Saturday, October 8, 2011

Dark Night of the Scarecrow: a near-forgotten classic

The horror movies we see when we're young tend to stick with us longer than the ones we see when we're older. They influence our impressions of everything we see afterward.

I saw "Dark Night of the Scarecrow" in either 1990 or 1991 during TBS's Halloween programming. (We had the crappiest "remote" control in the world. First of all, it wasn't even remote. it was wired inot the cable box. It must have been from the earliest days of cable.) The tale of a mentally disabled farmhand accused of injuring a young girl (shades of "Frankenstein") stuck with me. Seeing real human eyes behind the mask of a scarecrow was frightening.

At the time, I lived in a dairy community. While not on a farm myself, there were plenty of grain silos around. The possibility of getting stuck in one and smothered by grain was real.

The sad thing is that was the only time I saw "Dark Night of the Scarecrow." Since then, I've learned that it was a CBS made-for-television movie originally broadcast on Oct. 24, 1981 (a week before my second birthday). The Frank De Felitta-directed film is now available on DVD and Blu-ray, so if you wanted to send me a copy for my 32nd birthday, that'd be great.

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