Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1977, Charles B. Pierce)

"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"

This is a "told exactly how it happened!" type of film. Sort of like an episode of Unexplained Mysteries or America's Most Wanted. It even has the pointless narrator that tells you everything you are already seeing. This is supposed to give the film a realistic and very creepy vibe. Instead it comes off as annoying.

The other thing this film has that is annoying but also awkward and hilarious is the killer. The poster has a picture of him but it doesn't do this guy justice. I wish I could find a still picture of him in the film. He is a creepy killer for sure, but that hood that he wears adds a lot of unintentional laughs at times. The thing about this hood is that it makes the killer not breath. So, we are treated to a handful of scenes of the killer running and then stopping to breath because of this hood and yes, the cloth does go inside his mouth every time he breathes.

The other thing this killer adds to the film is the most ridiculous murder ever in a film. He has just tackled a girl who has just left her school prom where she was playing the trombone. So, he has just gotten the girl finally after running after her. He drags her to a tree and ties her up with some rope. He then takes out his knife and ties it around the end of the trombone. He then pretends he is playing the trombone and every time he pushes that trombone thing it stabs her. This is awkward because not only does the killer do this but he also does a pretend trombone sound with his mouth. Once again, yes...the cloth does go inside his mouth every time.

Even though the film has these odd scenes it still manages to be kind of creepy and add a lot of curiosity to the viewer. We actually really want to know who this killer is. Sadly though, when the film is not following the killer or the police trying to figure who he is we are treated to a couple of horrible comedy scenes. Yup, this serial killer film has a lot of "ahhhhh shucks!" type of scenes.

The Town that Dreaded Sundown is not a great film or even a good film. It is however an entertaining film. I bet this film was chilling and disturbing when it was first released.

- **

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