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Rise of the Scarecrows: Hell on Earth

USA 2021
produced by
Geno McGahee, Gregory Hatanaka, Pete Baez, Matthew Hebert, Jesse Waegelein-Hall for X Posse Productions, CineRidge Entertainment, Cinema Epoch
directed by Geno McGahee
starring Eric Michaelian, Lorrie Bacon, Brent Northup, Martin DuPlessis, Sharon Marr, Tom Hebert, Matthew Hebert, Jesse Waegelein-Hall, Brandon Macey, Nathaniel Cook, Phil Godeck, Frank Palangi, Bayindir Citak, Mike Provencal, Samantha Provencal, Aaron Schacte, Pawel Watracz, Madelynn Wells, and as scarecrows Martin DuPlessis, Justin Hortie, David Finkelstein, Mike Provencal, Tom Hebert
written by Geno McGahee, music by Frank Palangi, Joe Becker, Gary Steinour, special effects by Matthew Hebert, Jesse Waegelein-Hall, Rick Caride

Rise of the Scarecrows

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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After the death of his mother, Mitch (Erikc Michaelian) returns to his hometown to reconnect with his father Ben (Brent Northup), and everything goes fine initially, as not only are both men ready and willing to settle their differences, Mitch also takes a liking in Stacy (Lorrie Bacon), the girl who delivers Ben's groceries, and Ben is more than happy to help young romance blossom. Still, there are a few things odd about Ben, like why doesn't he tell Mitch how his mother died? Or why is he painting all these scarecrows, but when asks makes silly excuses about them?

In the nearby woods, five youngsters - Jake (Tom Hebert), his girlfriend Steph (Jesse Waeglein-Hall), his nerdy brother Randy (Brandon Macey), Dan (Matthew Hebert), and his girlfriend Sharon (Sharon Marr) - have put up their tents for some undisturbed partying - and they won't be deterred by a crazy old man (Martin DuPlessis), who warns them about homicidal scarecrows roaming the area. During a stroll through the woods, Mitch and Stacy bump into them - and they get along very well, actually well enough for the youngsters to invite Mitch and Stacy back that night for a party. That afternoon, Randy confesses to Steph that he has visions of murderous scarecrows - and is killed by one before he can warn the others. And the others don't even notice as he hardly leaves his tent anyways, so they party with Mitch and Stacy with his dead body nearby - but it's not long before the scarecrows close in on them, starting to kill them left and right, and only a few make it back to Ben's house, where Ben opens up about the terrible secret of the town, and how it's linked to scarecrows going on a rampage for a few nights every year - and there's no stopping them ...

 

A nice mix of slasher movie and folk horror that focuses on its characters though rather than just letting its monsters kill through scores of cannonfodder - which in turn means the film tells more story than your usual slasher, and asks for a bit of patience before the suitably gory slaughter that's the third act sets in in full force. However, the story really fulfills its purpose to make us care for the characters, and it actually fits into the greater context of events much better than it originally seemed, making this pretty cool low budget genre entertainment.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
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