Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!

Franchise Fracas: Scarecrow

Amongst my collection of awful, cheap, and incredibly wonderful horror movies stands a trilogy of Scarecrow. These films don’t stand up to Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger but if your love for horror films dives deep into your soul, then you can appreciate this. None of these films have any budget but don’t let that scare you away. They all provide some sense of entertainment, and even a bit of creativity. Here’s what you need to know about the Scarecrow trilogy:

"You've never been STALKED like this..."

“You’ve never been STALKED like this…”

Scarecrow (’02) – Jumping into this series I was open to anything. I never heard of this series but had some faith so I decided to jump in. To add to my interest, it’s Eva Mendes first film. Honestly, it’s a pretty decent film. The story is good and actually fills me with sympathy for the central character. His life is shitty and I really don’t think he should have ever felt remorse for the future pain he will cause. Some kids from school harass him and via some magical influence, he becomes the scarecrow to wreak havoc on the evildoers. I liked that the entire film was around him, rather than the victims. It’s a nice change because sometimes I really don’t care for the victims, only the monster. The next films center around the victims (and not enough of them were eliminated in the end!). The central character took many turns that really kept me interested.  3/5 on my scale. 3.4/10 on imdb

I’m a bit disappointed that we don’t have a greater influx of monster-based horror movies. Scarecrows gets pushed into the corners of the horror industry often. They should stand beside werewolves, vampires, and ghosts. Could be that all it takes to kill them is a lit cigarette or some hay falling out. I mean, where do they get their strength? That could be a serious downfall but I know there must be director with a million bucks that can make a killer scarecrow flick.

"He cuts to the chase!"

“He cuts to the chase!”

Scarecrow Slayer (’04) – It took two viewings of this film to get through it. It is boring; it is bad, and very hard to sit through. It’s not the worst film out there but it put me into a terrible slumber. The scarecrow was oddly athletic and pulling back handsprings like a gymnast. With a composition solely of cloth, hay, and magic, his flexibility is outstanding!  It certainly doesn’t add anything and just makes it weird. I’m not sure what the plot is but it has something to do with a cornfield and really ugly people. There was also some really bad CGI which broke my attention span and interest. Filled with a boring script and not enough scarecrow, I can’t recommend this film to anyone. There are too many things against it. Can’t forget to mention that Tony Todd also stars (Candyman).1/5 on my scale. 2.2/10 on imdb

"Girls, guys, gore!"

“Girls, guys, gore!”

Scarecrow Gone Wild (’04) – This one is on par with the first film. It’s an improvement from the previous and kept me interested. There’s a lot of school hazing and drama which really kept my attention. Ken Shamrock, an ex-WWE star and professional MMA fighter, also stars and has a few good lines. Also, known as “The Worlds Most Dangerous Man”. I totally wanted to see him bust out the ankle lock but was left unfulfilled. The third film in the series also has some bikinis, a topless shot, and ripped men. It adds nothing because this series is filled with ugly people. 2/5 on my scale, 3.4/10 on imdb

In a more general and personal note, I take particular attention to the lighting schemes of movies. Are they bright enough? Is the entire film in darkness, do I have to modify my TV settings because the film is so dark? I’m a sucker for the a the common lighting scheme of a bright white light shining from beneath the background horizon on a dark night. It’s usually seen during nighttime chase scenes through woods. Anyways, Scarecrow pulled off quite a few of these instances which is always a plus. Proper lighting enhances the message the film is portraying. It can’t save a filthy movie but it can add a spark.

The few instances of a scarecrow in movies are few: Wizard of Oz, Nolan’s Batman trilogy, and some TV episodes. I am waiting for the next Iowa Corn Slaughter, or Hay-Man. We have a few big names paired with this trilogy but the series, ultimately, deserves no spotlight. It’s no wonder the films are a difficult find because who would want to watch them except a gorehound who gets a thrill out of the worst horror films?


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