One of the funniest and underrated comedians of the 1980s/90s was Jim Varney, better known as his iconic character Ernest P. Worrel. One of his movies was the 1991 comedy-horror Ernest Scared Stupid. This is also one movie that people seem to loathe or love.
In Briaerville, Missouri, Ernest’s ancestor sealed away a troll that kidnaps children named Trantor under an oak tree. Trantor promised to not only return but all of Worrels after him will become dumber. Enter Ernest, a sanitation worker who unknowingly releases Trantor after using the same oak tree to build the local kids a treehouse. Now Ernest has to stop Trantor from gathering kids to raise his troll army.
What many people have trouble with this movie is that it’s silly with this whole troll nonsense. You need to remember that this is a family-friendly comedian trying to make a comedy-horror. Of course, he’s going to do something silly. Think of Ernest as Buster Keaten, Abbot and Costello, The Three Stooges and The Marx Brothers. They’re there to make you laugh.
Yes, the comedy may not be for everyone and people will complain about Ernest dressing as different characters. That’s was his schtick and yes it may not be funny to most.
As far as the movie itself, if you can look past all the silliest and just accept that it’s a family-friendly comedy-horror then you’ll find a rather enjoyable movie. It’s competently made with everything you need in a film story. John Cherry and Coke Sams (yes, this movie was made by Cherry Coke) did manage to make this movie not only family-friendly but also use Varney’s talents to the fullest.
Another complaint people have is that Ernest couldn’t figure out that the troll’s weakness is mIlk and not miak. Remember, Ernest is supposed to be dumb as bricks so it makes sense he can’t figure it out.
Eartha Kitt also gets flak for her role as Old Lady Hackmore. On the contrary, Kitt does a great job of playing an insane, eccentric old woman. It just shows off more of her talent and not undermines it.
While Ernest Scared Stupid may be stupid, that’s the entire point. It’s meant to be a stupid family-friendly comedy horror and once you see that this becomes an enjoyable movie to watch just to have a stupid old time.
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