IMDb > The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)
The Town That Dreaded Sundown
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 5 | slideshow)

Overview

User Rating:
6.1/10   2,631 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 37% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Contact:
View company contact information for The Town That Dreaded Sundown on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 December 1976 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Not Everyone Who Comes to This Lover's Lane Has the Same Thing on Their Mind. See more »
Plot:
A Texas Ranger hunts for a hooded serial killer terrorizing the residents of a small town, set in 1946 Arkansas. Loosely based on a true story. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
User Reviews:
A Film That Set Up Horror And Crime For Decades See more (84 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Ben Johnson ... Captain J.D. Morales

Andrew Prine ... Deputy Norman Ramsey

Dawn Wells ... Helen Reed
Jimmy Clem ... Sgt. Mal Griffin
Jim Citty ... Police Chief R.J. Sullivan
Charles B. Pierce ... Patrolman A.C. Benson
Robert Aquino ... Sheriff Otis Barker
Cindy Butler ... Peggy Loomis
Christine Ellsworth ... Linda Mae Jenkins
Earl E. Smith ... Dr. Kress (as Earl E. Smith)

Steve Lyons ... Roy Allen
Joe Catalanotto ... Eddie LeDoux (as Joe Catalanatto)
Roy Lee Brown ... Rainbow Johnson
Mike Hackworth ... Sammy Fuller
Misty West ... Emma Lou Cook
Rick Hildreth ... Buddy Turner
Jason Darnell ... Capt. Gus Wells
Mike Downs ... Newspaper Reporter
Bill Dietz ... Newspaper Reporter
Carolyn Moreland ... Newspaper Reporter
Michael Brown ... Police Officer
Woody Woodman ... F.B.I. Agent
James Duff McAdams ... Sheriff's Deputy (as James D. McAdams)
John Stroud ... Dr. Preston Hickson
Mason Andres ... Rev. Harden
Richard Green ... High School Principal
Dorothy Darlene Orr ... Dispatcher
Don Adkins ... Suspect
Bud Davis ... The Phantom Killer
Vern Stierman ... Narrator (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Dennis Lehane ... Texas Ranger (uncredited)

Directed by
Charles B. Pierce 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Earl E. Smith 

Produced by
Samuel Z. Arkoff .... executive producer
Thomas W. Moore .... associate producer (as Tom Moore)
Charles B. Pierce .... producer
 
Original Music by
Jaime Mendoza-Nava  (as Jaime Mendosa-Nava)
 
Cinematography by
James W. Roberson  (as Jim Roberson)
 
Film Editing by
Tom Boutross 
 
Art Direction by
Grant Sinclair 
Myrl Teeter 
 
Makeup Department
Cheri Minns .... makeup artist (as Cheri Johnston)
 
Production Management
Bob Gates .... production manager
 
Art Department
Denise Broulette .... assistant props
Libby Smith .... property master
 
Sound Department
Dick Damon .... production sound mixer
Dan Finnity .... sound effects
Dimitry Gortinsky .... sound effects
Phil Haberman .... sound effects
Andrew Herbert .... sound effects
Fred Judkins .... sound effects
Fred Payne .... boom operator
Richard Portman .... sound re-recordist
Steve Shearsby .... sound effects
 
Special Effects by
Joe Catalanotto .... special effects (as Joe Catalanatto)
 
Stunts
Bud Davis .... stunt coordinator
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Sam Butler .... grip
Joe Catalanotto .... gaffer (as Joe Catalanatto)
Jim Davis .... grip
Kevin Davis .... grip
Steve Fleet .... grip
Steve Lyons .... first assistant camera (1976)
Moss May .... grip
Cheyenne Rivera .... camera boat operator
Michael Sherfey .... second assistant camera
John Stroud Jr. .... grip
Dan Williams .... grip
Tim Williams .... grip
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Chris Ellsworth .... assistant wardrobe
Karen Jones .... wardrobe
Bonnie Langriff .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Betty Moortgat .... negative cutter
 
Other crew
Lynn Andres .... production assistant
Cindy Langford .... slate girl
Barbara Pryor .... script supervisor
Ginger Tanton .... production assistant
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
86 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
According to the interview with Andrew Prine on the Region 1 Shout! Factory release, Prine had to write the ending for the movie because the script didn't have an ending.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: Cameraman (and his camera) reflected on the wagon train during the slow motion final chase.See more »
Quotes:
Captain J.D. Morales:You just got two speeds on this thing - wide open and stop?See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
20 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
A Film That Set Up Horror And Crime For Decades, 15 December 2007
Author: gavin6942 from United States

Based on a true story, the phantom killer stalks Texarkana and kills couples who hang out at lovers lanes. Armed with some nasty weapons and a pillow case for a mask, he terrorizes this town to the point of near shutdown, causing police forces from all over the state to intervene. Who can stop his rampage?

I've never seen a film quite like this before. I've seen plenty of based-on-real-killer films (most of which are nothing like the original murders), and the recent David Fincher film "Zodiac" follows very much in the vein of this movie (and Zodiac has some similarities to the Phantom). And this film is a definite inspiration for "Friday the 13th" with the pillow case mask. So, in at least one way, this film really kicked off a trend of stalking psychos. And while the first real serial killer film may have been "Black Christmas", this film isn't one to ignore: there's a really good scene of a woman being chased through the woods that is not unlike what we'd see a hundred times in the next thirty years.

The film also offers two dichotomies I'll address briefly: crime versus horror, and comedy versus drama. Much of this comes across as a crime film, because we are following the police on their manhunt and get to know some of the officers personally and they are clearly the protagonists. We want them to win. But this film has a horror element that cannot be ignored -- we don't just see the aftermath of a killing. The director took great delight in showing the chase, the torture and the deaths of the women. A straight crime tale wouldn't do this. But a horror film would, because many horror films have us egging on the killer even when we know he or she is evil. This film offers both sides.

The serious and comedy balance is also striking. We have a documentary-style voice telling us the updates and we are offered dates of the killings and for the most part this story remains rather serious and we can sympathize with the town. But then, we also have some cheesy music (not quite "Yakety Sax" but the same idea) and a character who threatens old women, cross-dresses and drives a cop car (poorly) as if he was an officer in "Dukes of Hazzard". Horror films generally have a comic relief -- a dark one -- but this really pushes the silly factor.

All the acting is great, the plot is simple but effective (a police manhunt). The video quality isn't perfect (this film really deserves a remastering and a re-appraisal, as horror historians will have to recognize the importance of this single film). But you will like it, I can pretty much guarantee that. I was sucked in almost immediately and lost valuable sleep time, but don't regret a moment of it.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (84 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Spark Plug? leeprew1
Annual viewing in Texarkana. kpmcw
I've written about this case and this movie Regionarian
Phantom Killer Documentary caseyris
B movie at its best cinecephale
Some say he still walks the streets ... (spoiler) mcguitar
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Zodiac Manhunter Night Game Mississippi Burning The Deliberate Stranger
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Crime section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.