Rise of the Scarecrows – review

As a filmgoer and a reviewer it is rare, oh so rare, to find a film that speaks to the beauty of cinema and to the existential loneliness found in the soul of the philosopher who gazes into the well of forever and returns to tell the rest of the world what they have seen. I can safely say Rise of the Scarecrows is a film unlike any you have ever seen. It speaks to the lyrical beauty of simplicity and of gives us a glimpse of a forgotten America where life and death were forever near. This friends, is a film that, while overlooked by the Oscars, is one which needs to be seen to be believed, and which is well deserving awards. Many, many awards.

Three friends, each at their own crossroads in life, get together for a trip of a lifetime – out into the woods and desolation of small town America in search of themselves and each other. Three friends who step lightly into the darkness but who are nonetheless enveloped in the mystery and danger of  a town where secrets are the only business, and friends, business is good. Juxtaposed against the friends is a man looking for a new life, a new beginning away from the clamor and danger of the big city, where he was a law enforcement professional. He is a man looking for a second chance. It is not chance though that brings these three friends and this new deputy together, it is danger, and murder, and the Rise of the Scarecrows. Three men, murdered and buried in shallow graves by a corrupt town official, have now risen to find justice in a world where that is short lived and hard to find. Three men whose destinies are intertwined with a town that is damned for its damnable sins. Can these friends survive this hellish town full of Hell and enjoy a weekend together, bonding and finding themselves, or will the only thing they find be bloody, bleedy murder? Can a deputy on his last chance redeem himself and wash the blood of the past from his hands? And can scarecrows really rise if, in essence, they are meant to stand in one place and not to lay around as if recently fired from their part-time gas station jobs? In this world, anything is possible, because this is the world of the Rise of the Scarecrows.

Wow, doesn’t that sound compelling? Doesn’t it sound…like literally one of the worst made films of all time? Seriously, I remember, and quite clearly, making movies as a late teen and they were better written and done than this drek and we improv-ed them! This is bargain basement crap that confuses you into wondering whether this is for real-real or just for play-play. In the end, I don’t know if THEY know. The film is horribly written, acted, shot, and has the silliest dialogue ever. You think I am exaggerating? This is the sort of movie you watch, with friends, because it makes you realize how talented you are. This is the stuff of inspiration. I usually like to give some credit to anyone who can ‘make’ or create something but, brother, this time I can’t say a lot other than…wow. Someone out in the world put this on DVD, sent it to rental and sales stores, and put it on Netflix. Wow. It’s…breathtaking.

Mere words alone cannot tell you how wonderfully awful this is. I mean, the acting is so stilted and stiff, the dialogue so terribly laughable, that it feels as if this is all an example of what not to do when making a film. I mean, good god, the ‘scarecrows’ are three tubby guys ambling around in hillbilly outfits with sacks on their heads.  For some reason they kill people, they are very slow, and I guess they can’t leave the woods…until they want to. The violence is unbelievable, the forced wackiness feels sad and pathetic, and the ending is an utter laugh.Essay. I could write an essay about this movie. Maybe a doctoral thesis about why this proves that God is dead. I won’t though. I can’t. Sufficed to say, seek this out if you can…but only for freesies. These crazy kids already got enough beer money out of their first two films, they don’t need any more encouragement.

2 out of 10

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