Scarecrows (1988)

scarecrows poster 1988 review
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 3/10
Visuals: 6/10

Scarecrows are scary

Bad acting and not much of a plot

Movie Info

Movie Name: Scarecrows

Studio: Effigy Films

Genre(s): Horror/B-Movie

Release Date(s): August 26, 1988

MPAA Rating: R

scarecrows hijackers horror movie

I don’t know about the scarecrows, but our acting is terrifying…

Mercenaries rob Camp Pendleton and flee into the night by taking a pilot and his daughter hostage.  When one of the mercenaries decides to steal the money for himself and bails out of the plane, the crew is forced to land at a strange farmhouse surrounded by scarecrows.  The horror begins when the mercenaries learn that the scarecrows might not be as “normal” as they seem and the danger is growing!

Directed by William Wesley, Scarecrows is a low-budget horror thriller.  The movie received a limited release in the theater and was later released on VHS.  The movie also received an unrated extended edition.

Scarecrows was one of a friend’s favorite horror movies, so I can remember watching it when it was relatively new.  I didn’t remember much about it.  I remembered military people or something and killer scarecrows…but little else.  Rewatching Scarecrows, I had the same reaction.  There is potential in the film, but the story is lacking (and the acting is almost non-existent).

scarecrows monster scarecrow

Excuse me…what’s my motivation?

The story has a decent set-up with the “villains” as the heroes.  The mercenaries find themselves forced to team with one of their hostages for survival.  The scarecrows are rather unexplained.  They are tied to the owners of the home, but it is really vague on the explanation.  That wouldn’t be a problem if the story was compelling, but it pretty much has the characters walking around in the dark and getting killed by scarecrows…so I guess it is what you’d watch Scarecrows.

The acting is awful.  Usually you have one actor that kind of excels or is a bit better than the rest of the cast in these type movies.  The filmmakers might even try to get a washed up actor or actress.  This film doesn’t even try to do that.  The characters have no depth nor do the actors portraying them.

scarecrow night vision

A scarecrow with night vision…fear the darkness!

I’ll concede that I think the scarecrows are kind of creepy.  I just wish that they had more of a purpose or some consistency.  They sometimes move, sometimes they don’t.  They can mimic people…or not.  It just feels like the scriptwriter said “we need to kill someone now” and would have a scarecrow show up to do it.  They have great horror characters, and they needed a better reason to use them!

Scarecrows is rather typical ’80s low-budget horror.  It feels kind of derivative of Predator with the military and the hunted characters, but great “villains” are wasted.  Scarecrows is kind of a waste of time, but like many horror movies, even time-wasters are fun with a group or for a few potential jumps.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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