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Ernest Scared Stupid: A Timeless Halloween Classic

Ernest Scared Stupid: A Hilarious Comedy for All Ages

As Halloween approaches, it’s time to start thinking about the perfect scary movie to watch with family and friends. Ernest Scared Stupid is a classic comedy that is sure to entertain viewers of all ages.

Released in 1991, the film is based on the well-known character of Ernest P. Worrell, portrayed by Jim Varney.


The movie begins with the introduction of Ernest, a lovable but clumsy character who works as a garbage collector in the small town of Briarville. Ernest’s job brings him into contact with a group of children who are constantly playing pranks on him.

Despite their mischievous nature, Ernest gains their trust and becomes a friend to the group. One Halloween, Ernest accidentally unleashes a terrifying troll named Trantor, who was trapped in a tree that was cut down for a statue for the town’s founder.

Trantor is a supernatural creature who feeds on children’s fear. As more and more children of Briarville fall prey to Trantor’s powers, Ernest realizes that he’s the only one who can stop the troll and rescue the town from his grip.

Together with the kids, Ernest embarks on a mission to find Trantor’s weak spot and vanquish him for good. They soon discover that milk could be the key to Trantor’s defeat.

The group sets out to collect as much milk as they can before Trantor can reach them. Meanwhile, the troll continues to terrorize the town, turning the children into wooden dolls to add to his collection.

Ernest must use his wit and courage to face off against the monstrous troll and save his young friends.

Why Watch Ernest Scared Stupid

Ernest Scared Stupid is a hilarious comedy that blends humor with spooky elements. The movie appeals to both kids and adults, making it a perfect choice for family-friendly entertainment.

The antics of Ernest in his attempts to defeat the troll are sure to have viewers laughing out loud. Jim Varney’s portrayal of Ernest is superb, and his comedic timing is impeccable.

The film was one of the last movies that featured the character of Ernest before the actor’s untimely death in 2000. Hence, it’s a treasure trove of nostalgia for those who grew up watching these classics in the ’90s.

Moreover, Ernest Scared Stupid contains valuable life lessons about courage, friendship, and the power of belief. Ernest shows the true meaning of bravery in his mission to save the children and the town from Trantor’s grasp.

The movie reinforces the idea that even the smallest person can make the biggest difference if they stay true to their beliefs.


In conclusion, Ernest Scared Stupid is a hilarious comedy that is guaranteed to provide a thrilling Halloween viewing experience for all ages. Its fun plot, memorable characters, and positive messages continue to captivate audiences even after 30 years since its release.

Whether you’re looking for a nostalgic dose of childhood favorite or introducing your kids to this classic, Ernest Scared Stupid is a must-watch this Halloween. As the group races against time to gather milk, Ernest devises a plan to take Trantor head-on.

He dresses up as a woman, disguising himself as a female milk delivery person to infiltrate Trantor’s lair. Ernest’s plan backfires when Trantor realizes the ruse and captures him, planning to turn him into a wooden doll.

The kids spring into action, devising a plan to save Ernest and defeat Trantor once and for all. Armed with Ernest’s knowledge of Trantor’s weakness, the kids and Ernest break into the local dairy farm and collect all the milk they could find.

They sneak into Trantor’s lair, and a battle ensues. The team quickly discovers that Trantor has grown immune to the milk’s powers, and that they must think outside the box to save the day.

In a moment of inspiration, Ernest realizes that the milk must be combined with love and laughter to destroy Trantor. The group rallies together, using jokes and humor to dampen Trantor’s powers.

In a final showdown, they pour the milk over the beast, which dissolves into a pile of leaves and twigs. With the troll defeated, the children return to their human forms, and the town is saved from Trantor’s grip.

Ernest is hailed as a hero and gets a kiss from one of the female characters, much to his delight.

Why the Plot Matters

The plot of Ernest Scared Stupid is not just a fun and entertaining story. It also has important themes that make it a valuable movie to watch.

Firstly, the film establishes a sense of community. The diverse cast of characters comes together to fight against a common threat.

It sends a message that no one is alone in times of difficulty, and that it’s crucial to have people you can trust and rely on. Secondly, the film emphasizes the importance of creativity and resourcefulness in difficult situations.

Ernest and the kids use their wit and cunning to outsmart Trantor and his magical powers. This important lesson highlights the fact that sometimes the most straightforward solutions are not always the best ones.

It encourages viewers to think creatively when faced with problems. Finally, the film highlights the importance of facing one’s fears head-on.

The movie’s central plot revolves around Trantor’s ability to induce fear in his victims. Through teamwork and bravery, Ernest and the kids conquer their fears and overcome Trantor’s grasp.

It illustrates about the value of courage, even when facing seemingly unbeatable challenges.


