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Overall Rating

Awesome: 10.34%
Worth A Look: 24.14%
Pretty Bad: 24.14%
Total Crap: 3.45%

2 reviews, 17 user ratings

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Town That Dreaded Sundown, The (1976)
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by DarkHorse

"A docu-drama that is more enjoyable for it's 70's feel than anything else."
3 stars

Supposedly, The Town That Dreaded Sundown is based on facts. At least that is what it claims in the beginning. A serial killer is loose in Texarkana and it is up to the local police, and an imported famous ivestigator, to find the killer before the body counts rises any higher. A decent horror movie if you can take the Dragnet-style narratation and lame-brained humor and wait for the good parts to kick in.

In the late-forties, a hooded killer preys on a small town who supposedly dreads sundown. For a town that dreads sundown these folks sure don't act like it. I think mabye the prom should have been cancelled that year, but thats just me.

The killer has an unpredictable modus operandi and leaves no clues as to his identity or his motivation for the murders. This is all established in the opening frames.

Enter the stereotypically honest Deputy Ramsey (Andrew Prine) and a legendary lawman, Captain J.D. Morales (Ben Johnson), to crack the case.

The whole thing has the feel of a low-budget, and poorly acted, version of Smokey and The Bandit (released a year after this one) meets Halloween (released two years after this one.) It maintains it's appeal by producing a handful of genuinely creepy moments and by the promise that all of it is based on real-life events.

The point that it is a true story is hammered home several times by the use of narration and visual aids (the actual dates of the murders appear on the screen proceeding each killing.)

An undisclosed castaway from Gilligan's Island appears in a cameo role. I'll just tell you it ain't Bob Denver (Dammit!)

Only worth your time if you are really into slasher flicks and/or true crime. This is not "In Cold Blood" but you could do much worse.

A cool period piece that has some well done slasher moments. Purists should be able to make it past the Dukes of Hazard style humor and modest budget, others may want to look elsewhere.

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originally posted: 02/29/00 17:51:54
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User Comments

2/21/17 morris campbell pretty good wonder what happened 2 the killer 4 stars
3/14/15 Pam some suspenseful scenes marred by low budget and abysmal attempts at humor 3 stars
1/25/12 mr.mike Snail-paced and fair at best. 3 stars
6/14/10 bronson It was a genuinely creepy movie when I saw it back in the day. Shoulda left the comedy out 5 stars
12/26/09 Chad Dillon Cooper A good movie spoiled by Dukes of Hazzard type humor. 4 stars
11/22/07 art that axe murderer wearing an executioners hood must have been the role model for jason thum 4 stars
11/15/06 Al Caholic I live in Texarkana...somebody please remake this movie! 2 stars
2/08/06 tatum The trailer was scarier than this laughfest 1 stars
4/24/04 Rachael Jones It was alright! 3 stars
2/18/04 james harrah scarey to me....could really care less what anyone else thinks.....i loved it. a must see! 5 stars
9/20/03 michael rutto I think it has that old timey creepy feel that makes me feel as if it could have been me 3 stars
8/10/03 glenn foltz a movie worth seeing 4 stars
3/16/03 sandra d. smith ok 3 stars
7/05/02 Brendan Wolfe This movie is a true classic. I hate to say it, but it is the Starship Troopers of horror. 4 stars
1/05/02 jeff hill very good 4 stars
7/24/00 Reid Taylor "The Town That Dreaded Sundown is suspense-filled drama at it's best!" 5 stars
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  02-Apr-1976 (R)



Directed by
  Charles B. Pierce

Written by
  Earl E. Smith

  Ben Johnson
  Andrew Prine
  Dawn Wells
  Jimmy Clem
  Jim Citty
  Charles Pierce

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