. They are usually bigger budget horror films that have managed to escape the giant cookie cutter of Hollywood due to such visionaries as Stanley Kubrick and Roman Polanski.

GRADE B - These are lower budget films like "Halloween," and "Night of the Living Dead." The good ones work because they are directed by such visionaries as John Carpenter and George Romero.

GRADE C - These can be either big budget or low budget. Most of them suck big time, but once in a while a "guilty pleasure" comes along like The Howling," "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," or "The Evil Dead 2." In other words, no one is saying they're great films, but there is enough originality and/or inspired lunacy to make it worthwhile.

GRADE D - Trash filmmaking. Films like "Leprechaun," "Witchboard 5," "Puppet Master," etc etc. These are just plain bad films, but they defy criticism because there is an audience out there who just like to watch people die.

GRADE Z - These are usually straight to video films with the word "zombie" or "blood" in the title." I don't typically watch Grade D or Z movies, but apparently many people do.

"Scarecrows" is a Grade Z movie disguised as a Grade D movie. It's got high enough production values to manage a D rating, but the story, characters, pacing, direction, and special effects are strictly Grade Z.

I saw several good reviews of this movie on IMDB and hoped that maybe I'd discovered a rare gem. I'm always optimistic about finding a new discovery like the original "Ring" from Japan, or the underrated "Dogs of War" from England.

Believe me, folks. "Scarecrows" ain't no gem.

I personally found the film to be unwatchable. About half way through, I stared to fast forward through parts. It was THAT awful...and worse, BORING.

I've seen better character motivation and acting on UPN sitcoms and the story is thinner than Bruce Willis' hair. Actually, there IS no story. It's just a bunch of alleged paramilitary types running around...talking a lot (with amateurish dialogue)...and getting killed by stuntmen dressed like high-school-production scarecrows.

These filmmakers don't understand any of the rules of horror. There is no BUILD of suspense. There are no characters to invest in. There is nothing to interest you except the anticipation of the credits rolling at the end.

If you like amateurish movies, with shoddy production values, uninspired direction, and zero plot, then by all means watch this film.