Ernest Scared Stupid is a timeless classic that has delighted audiences for generations. It’s a perfect blend of comedy and spookiness that appeals to both kids and adults.

The movie’s plot emphasizes the value of friendship, resourcefulness, and courage. It shows that sometimes, the most valuable lessons can be learned from unlikely sources.

Overall, Ernest Scared Stupid is a fun, heartwarming film that is perfect for Halloween celebrations. Its unforgettable characters, witty humor, and valuable themes make it a must-watch movie for audiences of all ages.

Behind The Scenes of Ernest Scared Stupid

Ernest Scared Stupid is a family-friendly Halloween comedy that has gathered a cult following in the years since its release. The film was directed by John R.

Cherry III and produced by Joe Camp. It stars Jim Varney as Ernest, supported by a cast including Eartha Kitt, Larry Blackmon, and Austin Nagler.

Production for the film started in April 1991 and wrapped up in July the same year. The team filmed primarily in Nashville, Tennessee, and other nearby locations such as Franklin.

The production team transformed the small town of Franklin into the fictional town of Briarville for the outdoor scenes. The Film’s Characters and Cast

The cast of Ernest Scared Stupid comprises a mix of established actors and up-and-coming talent.

Jim Varney brings Ernest P. Worrell, his iconic character, to life with his inimitable sense of humor and wit, as well as his physical comedy skills.

Eartha Kitt appears as Old Lady Hackmore, a wise old woman who helps Ernest and the group in their battle against Trantor the troll. Austin Nagler plays the young protagonist, Kenny, who is Ernest’s closest friend and ally.

Larry Blackmon joins the cast as Sheriff Binder, the hapless local law enforcement officer.

Director and Producer

John R. Cherry III was the director of Ernest Scared Stupid and also had directed other films in the “Ernest” series.

Cherry was a long-time collaborator and friend of Jim Varney. He had directed Varney in many of his commercials and films, including several Earnest movies.Joe Camp was the producer of the film.

Known for his work with the Benji movie series, Camp brought his expertise in family-friendly content to Ernest Scared Stupid.

Visual Effects and Soundtrack

Ernest Scared Stupid relied heavily on visual effects to bring Trantor, the terrifying troll, to life. Trantor was designed by the Academy Award-winning effects artist David Allen, who also worked on movies such as The Puppet Master and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

The movie’s soundtrack features original music by Bruce Arntson, who composed the score and several of the film’s songs. Arntson’s work includes the tracks “Goober Peas,” “We’ll Check Out That Old Graveyard,” and “My Pumpkin.”

Cinematography and Editing

The movie’s cinematography was handled by Peter Stein. Stein used a combination of wide shots and closeups to give the audience a sense of the town of Briarville’s size and scope, as well as capture the characters’ emotions and reactions.

The film’s editing was done by Stephen Myers, who worked closely with the director John Cherry to carefully pace the story and balance the humor and horror elements of the film.


Ernest Scared Stupid is a beloved Halloween movie that holds a special place in the hearts of fans around the world. It was brought to life by a talented team of artists, including the director John R.

Cherry, the producer Joe Camp, the visual effects artist David Allen and the composer Bruce Arntson. Their combined efforts produced a movie that mixes humor, scares, and valuable lessons, creating a timeless classic that continues to entertain audiences of all ages to date.

Release and Reception

Ernest Scared Stupid was initially released nationwide on October 11, 1991, in the United States. It was distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, the first of the Ernest movies to be released by the company.

The movie had moderate box office success, grossing $14.9 million in the US market alone. The film opened to mixed reviews, with some critics criticizing the movie’s humor and horror elements.

Despite this, audiences embraced the movie, making it a staple of Halloween movie marathons to this day.

Home Video Release

The home video release of Ernest Scared Stupid played an instrumental role in solidifying the movie’s cult following. The movie was first released on VHS and LaserDisc in 1992, less than a year after its theatrical release.

In 2002, the film was included in a 3-disc DVD boxset titled “The Ernest Collection” alongside the other five Ernest movies. The DVD release featured new interviews with the cast and crew, as well as behind-the-scenes footage, bloopers, and deleted scenes.

Streaming and Digital Release

In 2020, Ernest Scared Stupid was released digitally on various platforms, including iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon Prime Video. This has made the movie more easily accessible to fans, old and new, who can now stream the movie from the comfort of their homes.


Ernest Scared Stupid is a cult classic that has left an enduring impact on its viewers. Its mix of comedy and horror made it a unique addition to the horror-comedy genre.

While critics at the time were not entirely sold on the film’s approach, it gained a considerable following over time and developed a loyal fanbase. The movie also captured the essence of the Ernest brand, which focused on humor, optimism, and wholesomeness.

Jim Varney’s earnest portrayal of Ernest endeared the character to audiences, resulting in the character becoming a pop culture icon in the years that followed. Ernest Scared Stupid added to the Ernest legacy that included several other movies that spanned through the ’80s and ’90s.

