Not straying from the path, but merely stepping into the other wheel rut that winds down this dark and scary road -- exploring not a theatrical movie, but a television one.
I owe a lot about this one to my Aunt Gerry.
When The Dark Night of the Scarecrow first aired on CBS in 1981, I was a eleven. Now, my parents were, by what would be considered by today's standards, strict. At the time, that certainly felt like the word -- but all these years later, I only consider my parents to be ones who were invested in what their children were watching and reading. We weren't just plopped down in front of the TV -- they were absolutely aware of what we were watching.
So maybe my parents thought that The Dark Night of the Scarecrow was going to be a bit too much for me, despite my obvious love of horror.
But that was okay -- because my Aunt Gerry saw it.
I remember she and my Grandmother were over for Sunday dinner (which, at our house, was somehow held at two or three in the afternoon. I'm not sure why that was the case -- but today I call that a late lunch). I don't know how it came up, for all I know I mentioned it, because I had wanted to see the damn thing -- but Aunt Gerry told us all about the movie.
And the great thing about that? It was like a ghost story around a campfire. I saw it in my head, and it was damn scary.
Side note: I had the same experience with Halloween.
I remember my sister and I were staying over at our Uncle Phil and Aunt Laina's, having a sleepover with our cousins Alida and Beth.
We (and by "we", I mean the kids) were upstairs, in bed, and supposed to be asleep. Maybe Erin and my cousins were, but I wasn't.
Downstairs, my Uncle Phil was watching the network broadcast premiere of Halloween.
I will never, ever forget it. I couldn't see it, but I could hear it. And even today I remember what part it was -- Laurie running from house to house, screaming for help, as Michael Myers almost casually crossed the street to get her. Jamie Lee Curtis screaming her lungs out, as Carpenter's music played on and on. Holy shit.
…Dark Night of the Scarecrow stayed with me for years. Since it was a television movie, it wasn't readily available.
I searched Ebay, but the only ones they had were VHS copies that were hundreds of dollars.
But about ten years ago, I finally found a copy. It was basically a ripped copy of a Hong Kong copy. So, yes, I'd have to deal with some crazy subtitles -- but I didn't care!
I shelled out my bucks, and weeks later, it arrived!
As expected (or should have been), it was not a great copy. It was actually pretty bad. So bad, that the last five minutes wouldn't play. The image just froze.
So I had been able to watch most of the film, only to be fucking denied the final moments!
Thankfully, the film finally was released in 2010. And it was so worth the wait. It is a perfect movie for Halloween.