But for those of you who truly appreciate a good horror film, go rent something you've already seen twice before. Actually go watch some paint dry or grass grow. I guarantee it will be more interesting than this stinker.
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7/10
"I Think This Place Is Possessed By Demonic Demons!"...
azathothpwiggins28 October 2018
After a brazen robbery at Camp Pendleton, a gang of crooks force a pilot and his daughter to fly them to Mexico. Unfortunately for the bad guys, one of their number takes the money and parachutes out of the plane! Not wanting to let him get away w/ the loot, the rest of the team soon follow him. Landing near an old farm w/ a cemetery, the hunt is on. Unbeknownst to these miscreants, something about this particular farm just isn't right. There's a small army of real "stuffed shirts" in the cornfield who have been waiting for a few visitors to drop in, so they can "stalk" them. Within a short time, the criminal crew is up against a seemingly unstoppable force of eeevil. A gore-drenched attrition problem soon follows. Will anyone escape, or will they all become "husks" of their former selves? SCARECROWS is one of the better late-80's, cheeeze-tastic horror films, that would have been the perfect addition to any Saturday night, video-rental, creep fiesta! Owing much to a multitude of zombie epics, the story is simple, but eerily effective. The title entities are suitably gruesome. The woo-woo music fits the grisly action, and overall, the low-budget is well-spent... EXTRA CREDIT FOR: Many horrifically hilarious lines of dialogue!... EXTRA-EXTRA CREDIT FOR: The grimmest of finales!...
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7/10
They sure serve their purpose! Scary!!
Coventry14 June 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Hello, what do we have here? Could this be a genuinely CREEPY 80's horror flick that somehow became forgotten over the years due to the genre's offer-overload? It sure looks like it, since "Scarecrows" is a truly atmospheric and well-made film with the exact right proportions of suspense and bloody make-up effects. Yet you'll never see it listed among anyone's decade-favorites and that's a real shame. "Scarecrows" can be categorized as typically low-budget 80's film-making, but it most certainly outshines the majority of movies in that bunch thanks to the stylish directing by William Wesley (who?), the original setting and the splendidly written script. An assembly of well-organized robbers manages to escape on a hijacked plane with a loot of over 3 million dollar and two hostages. One of them – Bert – plans to double-cross the others and dives off the plane with the money and lands in an open field near a deserted farmhouse. The cornfield is dotted with mysterious and uncanny-looking scarecrows that come to live and start terrorizing Bert – as well as his companions that come after him – in the night. It may sound unbelievable but these scarecrows look genuinely creepy and sinister! Unlike I feared, they're NOT grotesque or absurd looking monsters, but menacing entities that briefly appear in flashes or off-screen. The screenplay also never gives a definite explanation of what they really are, which only increases the morbidity. Apparently the whole cornfield is a cursed dimension and every trespasser is doomed to turn into a scarecrow, yet this theory is never confirmed. Another great story-aspect is the development of the characters. Once in the cornfield, robbers and hostages are somewhat forced to work together in order to survive. The switch from hostility to dependence is powerfully & plausibly illustrated in the script and stressed by the surefooted director William Wesley. The film also benefices from very adequate acting performances, an eerie soundtrack and professional camera-work. Actually, the only slight demerit of this cool movie is the running time! Too short? A bit overlong, actually, although barely 80 minutes... This story would have been even MORE effective if it were part of a typical horror-anthology movie (like "Creepshow" or "From a Whisper to a Scream") with a playtime of approximately half an hour. The chases through the corn are occasionally overwrought. Nevertheless, "Scarecrows" is a very good movie and recommended highly to any horror fan who's tired of re-watching the same old mainstream classics.
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4/10
too dark and too much blah blah
trashgang6 June 2010
I don't know what to think of this flick. Sometimes it's entertaining and sometimes it is really boring. Let me say that the beginning of the movie wasn't really something that would keep you hooked on your television screen. I won't tell much but when a guy jumps out of an airplane with an amount of money, well, the others have to track him down. But it's all done in an uninteresting way. A lot of stupid talking on walkie talkies about, hey man, we are going to find you but they keep on saying it. Once the scarecrows comes alive we get a bit of gory effects. Decapitation and other atrocious things happen but it is all a bit too late. For me it was all a bit too much talking in stead of real horror. I must agree, the effects used were good but couldn't save the movie. And one big mistake was that it all was shot at night. The whole movie. The movie that many likes, sorry, for me it wasn't what I suspected.
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9/10
Actually some really creepy stuff!!!
jtindahouse4 January 2007
Scarecrows starts out with a close-up shot of a scary looking scarecrow motionless on his cross. And as soon as I saw this I rolled my eyes thinking i was in for another cliché filled, run of the mill horror film. I was pleasantly surprised however to find myself quite wrong. Some of the images of the scarecrows portrayed in the film are just down right scary. The acting wasn't too bad from all concerned either which all makes the movie easier on the eye. Another good point to the movie is its length which must've been all of about 75-80 minutes which is a good amount of time to cram all the action into and not leave room for any boring and unnecessary sequences. Something that I just couldn't over look though was the awful inconsistency with the lighting. One scene it's pitch black and the next it's the middle of a lovely sunny day perfect to land a plane in.

But goofs aside, if you're a horror buff, or even if you just like a bit of a scare every once in a while, let this one be the one to give it to you.
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7/10
A tad overrated, but still a good movie
kannibalcorpsegrinder25 September 2017
After a daring escape from a military base, a group of robbers comes upon a small, abandoned house in a cornfield, and after trying to make an escape find the scarecrows in the field are alive and hunting them down one by one forcing them to deal with the creatures.

This might be a little bit undeserving of its status as a cult classic, but it's still genuinely creepy. One of the best things about this film is that it conjures up an effective and genuinely creepy atmosphere here with a lot to really like about it. This mainly comes from the mystery surrounding the scarecrows which is absolutely creepy, as nothing is really given about where they come from, who put them there and what they are, making this a rather intriguing offering with this fine set-up at the heart of the film creating a rather imposing source of fear. Likewise, they look just right and the aura created from them is remarkable with their hand-made feel, blank expressions and burlap faces creating an air of menace to go along with all the mystery bits held over from the beginning so a lot of its success is based on the scarecrows. So much is derived from them and their look that they literally carry the film in the beginning where the first romp through the stalks is a very long, drawn-out sequence built around the faces and suspense from the scarecrows. It's other action scenes, from the encounters out in the cornfields where the creatures prove impervious to bullets or the scarecrows coming after them in their hideout make for a lot of rather fun scenes utilizing their appearance even further. The frantic finale, where the last remaining members must fight their way through the growing number of creatures in order to get away, gives this a nicely thrilling finish putting all the focus where it should be during that sequence. The other big plus is the strong kills, which are brutal and feature a good dose of blood when they occur, which all manage to hold this one up over its minor flaws. There are several things in here that don't really sit all that well. The most aggravating is that the majority of conversations were held over headsets, and often times made it seem like no one on-screen was actually speaking. It's incredibly irritating and makes it completely disjointed when you hear the majority of the conversations over headsets with the garbled functions and lack of actual conversations being carried out on- screen. This makes it worse as it's during the best part of the film as this happens during the search for the missing money and manages to really highlight the film's weak budget with its simplistic storyline really coming out in full force. There's also the big factor here in that the film really makes it obvious that there's an uncut version around that is far gorier than what is given, as what's on display is kinda choppy at times and looks like it was edited. Outside of these small nit-picks, this wasn't all that bad.

