Hey Vern! Ernest and his little dog Rimshot are back dealing with a bunch of pesky trolls abducting kids to turn into wood ornaments! Along the way, Ernest P. Worrell (Jim Varney) is assisted by Old Lady Hackmore (Eartha Kitt), whose presence serves as the crazy old person in a horror movie who knows everything.
Ernest Scared Stupid is a film I avoided when it initially came out. I had grown out of my Ernest phase, and it seems most of Ernest’s fanbase had as well, as this was the final Ernest film released under the Disney label. But as I reach my on-coming midlife crisis, everything old is new again and thus I picked up a three movie Ernest DVD for $5 at Target this past summer. The disc included Ernest Goes to Camp, Ernest Goes to Prison, Ernest Scared Stupid and an episode of the entertaining Hey Vern!.
As far as my feelings on Ernest Scared Stupid, if you’re an Ernest fan, it’s fun. It’s very much early 90s, with a Goosebumps type vibe and annoying kids who should have stayed in toy commercials. With that said, I had fun with it. It seems weird to mention “Jim Varney” and “talent” in the same sentence, but I feel it should be noted the guy could act when needed. As always, he switches up between various members of his personality/Worrell family, and each transition is done effortlessly.
The best reason for horror movie fans to watch Ernest Scared Stupid is for the troll characters. I feel they could have done more with the troll antics if they had a more clever writing team, but they are pretty fun. There is a scene near the end where a troll steals a cops gun, swallows the bullets and has another troll whack him in the back of the head with a paddle in order to fire the bullets from his mouth. The trolls were created by the Chiodo Brothers, who are responsible for the effects in Critters and Killer Klowns from Outer Space. This isn’t the best work, but it is fun.
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