Old McDonald Had an Ax, E-I-E-I-O

When Jean de Crevecoeur penned Letters from an American Farmer in 1782, he took something of an anthropological approach, describing the economy, the world, and the daily trappings of the 18th century American farmer. What Crevecoeur did not foresee, however, was that such a high percentage of farmers would become serial killers. Just look at this list of horror movies that feature murderous farmers:

The Cottage (2008)
Starring Reece Shearsmith of League of Gentlemen fame, The Cottage does a wonderful job of blending gore, thrills, humor, and horror. And it never would have succeeded without an ax-wielding maniac in overalls.

Motel Hell (1980)
Not only is the murderer in the film a farmer- he’s harvesting people and turning them into “fritters”. He’s using his farming skills for evil instead of good. The film is most notable for presenting cinema’s best ever pig-mask-guy-with-chainsaw scene. 

Deranged (1974)
Apparently, this film also goes by the title Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile. Guess what it’s about? It’s based on the Ed Gein tale, in Wisconsin, featuring a serial killer farmer who can’t have a normal dating life because he’s plagued by his dead oppressive mother. There’s a healthy dose of laughs in here- Wisconsinites with southern accents, the film’s narrator standing in the room narrating as the action is taking place, etc… 

The Crazies (2010)
With a rural setting, there was no way to avoid having a heapin’ helpin’ of farmers in the film. The film’s poster art even features a pitchfork. The first farmer shows up in the first 10 minutes, setting the tone for a surprisingly suspenseful film.

Mad at the Moon (1992)
A low-budget horror film from the early 90’s, Mad at the Moon was about what any horror movie with “moon” in the title is about- werewolves. And in this case, said werewolf is a farmer. It starred Daphne Zuniga (a.k.a. Princess Vespa from Spaceballs). 

Deadly Blessing (1981)
In the interest of full disclosure, I haven’t seen this. But I have to see this as soon as possible. It features Sharon Stone, Ernest Borgnine as an amish guy, a murderous tractor, and what sounded a lot like zombie chickens in the description I found. Even more puzzling, the New York Times review I found for it from 1981 actually gave it a positive review… and yet, Borgnine got a Razzie nomination that year for his part in the madness. When I get around to this, I’ll be sure to do it up right with a proper review.  


8 Comments

Filed under Movies, Uncategorized

8 responses to “Old McDonald Had an Ax, E-I-E-I-O

  1. Fun list! Great pic too!
    Motel Hell really tickles me. I liked Deranged alot too, and it gets extra points for being Canadian! The Crazies and The Cottage are top notch.
    I haven’t seen Deadly Blessings in years, but besides a spider dropping into a womans mouth I can’t remember a damn thing about it.
    I’ve never heard of Mad At The Moon, I’ll have to look into that one.

    • I was so pleased by The Cottage. It was much more than I expected.

      Fun fact that I found out about that spider scene in Deadly Blessings- Sharon Stone insisted that they remove the spider’s fangs, which I guess caused an uproar with PETA.

  2. Don

    John, John, I’m surprised that being so close to Iowa, you don’t know the difference between a pitchfork and a cultivator. The tines on a pitchfork are thiner and the tool itself is much lighter because you use it to grab hay or straw, etc. and throw it somewhere else. The cultivator has thick and heavy tines for digging into the earth. That is a cultivator on the poster for the crazies. That said, I did like that movie. It is the only one I’ve seen on the list. I saw Zombieland this weekend, and while there were no farmers in the show, it was an awesome gore filled and very funny movie.

    • Ha! I love a good dig at Iowa.

      “The Crazies” was a lot of fun, one of my favorite recent horrors. It kept seeming like it’d tip over into a zombie movie but it never did (and that’s a good thing; it would’ve been out of place).

  3. Stu

    Don’t forget “Frailty.” Who would have thought Bill Paxton could make a decent director.

  4. rtm

    Oy, I’d never see a good ‘ol farmer the same way again!

    Btw, Paxton also directed The Greatest Game Ever Played. Quite a multi-talented guy.

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