The Town That Dreaded Sundown

1976

Crime / Drama / Horror / Mystery / Thriller

7
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 42%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 41%
IMDb Rating 6 10 7118

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
January 30, 2021 at 05:50 AM

Cast

Ben Johnson as Captain J.D. Morales
Dawn Wells as Helen Reed
Andrew Prine as Deputy Norman Ramsey
720p.BLU
826.25 MB
1280*544
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 29 min
P/S 2 / 14

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gavin6942 7 / 10

A Film That Set Up Horror And Crime For Decades

Based on a true story, the phantom killer stalks Texarkana and kills couples who hang out at lovers lanes. Armed with some nasty weapons and a pillow case for a mask, he terrorizes this town to the point of near shutdown, causing police forces from all over the state to intervene. Who can stop his rampage?

I've never seen a film quite like this before. I've seen plenty of based-on-real-killer films (most of which are nothing like the original murders), and the recent David Fincher film "Zodiac" follows very much in the vein of this movie (and Zodiac has some similarities to the Phantom). And this film is a definite inspiration for "Friday the 13th" with the pillow case mask. So, in at least one way, this film really kicked off a trend of stalking psychos. And while the first real serial killer film may have been "Black Christmas", this film isn't one to ignore: there's a really good scene of a woman being chased through the woods that is not unlike what we'd see a hundred times in the next thirty years.

The film also offers two dichotomies I'll address briefly: crime versus horror, and comedy versus drama. Much of this comes across as a crime film, because we are following the police on their manhunt and get to know some of the officers personally and they are clearly the protagonists. We want them to win. But this film has a horror element that cannot be ignored -- we don't just see the aftermath of a killing. The director took great delight in showing the chase, the torture and the deaths of the women. A straight crime tale wouldn't do this. But a horror film would, because many horror films have us egging on the killer even when we know he or she is evil. This film offers both sides.

The serious and comedy balance is also striking. We have a documentary-style voice telling us the updates and we are offered dates of the killings and for the most part this story remains rather serious and we can sympathize with the town. But then, we also have some cheesy music (not quite "Yakety Sax" but the same idea) and a character who threatens old women, cross-dresses and drives a cop car (poorly) as if he was an officer in "Dukes of Hazzard". Horror films generally have a comic relief -- a dark one -- but this really pushes the silly factor.

All the acting is great, the plot is simple but effective (a police manhunt). The video quality isn't perfect (this film really deserves a remastering and a re-appraisal, as horror historians will have to recognize the importance of this single film). But you will like it, I can pretty much guarantee that. I was sucked in almost immediately and lost valuable sleep time, but don't regret a moment of it.

Reviewed by legwarmers1980 10 / 10

Women were Crying & Screaming in the Theater!

I saw this movie when it first came out in Miami, Florida. When the 6feet 8inch. psycho killer wearing a potato-sack as a mask with the eyes cut-out, appears, and butchers the lover-lane couple, with his heavy breathing and the potato sack mask going in and out, a young woman in her 20s ran out of the theater hysterical, and a few other women were screaming! Made a few years before the slasher films of the 1980s, this film was way before its time. The killer was brutal, sadistic, and very realistic. The murders were done in a very realistic manner, and with a cast of almost complete unknowns, it had a documentary feeling to it. Veteran character actor Ben Johnson was excellent as usual, and a nervous looking Andrew Perine did a creditable job, but it was the killer who stole the show. Excellent movie, tame by today's standards, but a horror classic never-the-less.

Reviewed by Nightman85 9 / 10

He still lurks the streets of Texarkana, Arkansas.

Another chilling docu-thriller from director Charles B. Pierce (who made The Ledgend of Boggy Creek in 1972), this film being his best!

It's 1946, in the small town of Texarkana, Texas-Arkansas a hooded murderer is terrorizing the community and making the local law enforcement desperate.

Based upon the real events that surrounded one of America's most baffling serial killers, this solidly made film is a compelling and generally under exposed fore-runner of the slasher genre. Director Pierce gives this film a nicely authentic feel of the era as well as a great atmosphere of dread. The movies strongest scenes are the re-enactments of the murders, which are effectively heart-pounding! Among the memorable moments is a creepy 'murder-by-trombone' and an intense stalking sequence with a bloodied Dawn Wells. Along with these thrilling bits comes some mild comic relief with the local police that thankfully don't hamper the proceedings. The moody music score is also a good touch.

The cast does well, veteran actor Ben Johnson is good as a criminal specialist, as is Andrew Prine as a local deputy. Director Pierce himself appears as a bumbling police officer.

An entertaining thriller from its shocking opening to its haunting conclusion, The Town That Dreaded Sundown is a B movie winner.

*** 1/2 out of ****

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