6.4/10
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77 user 52 critic

Just Before Dawn (1981)

Five campers are stalked and killed in the mountains after traveling there to examine property they had purchased.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Gregg Irving) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Roy McLean
...
Ty
...
Jonathan
...
Warren
Deborah Benson ...
...
Daniel
Katie Powell ...
Merry Cat Logan (as Kati Powell)
...
Charles Bartlett ...
Vachel
...
Megan
Hap Oslund ...
Pa Logan
Barbara Spencer ...
Ma Logan
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Storyline

Five campers arrive in the mountains to examine some property they have bought, but are warned by the forest ranger Roy McLean that a huge machete-wielding maniac has been terrorising the area. Ignoring the warnings, they set up camp, and start disappearing one by one. If that sounds too run-of-the-mill, there's a genuinely shocking plot twist half-way through... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Will Anyone Survive Those Hours Just Before Dawn? See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Justo Antes De Amanecer  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Jeff Lieberman said that countless strangers showed up at the filming location on the day that the scene of Jamie Rose swimming topless was to be filmed. Lieberman said that word of this shoot had apparently gotten out among the local forest rangers. See more »

Goofs

At 50:19, When Daniel approaches the cemetery to take pictures a boom mic is visible for a few seconds in the top left of the screen before it is realized and then pulled out of the frame. See more »

Quotes

Warren: There's nothing out there but God's little creatures, more scared of you than you are of them.
See more »


Soundtracks

Heart Of Glass
Written by Debbie Harry and Chris Stein
Performed by Blondie
©(1979) Courtesy of Chrysalis Records, A Division of EMI
Under License from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

 
impressive early 80's slasher.
19 February 2009 | by (South Africa) – See all my reviews

Five teens set out to do some camping in the Oregon wilderness, and despite being warned by the park ranger, they soon realize that something is lurking around in the backwoods waiting to strike.

When it comes to old horror movies, the only one that keeps popping up in every conversation is Friday THE 13th, so I took it upon myself to find those good old horror movies that fell short for simply being compared to Friday THE 13th, JUST BEFORE DAWN just so happened to be among the ones I found, and was really very impressive, it wasn't as bland as some of the stuff you find today, it was very sharp in terms of character development as it had quite a few likable ones, and it has this very casual pace, its not in a hurry to get to the hack and slash bits, it takes its time to set the proper mood and tone and is very atmospheric and builds some killer suspense by letting you always have that sense of dread like, somethings out there but you don't know where it is or when it will strike.

Where I live its definitely an overlooked gem simply because people never heard of it or won't give it a chance, but I'll state that it is not a Friday THE 13th rip off, the two concepts don't even go near each other, but in my mind, it is overall one of the more impressive slashers I've seen in a while.


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