Reel Advice: Dark Harvest 3: Scarecrow
By Steve Anderson Mar 31, 2008, 11:52 GMT
In the backwoods of Tennessee, an age-old curse resurfaces and takes revenge on a group of young kids on a weekend getaway at the family cabin. In 1921, the wicked James brothers plotted the murder of an old witch who lived up in the hollows in order to steal her land. As the hour came, she realized what was going to happen and on her terrifying deathbed, made an effigy ...more
Obviously, no one learned from the mistake that was "Dark Harvest". Or the even bigger mistake that was "Dark Harvest 2". And since we're all doomed to repeat history that we don't learn from, let's plunge on into the history that seems to repeat itself--this time, about a land grab that ends, not surprisingly, poorly.
The James Brothers murder a woman to take over her land, and of course, she's got the capacity to curse their entire bloodline. which, of course, she does. Now, one of the James Brothers' descendents, who has no idea what his ancestors did, comes back to the land to fall victim to the curse he had no idea existed.
All this and a scarecrow, too. Never mind the fact that it's been done before. Never mind the fact that killer scarecrows have been done and to death literally hundreds of times prior to now--oh, where do I begin? How about "Scarecrows" back in the freaking EIGHTIES??
Are we seriously so strapped for stuff to put on store shelves that we're reduced to dredging up plotlines from the Reagan administration?
Now, maybe I'm not being fair. While I saw the first "Dark Harvest", I missed "Dark Harvest 2: The Maize". But considering how close in concept "Dark Harvest" was to "Dark Harvest 3: Scarecrow", I'm inclined to think it doesn't really matter at all.
Worse yet is the quality of the special effects work. Check out the fake head just after five minutes in. If you look carefully, it looks as though some of the paint around the eyebrows wasn't done right.
Even worse, the standard bad horror movie desperation tactic will come into play several times throughout "Dark Harvest 3: Scarecrow"--topless chicks. Oh yeah--in fact, they're so desperated to distract you until the blood really gets started flowing that they'll whip out the hoots twice in the first forty minutes. Then, to kill more time, they'll slip into the gore-for-gores-sake school of filmmaking, including the making of a new scarecrow via the removal of intestines to stuff the stomach cavity with straw. Yeah. You'll actually get to watch intestine removal.
Perhaps the worst part about the whole thing is that writer / director Dixon has dedicated this sludge to the memory of his father, Ben Dixon Sr. I do have to feel bad that THIS is his memorial.
The ending is full of screeching nonsense and vaguely interconnected rounds of gibberish. For instance, try "Tonight is the end of all time. Fall into the end of one's frail and hollow unconscious mind."
How's that for making no sense at all? Oh, and the sterling dialogue at the end--"It wasn't me! It was a scarecrow!"--is just a real Oscar winner in its own right.
The special features include English and Spanish subtitles, a behind the scenes featurette, and trailers for "See No Evil", "Zombie Nation", "A Dead Calling", "House of Blood", "Jekyll and Hyde", "Bug", and "Dark Harvest 3: Scarecrow".
All in all, I find myself hopeful that the front of the box is right when it says "This season, he takes his final bounty". It sounds pretty final--and oh, how I hope that's the case. I hope this is the final bounty. I hope this is the last Dark Harvest movie ever released.
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