The movie showcased the character’s evolution and helped to cement its place in history as a quirky and lovable character. The film continues to be a popular Halloween classic, and many have revisited it repeatedly over the years.


Ernest Scared Stupid’s release proved to be a significant point in the development of movie-making for the horror-comedy genre. The movie’s intriguing mix of humor, scares, and wholesome entertainment made it a hit amongst its fans, and the movie still lives on in the hearts of those who embraced it in their childhood.

The film’s release marked a significant chapter in cinema, and its popularity continues to endure through different forms of media, be it DVD, streaming, or through its growing number of fans who proudly call it a Halloween classic.

Soundtrack of Ernest Scared Stupid

The soundtrack for Ernest Scared Stupid was composed by Bruce Arntson, who also composed the score for the previous Ernest films. The soundtrack was produced by David Kitay and released by MCA Records on CD and cassette shortly after the films release in the United States in 1991.

Track Listing:

1. Scared Stupid Performed by Bruce Arntson


Ernest Magic Performed by Jim Varney and the Nashville Network Hosts

3. Well Check That Old Graveyard Performed by Bruce Arntson


Its You Performed by Jim Varney and Eartha Kitt

5. Goober Peas Traditional


My Pumpkin Performed by Bruce Arntson

7. Old Lady Hackmore Performed by Eartha Kitt


Reggies Fix Performed by Bruce Arntson

9. Marry the Mole Performed by Eartha Kitt


Trantor the Troll Performed by Bruce Arntson

11. Well Check That Old Graveyard (Reprise) Performed by Bruce Arntson

The Soundtrack’s Style and Themes

The soundtrack of Ernest Scared Stupid was heavily influenced by country music, given the film’s setting in the town of Briarville.

The traditional elements of acoustic and folk music were utilised and blended with modern pop-rock sounds to give it a unique and contemporary sound. Arntson’s compositions brought a lighthearted tone to the film, balancing the comedy and horror elements of the movie appropriately.

One of the significant elements of the soundtrack is the emphasis on simple, catchy lyrics that helped to reinforce the morals of the movie. The lyrics for the songs “We’ll Check That Old Graveyard” and “My Pumpkin,” for instance, underlined the idea of courage and bravery, while the song “It’s You” emphasized the theme of friendship.

The soundtrack also features the memorable “Goober Peas,” a traditional American Civil War song used in the film as an uplifting piece of background music. “Old Lady Hackmore,” performed by Eartha Kitt, is a delightful song that provides insight into the character’s mystique.

Legacy and Influence

The soundtrack of Ernest Scared Stupid played an essential role in the movie’s impact and fanbase. The memorable songs, coupled with the film’s humor and horror elements, helped to garner new fans in different age groups.

Even years after its release, the soundtrack continues to be cherished by fans and collectors alike, who look upon it fondly as a nostalgic piece of time. The soundtrack’s success also helped to broaden the appeal of country music with a younger audience.

Its blend of traditional and modern sounds makes it a perfect example of how music can transcend genres and find a broad fanbase.


The soundtrack for Ernest Scared Stupid was an essential piece of the movie, contributing to the film’s popularity and popularity that it enjoys even today. Bruce Arntsons compositions blended with the different themes and characters’ nuances in the movie to create a fun, happy, and entertaining soundtrack.

As a result, the movie’s soundtrack is a beloved piece of movie memorablia, cherished by fans who appreciate it as much as the movie that it brought to life. In conclusion, Ernest Scared Stupid is a timeless classic that has entertained audiences of all ages for decades.

The film’s plot, production, release, and soundtrack have contributed to its enduring popularity and legacy. Ernest Scared Stupid continues to be a must-watch Halloween movie, showcasing the power of humor, courage, and friendship to overcome great odds.


Q: Who directed Ernest Scared Stupid? A: John R.

Cherry III directed Ernest Scared Stupid. Q: Who was the main actor in the movie?

A: Jim Varney played the iconic character of Ernest P. Worrell.

Q: When was Ernest Scared Stupid released? A: The movie was first released in the United States in October 1991.

Q: What was the movie’s budget? A: The production budget of the film was $9 million.

Q: Who produced the soundtrack? A: Bruce Arntson composed the soundtrack, which was produced by David Kitay and released by MCA Records.

Q: How was the movie received by critics? A: The film received mixed reviews from critics, but it has since become a Halloween classic among audiences.

Q: Are there any sequels to Ernest Scared Stupid? A: No, there are no sequels to the movie.

However, a series of Ernest movies was released before Ernest Scared Stupid. Q: What was the movie’s central message?

A: Ernest Scared Stupid emphasized the importance of courage, resourcefulness, and friendship in the face of great challenges.

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