Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)

3 / 5 Aug '10
Tagline: In 1946 this man killed five people... Today he still lurks the streets of Texarkana, Ark.
Directed by: Charles B. Pierce
Written by: Earl E. Smith
Actors include: Ben Johnson, Andrew Prine, Dawn Wells
Genre: Horror, Drama, Crime
Length: 90 minutes
Banned: nope

It's rather hard to rate this because the copy I watched was pretty poor, and the dark scenes were barely visible. I did catch what was going on of course, but it's hard to tell if it was just poorly filmed or rather the vhs copy from the '70s that my copy had been ripped from was just old. Oh well, the other thing is that parts of this film are impressive, I mean considering it predates the slasher craze it does have some shocking violence. The scenes that don't involve the creepy hooded killer are so beyond dull and cheesy that it's hard to wait them out. It's yammer yammer yammer, scooby doo music and Police follies which bore me to tears. Also the announcer that tried to make this look like a documentary kept laming things up, just when I'd forget about the stupidity of it it would pop back up and irritate me. I think there is a way this could have been executed like a documentary and it would have been scary (from the reports I read it really did frighten people in it's day), but this was not the way. It was set in the '40s and based upon a real murderer that wasn't caught that wore a hood on his head. The killing are very brutal, the car window and tree scenes must been seen, some violent stuff. It's just the rest is nearly pointless, I get that they wanted us to see what the community was up to but so very much of it was that and so very few were the cool moments. It is worthy of a viewing, but the great parts are really few and far between.

Availability:  Not on DVD

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