The Scarecrow

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Time Out says

Set in the Kiwi equivalent of Middle Wallop in the '50s (with an intrusive jazz soundtrack to date it), Pillsbury's adaptation of a local classic is a valiant but botched first effort. Related by a voice-over reminiscent of Clive James with dyspepsia, the story concerns Ned and Pru Poindexter's last summer of adolescence. Into their lives of chicken rustling, gangs, and skinny dips comes the embodiment of destructive sexual power in the guise of arthritic-fingered Carradine, looking more like Steptoe on a rough day than any crazed killer bogeyman. Better at evoking the grim horrors of small town life than the terrors of a murder mystery, the film suffers from a plot which takes a beard-growing age to get going, then hops, skips and jumps to the dénouement. Unsentimental character portrayals, the depiction of parochial decay, the sly humour, and the odd haunting, sinister image are in its favour, but add up to little more than wrapping around a dull present.
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Release details

UK release:

1981

Duration:

88 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Sam Pillsbury

Cast:

Denise O'Connell, Daniel McLaren, Jonathan Smith, Tracy Mann, John Carradine, Anne Flannery

Music:

Schtung

Production Designer:

Neil Angwin

Editor:

Ian John

Cinematography:

James Bartle

Screenwriter:

Sam Pillsbury, Michael Heath

Producer:

Rob Whitehouse

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