Hot Picks

- Ready for My Close Up 2019

- Talk of the Dead 2016

- Tony Martone 2022

- The Skunk Ape Experiments 2022

- All Must Die 2019

- Movers Ultimate 2022

- Dawn 2022

- The Necro Files 1997

- Typo 2021

- Discontent 2022

- Bloody Muscle Body Builder in Hell 1995

- The Blood of the Dinosaurs 2021

- The Bride in the Box 2022

- The Ghost Lights 2022

- Battle of the Worlds 1961

- Musings of a Sinner 2021

- Abject 2022

- MEAD 2022

- Attack of the Killer Chickens 2022

- The Dead Girl in Apartment 03 2022

- Orders from Above 2021

- Summer Issues 2020

- The Andy Baker Tape 2021

- Kung Fu Ghost 2022

- C.A.M. 2021

- The Huntress of Auschwitz 2022

- As a Prelude to Fear 2022

- Girls to Buy 2021

- Death Hunt 2022

- Bring Him Back Dead 2022

- Final Caller 2020

- Glasshouse 2021

- 3 Demons 2022

- Riki the Rhino 2020

- The Bloody Man 2020

- Paradise Motel 2022

- Getting Toasted 2019

- Prosper 2014

- Fresh Hell 2021

- Father of the Flying Car 2022

- Ten Doors 2021

- Fair Game 1986

- H.P. Lovecraft's Witch House 2021

- American Werewolves 2022

- Corpse Control 2021

- The Legend of Santa 2021

- A Town Full of Ghosts 2022

- When Darkness Falls 2022

- The Expat 2021

- First Impressions Can Kill 2017

- A Killer Conversation 2014

- Star Crash 1979

- Strangler of the Swamp 1946

The Town that Dreaded Sundown
Phantom Killer

USA 1976
produced by
Charles B. Pierce, Samuel Z. Arkoff (executive) for AIP
directed by Charles B. Pierce
starring Ben Johnson, Andrew Pine, Dawn Wells, Jimmy Clem, Jim Citty, Charles B. Pierce, Robert Aquino, Cindy Butler, Christine Ellsworth, Earl E. Smith, Steve Lyons, joe Catalanotto, Roy Lee Brown, Mike Hackworth, Misty West, Rick Hildreth, Jason Darnell, Mike Downs, Bill Dietz, Carolyn Moreland, Michael Brown, Woody Woodman, James Duff McAdams, John Stroud, Mason Andres, Richard Green, Dorothy Darlene Orr, Don Adkins, Bud Davis, Vern Stierman (voice)
written by Earl E. Smith, music by Jaime Mendoza-Nava

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Quick Links

Abbott & Costello

Alice in Wonderland

Arsène Lupin

Batman

Bigfoot

Black Emanuelle

Bomba the Jungle Boy

Bowery Boys

Bulldog Drummond

Captain America

Charlie Chan

Cinderella

Deerslayer

Dick Tracy

Dr. Mabuse

Dr. Orloff

Doctor Who

Dracula

Edgar Wallace made in Germany

Elizabeth Bathory

Emmanuelle

Fantomas

Flash Gordon

Frankenstein

Frankie & Annette Beach Party movies

Freddy Krueger

Fu Manchu

Fuzzy

Gamera

Godzilla

Hercules

El Hombre Lobo

Incredible Hulk

Jack the Ripper

James Bond

Jekyll and Hyde

Jerry Cotton

Jungle Jim

Justine

Kekko Kamen

King Kong

Laurel and Hardy

Lemmy Caution

Lobo

Lone Wolf and Cub

Lupin III

Maciste

Marx Brothers

Miss Marple

Mr. Moto

Mister Wong

Mothra

Nick Carter

OSS 117

Phantom of the Opera

Quatermass

Robin Hood

Santa Claus

El Santo

Schoolgirl Report

The Shadow

Sherlock Holmes

Spider-Man

Star Trek

Sukeban Deka

Superman

Tarzan

Three Mesquiteers

Three Musketeers

Three Supermen

Winnetou

Wizard of Oz

Wolf Man

Wonder Woman

Yojimbo

Zatoichi

Zorro

Available on DVD !

To buy, click on link(s) below and help keep this site afloat

Always make sure of DVD-compatibility !!!


1946: Texarkana, a small town on the Texas-Arkansas border is shocked by the case of two teens who wanted to make out in their car on lovers' land, but got attacked, mutilated and almost murdered by a masked maniac. Exaclty three weeks later, again on lovers' lane, another couple actually does get murdered, and evidence points to the same perpetrator. The local authorities, not used to this kind of (serial-)crime, call in a specialist, "lone wolf" special investigator Morales (Ben Johnson), and he and his local sidekick deputy Ramsey (Andrew Prine) do everything to track down the killer, now dubbed the Phantom Killer (Bud Davis) and to prevent him from killing again, even if that means a installing a curfew and patrolling the city night after night after night ... but to little avail, where there's teens there's making out in cars, right - so it's really only a matter of time before the next murder happens, despite all the precautions and despite our heroes having figured out a temporal pattern as to when the murders are always happening (every three weeks). Eventually though, to catch the authorities by surprise, the killer changes his m.o. ever so slightly by attacking a woman in her own house ...

Eventually, Morales and Ramsey rather coincidently track down an abandoned car that can be linked to the killer, manage to trail the Phantom Killer, even injure him in a shoot-out ... but somehow he can escape into the nearby swamplands, and while the killings stop from then on, nobody can say for sure if he died in the swamps, just skipped town, or is sitting in jail for another crime ...

Director Charles B. Pierce shows a great strain of self irony by playing a totally clueless police officer - who's even in drag in one scene.

 

The Town that Dreaded Sundown, a film based on a true story (which is why it's still shown every year at a local theatre in Texarkana), is widely regarded as one of the very early slasher movies, predating Halloween by two years - but while the movie most certainly features many a slasher trademark (the masked killer, the teens who are trading in their lives for sexual shenanigans [no nudity here though], the whodunnit aspect that takes backseat to the killings as such), it actually plays more like a police procedural ... and frankly, not a very good one at that. Our heroes seem to come to their conclusions rather randomly, several of their ideas to catch the killer (including policemen in drag) seem to be far-fetched, the way they actually get their lead on the killer and the fact that he wears his mask during daytime (he only kills at night) for no reason at all are on the feeble side, and the whole thing tries way too much to appear factual to actually succeed in evoke too many emotions.

All that said, this film is certainly no train wreck, it's got its era, the mid-1940's lovingly recreated, there are enough suspenseful and violent scenes in there to keep one at the edge of one's seat - but all that is not to say the film couldn't have been better in most departments all the same.

 

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

Feeling lucky ?
Want to
search
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?

The links below
will take you
just there !!!

Find The Town that Dreaded Sundown
at the amazons ...

USA  amazon.com

Great Britain (a.k.a. the United Kingdom)  amazon.co.uk

Germany (East AND West)  amazon.de

Looking for imports ?
Find The Town that Dreaded Sundown here ...

Thailand  eThaiCD.com
Your shop for all things Thai

Something naughty ?
(Must be over 18 to go there !)

x-rated  find The Town that Dreaded Sundown at adultvideouniverse.com


Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD