*/**** Image A- Sound B Extras A+
starring Ted Vernon, Michael Simms, Victoria Christian, Richard Vidan
written by Richard Jefferies and William Wesley
directed by William Wesley
by Walter Chaw Terrible in that plucky way that earnest shoestring products can be terrible, William Wesley's Scarecrows has a few memorable gore moments and a lot of bad dialogue, execrable performances, and senseless exposition. I saw this movie on VHS in high school as part of my weekend ritual of renting a shelf and staying up all night shotgunning the dregs. This led to a few remarkable discoveries, of course--and it led to discoveries like this as well. The hook of Scarecrows is a strong one, taking the somehow-underutilized image of the scarecrow in the horror genre and making a grand bogey of it, but the result is essentially a zombie-cum-spam-in-a-cabin flick featuring a paramilitary group fresh off a heist engaged in a supernatural backcountry rigmarole. Still, the film's greatest crime isn't a bad premise but that it's boring. Really boring. Mainly it's boring because every character acts like an idiot at all times, making it hard to muster much in the way of stakes. That's also why Scarecrows isn't scary or tense, and because I think it wasn't long enough and they ran out of money, there are tons of filler close-ups of scarecrows just sort of, you know, hanging there. Kuleshov or something.