Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Just Before Dawn (1981)

4 / 5
Tagline: Will Anyone Survive Those Hours Just Before Dawn?
Directed By: Jeff Lieberman
Written By: Mark Arywitz, Jeff Lieberman, Joseph Middleton
Actors Include: George Kennedy, Deborah Benson, Gregg Henry
Genre: Horror
Length: 90 minutes
Banned: nope
Country: USA

Well I didn't know one heck of a lot going into this one, only that it was rather remniscent of "The Hills Have Eyes", "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Deliverance", but until I actually watched it I had no idea just how similar. Interestingly enough although it's extremely derrivative it still has plenty going for it. Firstly, it was shot beautifully in Oregon around waterfalls (that my Husband has been to many times) and in the wilderness. Secondly, one of the characters is one hell of a stuntman and it's actually impressive that he managed some of the stuff in this movie. Thirdly it's pretty easy to sit through and it is relatively entertaining although it's never quite great. The story is about a group of kids travelling in a van to find a place to camp in the wilderness. They are warned REPEATEDLY to not go camping up in an area that of course they end up camping in. Turns out some weird Mountain people (with a really strange annoying laugh) are stalking these kids and attacking them. So yeah you can see how this isn't exactly entirely original. Anyhow, what is quite disappointing is that nearly every death is cutaway, so you don't get to see anything, blood is at a minimum here! Still it has a nice atmosphere and it's almost creepy in places, it does try awful darned hard. Considering this isn't a really well known flick it's actually surprisingly decent, but it's not exactly a lost classic either.

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