Monday, April 19, 2010

Scarecrows!







Clank, clank, clank! This drew her attention. She eyed his enormous dark shape on the post, the wind making him slap back and forth as if trying to loosen from his mooring. His tattered clothing whipped about him angrily. The inanimate had come to life, his shadowed face pale beneath the large hat, but she felt it. His eyes were upon her. As soon as he freed himself, it was her farmhouse window he would be knocking upon. She picked up her basket of corn and raced from the field, willing herself not to look back. Then, as she approached the safety of the backyard, she had the courage to face him again. His head bobbed now in the full force of the coming storm's energy. The hat flew from his head and, in the dying light of the day, she saw him throw back his head and stare her down as he unhinged from his cross and jumped to the earth with a heavy thump.

(The above is an unedited piece from a short story about a scarecrow I'm writing)

I am utterly fascinated by scarecrows. No, not those happy little country ones you find in the craft store around Halloween time. I’m talking about the hardcore you-don’t-want-to enter-my-property-kind. This YouTube artisan (above) does amazing scarecrows and films them in creepy settings. I’m so inspired by this that I think as a performance art it is without Halloween equal.

There are traditional ways to make them with clothing and straw and more modern techniques using PVC pipe and T-joints. There’s wooden crosses with newspaper-filled clothing secured to them and even some ambitious folks who use a mannequin. I found with the last one I made that rolled up old towels with duct tape wrapped tightly around them make amazing upper arms and lower arms and legs and balled up socks make great shoulders, elbows, and knees looked very real, but it was also very heavy and the supports needed to be extra strong.

I have no problem with the black robed ones fluttering in the breeze and I think they look best with tree limb arms and branch hands and a Jack O’Lantern head like the one on Johnny Depp’s “Sleepy Hollow” at the beginning of the movie. I also enjoy the worker’s overall types, as well, with a gunnysack face with dark stitching like in the movie “Night of the Scarecrow." The one with the trench coat and big hat on “Jeepers Creepers” was awesomely intimidating and human-like. Ideally, he’s fastened loose enough that he flaps in the wind against his posts as if trying to get free.

I think the scarecrow is one of those things like clowns and baby dolls that was meant to be cute and quaint and ended up becoming so human-like it’s disturbing. I hope to make a really good one for my yard that I can keep up year-round once I come up with the right design.

Beware, however, as twilight arrives, they seem to come to life. You have to watch scarecrows constantly because you never really know what they do when you're not looking...

What is your experience with scarecrows?

11 comments:

  1. I thought scare crows were supposed to be scary, but crafty ladies took them and turned them into something cute.

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  2. Yeah, don't you hate the ones outside of the craft stores at Halloween-time. I just want to punch them in the face. Hee hee

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  3. Ye gadzooks, Autumn! that pumpkinrot-produced bog man scarecrow wuzz beyond creepsifers! Ugh! But Scarecrow Video is havin' a 50% off sale, so act now. Haaaaah hah hah hah. I used to love the Scarecrow character in MGM's rendition of the L. frank Baum children's classic. I dunno why, he wuzz goofy & yet a philosopher, brainless & yet an intellectual. A paradox, like me, an elf and a human. Oh! That reminds me. You're gonna love pictures of my newish goddess-son, Daniel, three months young; his ears are clearly tipped like many (though not all) of us of the Starry Race. I'll post 'em soon on Tom's Sunken Wreck™. Don't forget, Scarecrow wuzz an evil two-faced villain psychiatrist in the film, Batman Begins, played by Irish actor, Cillian Murphy, who played the 1st zombie plague survivor, Jim, in 28 Days Later & also the flamboyant transie, Kitty, in Breakfast On Pluto. Shwew! I still havta comment on your skin ink blogticle. Sorry I'm late ~ (•8-D

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  4. Scarecrows are incredible! I love those videos you posted, btw. The Bog Man is scary as hell.

    There's a creepy scarecrow in the movie Dead Birds if you haven't seen that yet. Good atmosphere in that film even if it has a lot of imperfections.

    Up here in New England we have an awesome jack-o-lantern festival complete with some cool scarecrows. I'll see if I can find some of my pictures.

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  5. Hey Big Bro;
    I love that actor--he's awesome! That character gave me delicious chills. I'm such a freak that when something scares me, it turns me on. That's probably why I think at Halloween that everyone is sexy. I definitely want to see the ear modification--I like it. I like the vampire fangs some folks get too. I'm not at all keen on most modifications, but those are actually pretty darn sexy. I can't imagine what a mischief maker I'd be if I had elf ears. I think I'd cause all kinds of whirlwinds of magic everywhere I go so that people would just go "what was that?" as a breeze brushed past them. Scarecrows are totally cool and when I make the ultimate one, I will be putting him on the blog for sure. Take care, bro!

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  6. Chris--you lucky New Englander! Yeah, I can get into the western themes out here and get away with it, but it's hard to pull off a traditional halloween. Of course, you'll have to look back at last Halloween on my blog and see what I did--a big crazy post apocalyptic party with the most over the top decorations ever. It was a blast. Okay, you keep giving me new movies to see--gonna look for Dead Birds on Netflix. I don't think I've seen it.

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  7. I never had a problem with scarecrows, 'til I saw Jeepers Creepers...and the corn witch. I'm gonna have trouble sleeping tonight. Thanks a lot. haha

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  8. Copyboy;
    I guess you've not read my posts by Dale the Doll--you should do a search in my search bar on the righthand side. Now, he'll give you nightmares.

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  9. That first one was uber creepy with the wind blowing and the whistling of the wind. I was waiting for that one and the second one to come to life. I didn't sit close to the computer just in case, lol.

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  10. Julie;
    Those have to be some of my favorite spooky short films ever!

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  11. Scarecrows rock! I'm with you guys. The little cute ones piss me off. The scarier the better! Loved the videos!

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