Shaun vs. Ernest Scared Stupid (1991)

Ernest P. Worrell, local town idiot, disturbs a tree which imprisons a child-stealing troll that was sealed inside decades ago.  It escapes and now it’s up to Ernest to put it back.  Is that such a great idea?

Judging a Book by its Cover




-If there were ever a fitting title, this would be it.

-I’d scream too if someone stuck me in a giant pumpkin and left me in a graveyard.  Very traumatizing.

-I hope the movie retains the quality entertainment I’ve come to expect from the previous Ernest films.






I think I’ve outgrown the man-child.

Directed by John Cherry

Starring Jim Varney and Eartha Kitt

A long time ago in the town of Briarville, Missouri, the townspeople have captured an evil troll that has been responsible for the disappearances of the town’s children.  This creature has the nasty habit of turning children into wooden dolls after feasting on their energy.  The people plan to bury the thing in the ground and plant an oak tree on top of him, which I guess would form some sort of root prison?  Before going for a dirt nap, the troll places a curse on the town elder leading the mob who looks awfully familiar…


Where’s the rest of the script?

Fast forward a couple centuries to present day Briarville and we get our introduction to Ernest, who this time around has a job as a sanitation worker for the town.  Normally driving around in a souped up garbage truck, he’s tasked to clean up the old Hackmore house, a dilapidated manor surrounded by dead trees.  Old Lady Hackmore (Kitt) still resides there however and would rather Ernest just stay away from her, knowing his family’s history.  Ernest gets sidetracked by helping some school children make a bitchin’ tree fort but of course it’s the same tree that troll is buried under.  Ernest accidentally, but totally on purpose at the same time, actually releases the creature, who doesn’t lose a step after two hundred years, and starts to prey on the children of Briarville once more.  Somehow it’s up to Ernest to stop him.


“I’m the leprechaun! No, wait, which movie is this again?”

Seeing Ernest Scared Stupid originally as an 11-year old and seeing it now are two different experiences.  As a kid, Varney’s rubbery facial expressions and man-child mannerisms were funny but I felt that I’ve seen everything he’s had to show.  The story makes as much sense as it needs to for the kids to follow although that usually means the story takes a back seat to Varney mugging for the camera.  As an adult, the movie is barely watchable.  I don’t know how my parents got through these movies but I feel like I’ve outgrown any enjoyment I previously had with them.  Put it on for the kids, it’s for them.


Story: 3 – Ernest P. Worrell releases an evil troll that swallows children’s souls!  …ok, it just turns them into wooden statues.

Blood: 1 – Of course not, but the trolls blow up with lots of snot.  At least I think it’s snot.

Nudity: 0 – Even the trolls wear clothes.

Overall: 2 – What was I thinking when I put this in?


-The last Ernest film to be produced by Disney.

-The Chiodo Brothers are credited with the effects work.  They are more well known for their sci-fi/horror/comedy, Killer Klowns from Outer Space.

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