One of the all-time creepiest TV movies of my childhood is about to make it on to DVD (and Blu-Ray) for the first time ever. I know there must be others out there like me who remember this one: Dark Night of the Scarecrow.
Larry "Dr. Giggles" Drake goes full retard as Bubba, a mentally handicapped fellow falsely accused of raping a little girl. When the town goons--led by the always-dependable Charles Durning--get together to put a hurt on him, he disguises himself as a scarecrow. But the thugs aren't fooled, and they gun him down in cold blood. Needlessly to say, ol' Bubba (still in his scarecrow getup) then exacts a bloody vengeance from beyond the grave.
It aired on CBS in October 1981, just in time for Halloween, and even though I was only six, I remember it well. It was pretty intense stuff for early '80s television, and it scared me right out of my elastic disco belt (despite the magnetic buckle). Then again, in those days anything more intense than Mork & Mindy or The Greatest American Hero would've freaked me out. Still, some of the images from that movie remain in my head to this day.
The movie itself was directed by Frank De Felitta, author of the horror novel The Entity, which was adapted into a film two years after Scarecrow was made.
Dark Night of the Scarecrow hits DVD and Blu-Ray next year through Image Entertainment.
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In the interest of self-promotion, I also wanted to point out, for those who haven't already checked them out, that I've started up two other blogs. The first is Following the Equator, which is the only blog on the internet covering Mark Twain-related news and info on a regular basis. Then there's Standard of the Day, where I spotlight a different selection from the Great American Songbook each and every day (Frankensteinia's Pierre Fournier is already a regular reader). Not sure if there's much crossover between horror fans and fans of either Twain or pop standards, but hey, I'm interested in all three, and I can't be the only one. Can I?