Monday, September 24, 2012

The Town That Dreaded Sundown

I was feeling rather in the Fall spirit yesterday so I settled in for the night with a bourbon and The Town That Dreaded Sundown, which was directed by Charles Pierce, who did the Legend of Boggy Creek and stars Dawn Wells in a bit part. I had heard it was a decent slasher and it seems to be rather well regarded so I taped it off of TCM the other night. Since I couldn't go out to play MTG last night for a number of reasons, it seemed like a good choice. Also my DVR is getting rather full so I had to clear some of the films off.

It's certainly a capable film, bearing the hallmarks of Pierce's previous film with narration making up a decent part of the storytelling and it's in Texarkana to boot. It feels much like an extended reenactment like you would find on Unsolved Mysteries, though with ill-fitting comedic elements that serve only to hamper the film. Which is a shame, as the murder set pieces are damn good.

The killer, whose look it appears the F13 crew ripped off for Jason in Part 2, mainly stalks couples on lovers lanes. And he doesn't play around. There's a tension that creeps ever upward as we see the killer zero in on his hapless victims before springing on them. He'll punch through windows, hang off your car and even shoot you in your house if you're unlucky enough to be chosen. And he doesn't say a word. The chase scene with Dawn Wells is a highlight of the film and is a rather intense affair. It's a shame that right after it finishes that they have an ill-advised comic relief bit with a lady and a cat jumping out of a garbage can.

Not the worst way to spend a night and some scenes are downright chilling. I just can't stop wondering why they would have a bumbling cop in there like he was a refugee from Smokey and the Bandit. Odd. Well worth checking out, especially if you can catch it on TCM as the print they showed was absolutely gorgeous.

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