04 October 2010

October 4th

Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981) directed by Frank De Felitta
Man, I wished I had seen this as a kid when it was on TV.  I can certainly understand the nostalgia people have for this show.  I'm sure this TV movie gave more than a few kids some nightmares back in the day.  It seems pretty intense compared to my memories of the TV movies from the '80s I watched.  Without the nostalgia, though, it's really just an average supernatural revenge tale.  Rednecks kill a gentle, retarded man; he comes back as a ghost and kills them back.  Sadly, the retarded man kills them invisibly.  I was expecting / hoping he'd be running around in his scarecrow outfit, which was creepy.  Then again, one guy gets it feet first through a wood chipper, which I've always thought of as the number one worst way to die.  Also, I loved Charles Durning and Lane Smith in this as two of the guilty rednecks.  Durning, in particular, puts a lot of depth into his character.

VCI did a damned fine job with the DVD.  A 29-year-old TV movie has no business looking this good.  The transfer's perfect.  Maybe too perfect?  If I ever decide to watch this again, I think the best way to do it would be to record the DVD onto VHS, then record that VHS onto another VHS and then watch that copy of a copy on an old 19".  Maybe I can catch some enhancing nostalgia that way. (6/10)

Saw (2003)

Saw II (2005) directed by Darren Lynn Bousman
It all comes together in the end.  I hope the series continues its detailed plotting for Jigsaw's master plans.  During the film, I kept picking out what I thought were flaws -- if Amanda passed his first test, why is Jigsaw bugging her again? and how did he time capturing the kids with the police breaking into his hideout? -- and they were all satisfactorily explained by the end of the movie.  I was also glad to see cool character actor Tobin Bell get a ton of screentime as Jigsaw.  He's great in this role and I'm pleased to see he's in the rest of these.  I also dug how the sequel was tied into the first film.  A friend of mine says they all do that.  Love continuity.

I dunno.  I think I liked this one better than the first.  It had some good twists, the pit of syringes was the most wince-inducing thing I've seen in a while and a group of people trapped in a weird house was a good change-up from two people chained in a room. (7/10)

1 comment:

  1. I liked "Saw II" better then the first one as well. But I was really tired of Bousman's style by the time part three came out.

    I need to pick up "Dark Night of the Scarecrow." I've only seen it on YouTube, of all places.