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Movie Details

Title:   The Town That Dreaded Sundown
Director:   Charles B. Pierce
Year:   1977
Genre:   Horror
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   09.02.06

Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
09.02.06Friend's House so at midnight I heard that we're watching 16mm stuff at Eric's. OK, I didn't really plan to be up all night tonight but I guess it's worth it. Why not, right?

So he's got a pretty good reel of trailers going including a few that I'm really not sure why they are on 16mm at all (like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind and The Two Towers (in scope even!))... and then we watched this really great vintage making-of for Raiders of the Lost Ark hosted by Harrison Ford (with some amazingly stoned-out narration) all about the stunt guys that worked on the film. It would make a near-perfect pre-show for Richard Rush this week... it even uses a few seconds of footage from The Stunt Man in the doc. That's probably the coolest thing about this doc... is uses footage from so many movies there's no way anyone would justify clearing the rights for that many obscure little movies on today's DVD supplements. But it's really great and really effective, because they'll be talking about the inspirations for Indiana Jones in the old saturday serials... and they would actually show several of them, how they'd construct the cliffhangers and damsels in distress and compare them to what's in Raiders... And since the whole thing's about the stunt guys, they also had some history of the profession in there, showing clips from Stagecoach and a few westerns of that time that had this one guy, an old rodeo guy or something, do these really early stunts like fall between a wagon train of 6 horses (similar to when Indy gets thrown over the hood of the mercedes truck and has to slide underneath it and get dragged along behind)... and Harrison's at some ranch hanging out with some stunt guys and they're talking about different gags and working with horses and all these clips of really amazing horse stunts (i have no clue what it's from but there's a movie out there somewhere where both the horse and rider slide right off this huge cliff and fall into the ocean) and crafting new technigues (which they show examples of) and stuff like that... but then as it turns out, both stunt guys are afraid of snakes and Harrison isn't bothered by em at all. heh heh heh. So that making-of tv show was really great...

After that we put up the screen sideways to see how his scope lens fit... it pretty much did so we watched his short reel of just a few epic trailers in scope and it looked so cool that we decided to watch a scope feature.

Hence this movie.

This is a supposedly true account (changing the names of course) about a series of murders that terrorixed Texarkana in the mid-40s. There's a guy with a bag over his head killing young people when they park in secluded areas to make out... so Ben Johnson's brought in as the most awesomest texas ranger ever (aside from Walker) to catch this guy that is getting the whole town afraid to walk around at night.

Well, the good things first... when it's not a direct pre-cursor to Friday the 13th with the masked guy in the woods chasing after teens and killing them in interesting ways (I guess he bit his victims), this movie has the tone of a slapstick comedy. It's a very odd mixture... either there's screaming women on screen or bumbling cops crashing into ponds. ALl this with the authoritatice narrator reporting to us like we're watching Dragnet.

Probably the most fantastic death involves a knife taped to the end of a trombone... I really find it hard to believe that they found that at a crime scene... i mean, that's just stupid. Made for a funny scene though.

Mostly though, this movie just kind of crawls along... then at the end the killer gets away and is never heard from again... until he shows up in line for this movie, and could be sitting right next to YOU!

AN ok saturday night movie... I may have enjoyed it more if I wasn't so tired and the sun wasn't coming up... oh well.
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