Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Rise of the Scarecrows (2009)

Rise of the Scarecrows

Directed by Geno McGahee & Jeremy Weiskotten

NOTE: This is the first of (hopefully) many reviews that are a part of my Netflix Challenge. Today's movie was "recommended" by Richard of the excellent Cinema Somnambulist blog. To find out what exactly the Netflix Challenge is, or to submit your own suggestion, just click here.

Tony Brown is a disgraced big city police officer who has just transferred to the podunk town of Adams, where he's taken under the wing of the local sherriff. Meanwhile, a pair of ridiculous wannabe pimps are out doing some recruiting for their up and coming whorehouse that will "put the Bunny Ranch out of business", and a trio of pathetic douchebags are on a roadtrip in search of a little something called "Pussy Heaven." What do these three seemingly empty storylines have to do with each other?

Very little, actually, but they do all converge somewhat in and around the small town of Adams, where people have a tendency of dying whenever they wander too close to the forest. Spooky, huh? Well this is no Blair Witch situation. This is a whole different ballgame.

A ballgame which just so happens to make no sense.

Legend has it that many years ago, a group of construction workers were taken into the woods and murdered, then buried in shallow graves. But those bastards just wouldn't stay dead. They returned as...scarecrows?

Sure, why not? Scarecrows (i.e., guys with burlap sacks over their heads) that just aren't content to, you know...scare crows. They need to scare people, and once they're good and scared, they need to murderize them too. Although if you believe the sheriff, all of these deaths are just accidents. Kind of like how these guys must have accidentally got funding to make this movie.

Piss poor acting and dialogue, shaky hand held camera work (which only works to a movie's benefit when the camera man is actually supposed to be there), and cheesy special effects doom this film even quicker than the illogical and rambling nature of the storyline. Most of the time there was practically nothing going on, and when there was, it had little to do with the story proper. Probably a third of the running time was made up of misogynistic "skits" that come off like a cut-rate white trash version of Saturday Night Live.

It should be noted that there are little to no sound effects here, which may seem like a minor quibble, but it's actually pretty damn distracting. For all the fight scenes in this movie, there's never a single sound made when a blow supposedly lands--which I guess is actually kind of fitting, seeing as how each of the blows visibly stop a full foot before coming in contact with their target. There's a little something called Camera Angles, guys.

Rise of the Scarecrows actually had a surprisingly decent soundtrack, comprised mostly of darkly humored alternative country--but it got a bit out of hand when the non-action completely stopped long enough for what amounts to a homemade music video.

This would have been a much more effective venture if it had been edited down to a short feature, say 30 minutes or so. Don't get me wrong, it still would have been terrible, but at least it would be over a whole lot quicker.

I know that I should be more forgiving of microbudget pictures, but even if you take out all of the complaints above that can be explained away by lack of resources, you still have a pretty terrible movie.

And on top of that...I'm kind of a dick.

View the trailer below!

Not Rated
94 Minutes
United States


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  1. Damn that was quick! Your review reveals exactly what I thought Rise of the Scarecrows was going to be like. Truly frightening stuff. And that trailer is freakin' awesome. Good work, my friend. (Thanks for the shoutout.)

  2. I live to serve, Richard.

    And wiec?, old buddy, your suggestion is next on my queue. I just need a few days to recover from this one.


  3. I'm one of the stars and directors of Rise of the Scarecrows. Thanks for the review!

    For your challenge, I'd "recommend" our earlier movie, Evil Awakening. EA is similar in a lot of ways to Rise, but takes itself a bit less seriously.

  4. Jeremy,

    That's very cool of you to take my review in stride, AND for kicking in a recommendation for the Netflix Challenge. It's going on the queue! Thanks for stopping by!



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