Rated R: Extreme Graphic Language and Graphic Violence.
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Great Monsters and Plenty of Gore
Michael_Elliott20 October 2012
Scarecrows (1988)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Fairly entertaining horror film has a group of robbers forcing a father and his daughter to fly them to Mexico but along the way the gang leader jumps out of the plane with the money. Soon his "co-workers" go after him and they all find themselves in a strange field with countless scarecrows that come to life. SCARECROWS isn't exactly going to win any major awards but I think horror fans who enjoy some gore should find it of interest. In its uncut form the picture actually offers up some very memorable death scenes ranging from decapitations to bodies being sliced in half and there are some even more memorable ones where the gore factor is pretty over-the-top. It's certainly easy to see why two versions of this was released as the uncut one features enough red stuff where there was no way the studio could have gotten it past the MPAA. These effects certainly help the film move along as do the great looking villains. The scarecrows are pretty much what you'd expect them to look like but I really loved them. I thought each of them in their own way looked terrific and really gave the film some much needed atmosphere. The performances were also above average for this type of picture and there's no question that director William Wesley managed to build up some good atmosphere. The biggest problem is that between the fifty and sixty minute marks there's really nothing going on and the film grows a little boring before finally picking up in the final act. The various shots of the airplane flying was also annoying and especially when they just used the same shot over and over again. Still, with the memorable death scenes and great looking monsters, SCARECROWS offers up enough to make it worth watching.
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10/10
"If I were a crow, I'd be somewhere else"
Zbigniew_Krycsiwiki30 September 2003
Warning: Spoilers
My review is based on the unedited 84-minutes long VHS video, released by Forum in 1988.

The first scene is a medium shot of the mangiest scarecrow imaginable, and the camera slowly zooms in on its face, in a setup vaguely similar to the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre. We hear a radio announcer's voice in background telling us of a paramilitary group's robbery earlier that evening. We wait and wait for the scarecrow to move or to do something, as a cheap shock. But by having the scarecrow remain completely still, and not resorting to an obvious cheap scare, the tension is already slowly building, even in the first 60 seconds.

This group of AWOL paratroopers have stolen millions of dollars from a federal money exchange, taken a pilot and his teenage daughter hostage, and are now forcing them to fly them south in a stolen cargo plane. One of their number tries to take the money for himself, leaves the rest with a live grenade, and bails out of the plane, taking their stolen millions with him. They manage to get the grenade out before it goes off, and circle the plane around to locate where he probably landed. One robber thinks he saw a house nearby where he jumped.....

They land the plane in a deserted wilderness of cornfields, with an abandoned home in the middle of it, and three of the creepiest scarecrows on the planet. As this group hunts for the double crossing partner and the money, the windmill slowly begins turning, the generator starts itself, a truck with no engine somehow drives itself, and someone starts hunting the paratrooper antiheroes in the darkness. Are our antiheroes already dead and in hell, this being their punishment? Or is this their death sentence for the robbery they committed?

Almost unbearably tense, this was basically a one-man show behind the scenes: William Wesley wrote the story and screenplay, directed, produced, and edited this, one of the creepiest movies you're ever going to find, with highly effective music score the icing on the cake.

In the final seconds of the film, everything is summarized quite effectively by radio news broadcaster's voice, the windmill stops turning, the generator switches itself off, and the truck is back in its place, all before dawn, giving the film a very cyclical, satisfying conclusion.

An eerie epilogue at the end of the movie, the text reads: "In memory of my brother and sister: Mark Steven Vernon and Marcy Mimi Vernon" I don't know why but that has always stood out in my mind from this movie for some reason. Real death intruding in the land of make believe.
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