Actors - Ben Johnson/Andrew Prine/Dawn Wells/Jimmy Clem/Jim Citty/Charles B. Pierce
Audio - English (DTS-HD 2.0)
Running Time - 90 minutes
Aspect Ratio - 2.35:1
Year of Release - 1976
Movie : 6/10
One of the biggest problems in Hollywood today is setting movies in a time period that whilst reflect the decade it is set in, shades of the actual period it was filmed in glint through on the screen and . It's not any movies fault really, it's hard to film a movie a year or so after the real life events happened. The 1976 movie 'The Town that Dreaded Sundown' is no exception. Even though the token pieces of 1940's are there : Polyester suits. Fast stylish cars.The period portrayed very well in this movie however, but I couldn't help wondering if some music from the 1940's could have been used to fill in the gaps.
Not to mention that these 'real events' are slightly overshadowed by a comedic bumbling Sherrif's department of Texakas. Except for the main Sherriff of the town, who comes across as a law enforcing offical of Amity Island determined to hunt down his shark, the rest of the Sherrif's department come across as a slightly more serious episode of Dukes of Hazzard, complete with car chase. One has to contemplate if such large comedic elements was deserving of a place in such a serious movie were lives were lost.
An all-Star cast also isn't present in this movie, except for Dawn Wells, Mary-Anne from Gilligans Island who makes an appearance as a victim of the Phantom Kilelr in the second half of the movie. this for me was when I stood up and took notice of the movie and started to pay attention for such a big Hollywood star about to be offed on screen.
I will mention that this movie reminded me very heavily of Friday the 13th Part 2. I'm not the first one to point this out, but just look at the cover - there is a guy wearing a Pillowcase on his head going around and killing people (and very creatively with a trumpet I might add).
There was no haunting music, or first person camera angles as seen through the eyes of the killer, but as the term 'slasher' was not even in it's infancy, it wasn't even born yet, one would have to suggest that 'The Town that Dreaded Sundown' inspired a lot of Slasher movies such as Friday the 13th. It should also be noted that the movie predates the original Halloween by 2 years. So a classic yes, not without it's problems mentioned, but definately holds it's place as inspiration for later slashers.
So, was this story true? Well, no movie that claims to be 'Based on real events' can be 100% accurate on screen. The movie is very historically inaccurate to the events that happened in real life. Without dwelling on the movie and what really happened too much, according to Wikipedia, I'm talking about victims and dates. These are simply not true to fact. I really should have learnt my lesson from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. 'Based on real events' indeed.
Video : 6/10
It's the standard Blu-Ray transfer and looks good on the TV screen. I will mention that there was some white spotting here and there and in one scene, some celluloid scratching. Over all, video is fine.
Audio : 6/10
The movie is a transfer is solid and sports an English (DTS-HD 2.0) audio. Nothing out of the ordinary to report here.
Extras : 0/10
None. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Not even the movie's trailer. Well that's what the back of the packaging said as well. Very disappointing. The Blu-Ray disk is Barebones.
Overall 6/10 : Great movie. Great Transfer. Barebones release.