Scarecrows (1988) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: William Wesley
Starring: Ted Vernon, Michael David Simms, Richard Vidan
Rated: UR (Case however says R)/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Scream Factory
After a band of ex-military criminals pulls off a multi-million dollar heist, they hop aboard a plane headed for Mexico. But when one of their own betrays them, they suddenly find themselves on the ground and on the run through a field of scarecrows near an abandoned farmhouse. And as night sets in, the real nightmare begins. The men discover that there’s a reason the farmhouse is empty… and now those who thought they were the hunters are being hunted by an unimaginable and malevolent force!
Scarecrows was a movie that I watched and reviewed many moons ago on this site and I, at the time, didn’t seem to be blown away by it. Still, over the years I kept remembering it from time to time and that got me thinking that perhaps I liked it better than I first assumed I did (And we all know what happens when you assume). So I was happy to hear that Scream Factory was releasing this on Blu-ray. I figure this was as good a time as any to revisit the movie and after seeing it again, I still don’t love it, but I do appreciate it more. Now if there is one nice thing that I think still stands out with this movie, it’s the gore. When you get the gore it’s very good and that fact kind of caught me by surprise a bit the first time I saw this movie. Limbs are cut off, heads are cut off, blood runs wild, people are stuffed with straw and money, but I could see where someone might want a bit more blood in spots or maybe a bit more character development with the characters (the movie’s biggest issue). We have bad guys jacking some loot, one turns on the rest leading them into this mess, and we basically get left with a good-looking girl that doesn’t do much else besides just look good and run around. The bad guys have some among them that try to save face, but there isn’t anyone to really get behind perhaps the scarecrows and they are, well, they are scarecrows.
But the movie does pack an awfully spooky atmosphere. Our cast of doomed ex-military rouges end up on a spooky farm all abandoned and dark. This sets the table for the mood and the movie packs that, even if one might say it packs little else. I happen to think it also packs good gore, so adding both for me is probably why I always kept this one in mind and always remembered it, even if the movie didn’t blow me away from other aspects of it. If you can remember the horror we got in the year 1988, then this is certainly a 1988 horror film. It fits that mold perfectly and everyone knows that while 1988 (and even 1989) could be a mixed bag in horror, at least the movie packs the good stuff from that era, like gore and a creepy look and feel. It might seem odd to say, but we really have a movie without a clear-cut lead character. We know who is good and who is bad (or bad-ish), but we probably spend as much or more time with the people we aren’t really supposed to root for, or so it seems at least. To sum it up, Scarecrows is still fun. It is a twisted, bloody, but flawed film that gives us a twisted sense of humor and effects. I think that makes it a movie you all should see, even if you don’t love it overall.
– New Audio Commentary With Co-screenwriter Richard Jefferies, Director Of Photography Peter Deming And Composer Terry Plumeri
– Audio Commentary With Director William Wesley And Producer Cami Winikoff
– The Last Straw – An Interview With Special Make-Up Effects Creator Norman Cabrera
– Cornfield Commando – An Interview With Actor Ted Vernon
– Original Storyboards
– Still Gallery
– Theatrical Trailer
Quality of Transfer: 89%