Dark Night of the Scarecrow

Dark Night of the Scarecrow

5.0 3
Director: Frank de Felitta

Cast: Frank de Felitta, Jocelyn Brando, Larry Drake, Charles Durning

     
 

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Misguided townsfolk, blinded by bias and fear, mistakenly kill a mentally retarded man after someone accuses him of raping the young girl he had befriended. Shortly thereafter the entire town is beset by a supernatural terror. The story originally aired on television.See more details below

Overview

Misguided townsfolk, blinded by bias and fear, mistakenly kill a mentally retarded man after someone accuses him of raping the young girl he had befriended. Shortly thereafter the entire town is beset by a supernatural terror. The story originally aired on television.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This spooky little gem is one of the best made-for-television horror films ever made. J.D. Feigelson's script is built on a familiar (and satisfying) supernatural vengeance motif but it finds a number of clever wrinkles to keep it engaging: a surprise revelation about one of the characters that occurs two-thirds of the way in is particularly effective. Along the way, this carefully crafted tale reveals it has more than scares on its mind as it uses this story to communicate a message about how ignorant fear and repressed desires can turn people into something worse than a monster. Frank DeFelitta's direction is wonderfully atmospheric, mixing traditional horror film stylization with a believably seedy evocation of the darker aspects of small-town life. He also crafts the film's scary setpieces with equal parts precision and flair. These scenes never linger on gruesome sights: instead, DeFelitta uses the characters' reactions to unseen threats to effectively build tension and trick the audience into thinking they are seeing more than they actually are. Best of all, the film has wonderful performances: Larry Drake is emotionally affecting as the gentle giant whose murder sparks the plot and Robert Lyons and Claude Earl Jones as two of the conspirators, both of whom become slowly consumed by fear as the phantom avenger starts bumping off the killers. However, the film belongs to Charles Durning and his intensely creepy turn as the manipulative fear-monger behind the innocent man's murder: his character starts out unlikeable enough but Durning digs deep to reveal extra layers of the character's manipulative nature and secret insanity as the film goes along. By the end, his character's monstrous, amoral acts are as terrifying as the unseen menace enacting its revenge. To sum up, Dark Night Of The Scarecrow is an effective and surprisingly thoughtful creepfest that stands alongside The Night Stalker and Salem's Lot as television's finest horror films.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/28/2010
UPC:
0089859820021
Original Release:
1981
Rating:
NR
Source:
Vci Video
Region Code:
0
Time:
1:30:00

Special Features

Director & Writer Commentary; CBS Network World Premiere Promo

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jocelyn Brando Mrs. Ritter
Larry Drake Charles Bubba Ritter
Charles Durning Otis P. Hazelrigg
Claude Earl Jones Philby
Robert F. Lyons Skeeter
Lane Smith Harless Hocker
Tom Taylor DA Sam Willock
Richard McKenzie Actor
Ivy Jones Mrs. Williams
Jim Tartan Mr. Williams
Ed Call Defense Attorney
Alice Nunn Mrs. Bunch
John Steadman Mr. Loomis
Dave Adams Deputy
Ivy Bethune Mrs. Hocker
Dennis Robertson Ray
Jetta Scelza Mrs. Whimberly
Modi Frank Waitress
Tonya Crowe Marylee Williams

Technical Credits
Frank de Felitta Director
Julius D. Feigelson Screenwriter
J.D. Fiegelson Screenwriter
Bobbi Frank Producer
Robert J. Koster Production Manager
Vincent A. Martinelli Cinematographer
Glenn Paxton Score Composer
Joe Wizan Executive Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Dark Night of the Scarecrow
1. Best Friends [4:15]
2. Bubba Didn't Do It [5:53]
3. The Chase [4:09]
5. There's Other Justice [4:40]
4. Vigilante Execution [7:53]
6. Friiied Chicken! [4:12]
7. Bubba's Not Gone [4:42]
8. A Scarecrow Appears [4:22]
9. Somebody Knows [5:27]
10. The Chipper [4:29]
11. Eye For An Eye [6:41]
12. I Know What You Did [4:57]
13. I Seen It! [3:20]
14. Explosion [6:38]
15. Deadly Silo [6:25]
16. The Grave [9:24]
17. Scarecrow Justice [9:16]

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