Scarecrows (1988)



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Movie Info

A suspenseful and chilling exercise in supernatural horror, this film opens with some speedy exposition during a mood-setting opening credits sequence, inter-cut with radio news reports of a violent paramilitary-style robbery on the Camp Pendleton payroll carried off by a thuggish team of commandos. Making their escape by hijacking a cargo plane -- along with its pilot and his teenage daughter -- the robbers are betrayed by one of their own number, Bert (B.J. Turner), who parachutes with the crate of stolen loot over a Florida cornfield. The team makes a landing in the same field, filled with eerie scarecrow effigies, and begins to sweep the area in search of their defector, working their way toward an abandoned farmhouse. Once there, the team members find themselves cut off from their means of escape by a band of living scarecrows, who stalk and kill the commandos one by one, gutting them and stuffing their bodies with straw; the victims then return to life as scarecrows themselves, joining their undead comrades and closing in on the rapidly dwindling group of survivors. Tightly paced and consistently tense, this low-budget film has slick production values (making it appear more expensive than it probably was) and only falters in some laughably overwrought performances. Taking a cue from Night of the Living Dead, director William Wesley eschews any definite explanation for the supernatural goings-on, instead relying on a nightmare logic that adds to the paranoid atmosphere.

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Ted Vernon
as Corbin
Dax Vernon
as Dax, the Dog
Tony Santoro
as Jacob Fowler
Phil Zenderland
as Norman Fowler
Mike Balog
as Benjamin Fowler
Don Herbert
as Radio Newscast (voice)
Howard E. Haller
as Helicoptor Pilot / Base (voice)
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Critic Reviews for Scarecrows

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1)

Although a little slow to get started, this better-than-average horror movie makes excellent use of its creepily-lit monsters, is reasonably well put together, and features some stomach-turning grisliness.

Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

the completed film plays out its wacky concept in such a perfunctory way, it feels like a slog while actually clocking in at a brisk 83 minutes.

Feb 2, 2019 | Full Review…

Devoid of positive attributes...

Dec 3, 2018 | Rating: .5/4 | Full Review…

It may not necessarily be flawless in its execution, but Scarecrows is a pretty admirable filmmaking achievement in many ways. As far as first-time features go, director Wesley shows an immense talent for being able to make a lot out of so little.

Jan 6, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

"Scarecrows" can be picked apart quite easily, but there is also a reason the film has gained a small yet passionate cult following in the decades since its release.

Jun 3, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

... [I]f you're looking for a killer horror rental, you'd be hard-pressed to beat it.

Jun 19, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Scarecrows

Scarecrows is a good film, but one that could definitely have used a few rewrites to make it a much better horror film. The scarecrow genre is an interesting genre of horror, and there has been a few good movies to deal with the subject, the most notable being Dark Night of the Scarecrow, which stands as the finest and scariest Scarecrow film ever made. This film on the other hand is good, but one that never really takes off and becomes a tedious affair. The film is directed by somewhat who clearly can't seem to craft a tense and thrilling memorable horror film that considering its idea, should have been much better than this. Scarecrows is good, but falls short of its potential, and I think it's a great shame because this film could have been a worthwhile and truly terrifying scarecrow film. As it stands, the scares are average, and the performances could have been improved upon a bit. The film clearly has limitations, and it tries to create effective scares, but it never ends up being terrifying. A good outing, but one that isn't a standout picture either. If you want the definitive scarecrow film, watch Dark Night of the Scarecrow, which is far better acted, directed and has a much better story. This is a good horror film to watch when you have nothing else better to do, and it could have been done much better. I really expected something great with this one, but as a whole, I was a bit disappointed as well. Good, but never great, Scarecrows is a film that considering its premise should definitely have been superior in every way compared to what we go on-screen. Worth seeing at least once, but it doesn't necessitate multiple viewings.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

* out of **** I literally have nothing to say for this film and just how bad it is. It shoots itself in the foot from the get-go, opening with a horrifyingly misguided sequence set on a jet that is flying above a farmhouse and field which introduces us to five mercenaries/criminals, one of whom abandons ship with the money that the team had just stolen from somewhere (presumably a bank of some sorts). The guy who lands on the farm grounds is named Burt, and you'll be annoyed by the mere sound of his name by the twenty minute mark at least since the other anti-hero characters won't stop threatening him via radio. As the others descend from the jet so that they may exact revenge by way of bullets, Burt is checking out the farmhouse and the scarecrows that surround it. Eventually, he gets stabbed by one of them and, yes, dies a horrible and bloody death. One of the characters at one point says "I think this place is possessed by demonic demons!" What he suspects is correct; the farmland has a dark past behind it, or in this case not so far behind it, which somehow allows the scarecrows to come to life, explaining the stabbing. The scarecrows kill all those who trespass on their territory and proceed to turn the newly dead into scarecrows as well. It's essentially a never-ending process; which could indeed be said for the film itself. It's a slasher flick devoid of reason, talent, wit, or intelligence. I'm astounded that I even heard of it in the first place; and offended that Netflix predicted my rating would be just a half a star short of three (out of five). The director is William Wessley. He borrows everything in this film from others before it; such as, for example, "The Exorcist". It's difficult to look at the opening titles for "Scarecrow" and not think of William Friedkin's masterpiece. And then it steals from countless other slasher flicks before it, emerging with none of the charm or suspense but at least some of the gore. The kills are bloody but not necessarily graphic. The camera shies away from the best stuff, rendering it mostly ineffective. But the gore effects are essentially the only department in which I can somewhat praise Wessley's "craft"; of which otherwise he has absolutely none. Whether it's silly dialogue, absurd over-acting, or a complete lack of atmosphere; "Scarecrows" is clearly not your best killer scarecrow movie. All the time, I was wondering just how bad a filmmaker you'd have to be to screw up an idea like that. Scarecrows are awesome, good material for a horror film, and yet this movie does nothing with them. Oh well, at least they look decent as far as creepy scarecrows go, although they're still nothing special. Overall, it's a terrible mess that unsuccessfully attempts to blend an action-thriller with a horror movie. Sometimes, a mess can be at least mildly exciting and even intriguing. Yet "Scarecrows" doesn't even get past boring.

Ryan Marshall
Ryan Marshall

Super Reviewer


I first saw this movie in the late 80's or early 90's and I never watch it again till now. I didn't remember that much about it and let me tell you, friends, that the effects used were good but couldn't save the movie. I just wish the story could've been better developed to match the eerie location work and the creepy atmosphere, though, It has a couple of good moment... well... to be exactly I just remember two but most of the time it is really boring. "Scarecrows", in my opinion, is slightly overrated.

John Me
John Me

Super Reviewer


Not as grim as I remember it being from when I was young, but still some potent scenes.

Steve K
Steve K

Super Reviewer

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