That's him! That's him! Mister, you owe me a dollar for driving you today!
The Town The Dreaded Sundown
Release Date: February 3,1977
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Starring: Ben Johnson (The Swarm, Terror Train) Andrew Prine (Freddy's Nightmares, V) Dawn Wells (Gilligan's Island)
Director: Charles Pierce
Writer:Earl E Smith
DVD Extras: Not on DVD
The Story:Set in the late 40's the residents of Texarkana, Texas are left terrorized by a mysterious hooded killer who is stalking victims during the evening and leaving the local police at a loss.
Tag line:In 1946 this man killed five people... Today he still lurks the streets of Texarkana, Ark.
Where I picked this up: Old VHS
After Charles Pierce's passing earlier this month, it was time to finally track down a movie that had kept me wondering for a few years now. Why you ask well I will tell you. Going to Flashback weekend and hanging out with the Monster Kids Classic Horrors Film Board I have heard allot about this movie. From gray market copies to really hard to pass up posters and t-shirts you must admit this movie looks interesting. Also, legend would have you believe that "Phantom" was the inspiration for Jason Vorhees on Friday the 13Th Part 2. This is also a very sought after VHS with fans screaming for a DVD release.
To give this movie the documentary feels we get a narrator (Vern Stierman) to set the tone. He will fill in the story and let you know how the town folk feels. Some people really do not like this part of the movie but myself I feel it was a good fit. Now the opening scene with the "Phantom" (Bud Davis Child's Play the blob '88) plays out really well. He hides in the shadows and creeps up very well. After beating the snot of the two kids he gets a little wimpy picking up a gun. Sure this is based on a true story and maybe the guy gets smarter. After almost getting caught the second time he gets a silencer for his gun. I do really like the idea of the Phantom its simple and works. He works well-slowing hunting down his victims. I can see how this lead to the killers we have today.
Now as the movie goes on I feel it loses a bit of what it is working so hard to do. I feel as if nobody knows how to drive. Was driving so hard back then? The First car you see vers off the road then the cops can't drive and so on. It almost comes across as comedy relief.
The Odd Jazz Pop soundtrack did not fit so well also. I under stand that this was the 40's but the sound track was very week.
Is Sparkplug trying to act like Barney Fife? Maybe the writer was ahead of his time making a Horror/Comedy that does not work at all.
I'm glad I finally tracked down this Horror film just for the simple history behind everything. I will most definitely pick up a t-shirt this year at FBW.The movie is worth finding if you are into low budget low horror and more thriller then gore you will find this movie did have a big impact on what we see today.
In today's remake craze this one would really fit the bill. This has Strong remake value. When they do a DVD I sure hope they will not turn out a bare bones disc. I would love a commentary and bonus features.
3 1/2 Bloody Brains out of 5