Friday, October 26, 2007

SCARECROWS



SCARECROWS (1988, directed by William Wesley) revolves around a group of thieves who have just robbed a 3 million dollar military payroll (in cash!!!) from Camp Pendelton and are on their way to a tropical island to live it up. Oh yeah, they have "kidnapped" a pilot, his bratty daughter Kellie and Dax, their cute pit bull terrier.

Things start to go wrong when one of the damn thieves decides to take the money and run - parachuting from the plane, and landing in a cornfield (where no corn plants actually grow)...but there are scarecrows aplenty...and a spooky old farmhouse!

The remaining robbers land the plane and head for the farmhouse. With the aid of night vision goggles and Janet Jackson-inspired headsets, our little A-Team sets out to find their AWOL partner in crime.

They come across the abandoned farmhouse - once owned by the Fowlers - three redneck hillbillies (we know this cause we keep seeing their crooked black & white family portrait on the farmhouse wall and their old truck has a Confederate flag - they must be Ted Nugent fans). A sign outside reads "No Trespassing" so of course it's an invitation for our crew to enter. Yikes, Scoob!

The team leader is a cleft-chinned matinee-idol named Corbin. He's the least interesting character in the whole movie. His cohorts includes a butch blonde Bonnie Tyler lookalike named Roxanne, who plays an unwilling babysitter for Kellie, the pilot's increasingly annoying teen-age daughter. Roxanne begins to warm up to Kellie by offering her some rouge (or "blush"), though the teen remains icy to her cosmetic offers and seductive gazes. Another likeable team member (Jack?) wears a red bandana around his neck, we assume it's because he's into fisting. Just a guess. There's also a huggable bald/daddy bear type fellow named Curry who seems to have an endless supply of cigars, cause he's smoking one is every scene! He also takes a liking to young miss Kellie, who is wearing virginal white and remains "clean" for most of the movie, while everyone else is covered in blood, sweat, dirt and rouge.

Kellie's dad is the first to go missing. So, then, one by one, the three main Scarecrows in the "cornfield" come alive and kill off the trespassers, dooming their victims to live on as scarecrow/zombies as well! Hmmm...three Scarecrows...three Fowlers in the dingy family photo. Do I really need to spell it out?

After almost all the thieves are systematically slaughtered in slasher-movie repitition, Kellie, Curry and Dax escape the farmhouse and make their way back to the plane (Kellie can fly it cause daddy showed her how), not knowing that daddy has now become a scarecrow!!! Of course, I'm not gonna tell you how it ends, you'll just ask "Huh?"

Well, aside from the occasional dorky Rambo references (it was 1988 after all) and some awkward lesbian moments between Roxanne and Kellie, there isn't much fun to be had here. And frankly, there's nothing much to be scared about either - unless of course you happen to be a crow. I give this one a 6 out of 10 "Huhs?" just for trying.

Some interesting notes: Radio news broadcast voice is provided by Don Herbert, the late Mr. Wizard. Station call letters are WORZ, but should be KORZ since this supposedly takes place in Southern California. Also, this is supposedly based on an actual event which occurred in Texas in 1972. But I think the part about the supernatural scarecrows was made-up to make the robbery story seem more interesting.

1 comment:

Tony said...

Great review! Yeah, this movie didn't age well with age. Wierd, because I remember being spooked by it...back in 1989. Then again, Freddy Krueger was still pretty scary back then too.

Maybe it's time for me to write a good scarecrow horror film :-)