[[quoteright:220:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/220px-dark_night_of_the_scarecrow_6237.jpg]]

Directed by veteran novelist Frank De Felitta from a script by J. D. Feigelson, ''Dark Night of the Scarecrow'' is a suspense/horror 1981 made-for-television film airing on Creator/{{CBS}}. According to Editor Aaron Crowell Managing of [=HorrorHound=] Magazine, the movie was the first feature length horror film with a scarecrow as its centerpiece, with many having copied this image in the superseding years, giving Feigelson credit as the entire “killer scarecrow” genre.

The plot concerns Bubba, a mentally handicapped man being unjustly accused of attacking a young girl. Disguised as a scarecrow, he hides in a cornfield only to be hunted down and shot. Immediately afterward, it's revealed that he saved the girl from a vicious dog attack, so the members of the search posse cover up their crime and successfully beat the rap for murdering poor Bubba. Unfortunately for them, someone's not too happy about their KarmaHoudini status, and one by one the men are killed off in grisly accidents, the only common element being a mysterious scarecrow that suddenly appears in each man's field...

The film was finally given a DVD release in 2010.
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!!Tropes in the film:

* OneDimensionalThinking: When Otis is being chased by the tractor through the pumpkin field, he runs in a straight line in front of it till he collides with [[spoiler:the Scarecrow]].
* AccidentalMurder: Hazelrigg accidentally causes a heart attack on Bubba's mother when he sneaks up on her in her home. He covers his tracks by blowing up her home.
* AngryGuardDog: Marylee is mauled by an angry guard dog when he sneaks into a garden to look at the fountain. This event is what sets the plot in motion.
* AssholeVictim: All four members of Otis' posse, but Otis himself is the worst of the lot for not only [[TheSociopath never showing remorse]], but also willingly committing even more crimes to cover up what he did.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: Marylee. Though this is subverted in the beginning when she sneaks into a neighbor's yard against Bubba's pleas because she wanted to look at the fancy fountain inside, only to be attacked by a vicious dog.
* DirtyOldMan: Otis Hazelrigg. Definitely not the funny, harmless variety, either.
* CrammingTheCoffin: After Otis and Skeeter dig up Bubba's grave and discover [[spoiler:his body in his coffin]], Otis murders Skeeter and buries the body in Bubba's grave alongside the coffin.
* FieryCoverUp: When Otis triggers a fatal heart attack in Mrs Ritter by threatening her,, he covers up his deed by turning on the gas and causing a fiery explosion.
* GardeningVarietyWeapon: The Scarecrow carries a pitchfork as a weapon, although only [[spoiler:Hazelrigg]]ends up being killed by it.
* GoryDiscretionShot: Harliss' death. The film jump cuts to a shot of strawberry jam dripping onto a plate at the exact moment he goes into a wood chipper.
* HarmfulToMinors: It is strongly implied that Otis Hazelrigg is a child molester and the reason he hates Bubba so much is because he makes it difficult to get to Marylee. Mrs. Ritter sees right through him.
* HorrorDoesntSettleForSimpleTuesday: The film takes place around [[AllHallowsEve Halloween]].
* INeedAFreakingDrink: When Otis is starting to crack up at the Halloween party, he goes to the refreshment table. The woman remembers that he doesn't drink and gives him a glass of non-alcoholic punch. Otis takes a sip, then puts the glass aside and helps himself to a glass of the alcoholic punch.
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler: Otis dies when he, in a panic, runs into the same pitchfork he used to frame Bubba, being held by Bubba himself.]]
* KillingInSelfDefense: After the posse learns that they shot Bubba for a crime that he didn't commit, Hazelrigg puts a pitchfork in his hand to make it seem that they shot him in self-defense. The criminal court somehow buys it, despite poor Bubba being tied to a post when they pumped him full of lead.
%%* LaserGuidedKarma
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Since there was no clear explanation as to how [[spoiler: Bubba came back from the dead]] it is entirely possible that it was somebody else posing as The Scarecrow as a means to bring justice for the crimes Otis and his gang committed.
* {{Manchild}}: Bubba's mama describes him as being mentally the same age as the children he plays with.
* MamaBear: Mrs. Ritter is a loving, protective mother of Bubba, and lots more badass than his tormentors.
* MyCarHatesMe: When Philby is being stalked around the silos by the killer, he jumps in his car to try to get away, only for the car to refuse to start.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: Otis and his little lynch mob have this reaction when they learn Bubba actually saved Marylee's life. Not because they feel bad for having killed an innocent man, but because they have to figure out how to cover their tracks.
* NothingIsScarier: The film's gorier moments utilize this trope so the viewers can use their imagination.
* OddFriendship: Bubba and Marylee, though not quite as odd since Bubba has the mentality of a child. Later, Marylee seems to have one with Bubba's mother after his death.
%%* OnlySaneMan: The district attorney.
* RealAfterAll: The film leaves it somewhat ambiguous as to whether or not Bubba's ghost is taking revenge on Otis and his gang up until the very end. Turns out this time, Bubba ''did'' do it.
* ScaryScarecrows: A scarecrow is always placed on the fields of the next victim. After [[PortentOfDoom they see it]], they end up dead.
* ShovelStrike: When Otis's last friend freaks out and is ready to turn himself in, Otis soothes him -- and then brains him with a shovel from behind.
* SymbolicBlood: The film cuts from Arliss being pushed into his wood chipper to runny strawberry jam being spooned on to Otis' plate by his landlady.
* TheyHaveTheScent: Otis and his lynch mob use dogs to track Bubba to the middle of the field where he is hiding inside the scarecrow.
* VillainProtagonist: Otis Hazelrigg, due to his actor Charles Durning getting top billing.

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