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

The Town That Dreaded Sundown -- Trailer for The Town That Dreaded Sundown


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Release Date:
24 December 1976 (USA) See more »
Not Everyone Who Comes to This Lover's Lane Has the Same Thing on Their Mind. See more »
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:
Unique, Original, Creepy: a forgotten classic. See more (92 total) »


  (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)
Violet Neff ... Girl looking through blinds (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)
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:
90 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:R | Germany:16 (Blu-ray) | Germany:16 (re-rating) (2015) | Iceland:16 | Norway:15 | Norway:18 (original rating) | Sweden:15 | UK:15 (re-rating) (2015) | UK:18 (1987) | UK:X (1977) | USA:R | West Germany:18 (original rating)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Some of the swamp scenes at the end of the film are actually recycled footage from The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972), Charles B. Pierce first feature film.See more »
Factual errors: A caption places the Perot Theater on the Arkansas side. It is, in fact, on the Texas side.See more »
Captain J.D. Morales:I plan on catchin' him... or killin' him. 'Scuse me gentlemen I wanna get a cee-gar.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Screams of a Winter Night (1979)See more »


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24 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
Unique, Original, Creepy: a forgotten classic., 18 May 2004
Author: Nick Faust ( from Evansville, Indiana

THE TOWN THE DREADED SUNDOWN is one of the most original horror films of the 70's. And that's saying a lot. It starts off as a square-footed documentary with voice over and all the rest. But in the midst of this rather sweet evocation of Texarkana, Arkansas, a hooded madman runs rampant, sadistically killing and killing and killing. The violence, though not particularly graphic, is disturbing because of the way Pierce places it within his documentary structure. The movie's goal, I think, is to show the unspeakable chaos that lies just beneath the facade of America's post war prosperity. How secure is the picket fence world when a hooded maniac may be lurking in the shadows? The mystery is never solved; we don't find out who the killer is, nor is there a climactic moment where all the action peaks. The killings just stop and the dread never really ends, it just recedes back into the city's shadows. What makes this movie so compelling is the straight forward and uncluttered way Pierce lays out his facts. He will dramatize certain situations, but not in the conventional way, not with a continuous rising and falling melodramatic plot. Pierce's approach circumvents the usual horror movie gestures to zero in on what is, in this case, a purely mythic concern: evil in our midst. The killer, not shown to be a "character" in the traditional sense, is a burlap hood with eyes looking through eye holes and black work boot. The killer's visual presence and violent actions are given no motive, no personality beyond the moments of mayhem we see and the destruction we hear discussed. This killer is merely a faceless force, a depiction of nameless chaos, and, because he exists in this removed state the viewer is instinctually compelled to make sense of his actions. Pierce takes the trappings of exploitation and weaves a creepy and, for me, unforgettable midwestern epic.

Charles B. Pierce, an independent producer- director, was the Otto Preminger of the drive-in market. Like Preminger, he was rarely taken seriously as an artist. One reason could be that his film subjects jump all over the place, from horror to Native American stories, to a movie about Vikings staring Cornel Wilde! He thought big and was not afraid to put his name above the title. Even in the post BONNIE AND CLYDE era, the idea that a regional film maker could both embrace and bypass the Hollywood system to actually get films like these made and shown must have seemed strange to most of the status quo.

The one that put him on the drive-in map, THE LEGEND OF BOOGY CREEK combines what appears to be genuine documentary footage with horror movie antics. At first, you think it's a joke, but as it goes on, a strange kind of unvarnished beauty emerges. I wouldn't say the movie's entirely successful (TOWN plays with the same concept and is more assured and less loopy), but it's bold and original and it reportedly made a lot of money. I've seen most of Pierce's movies, not all of which work as well as TOWN, but all of them exhibit a splendid sense of place and style. The late 40's vibe in TOWN hits the mark, and on shoestring budget, I'm sure. Charles B. Pierce was a true film maker, and I'll bet there's a lot to be learned by studying his work and the way he put together his productions. Where is he now, and what's he doing?

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was this killer ever caught sabbathandbllod
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Worst driving I've ever seen! lol :) catattack86
Town That Dreaded Sundown episode of Land of the Creeps dittomist
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