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Just Before Dawn (1981)

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 ... See full summary »

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(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:

The nightmare has begun -- 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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original script included a sixth camper named Eileen, who dies when she is thrown off of a cliff. It also included a climax involving Connie being forced to handle rattlesnakes by the in-bred villains. 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

[after Warren and Jonathan scare the group]
Daniel: I knew it was you guys all along.
Jonathan: Oh come on Dan you were more freaked out than the girls.
Daniel: I just wasn't sure it was you.
Jonathan: So you peed your pants to play it safe, huh?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Just Before Dawn: Lions, Tigers and Inbred Twins (2005) 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

These hills have more than eyes...
29 January 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Just Before Dawn is a gem of a slasher flick, unfortunately not too many of you guys can see it because it was released in the wake of Friday the 13th and considered one of it's rip-offs. The only version I've seen of JBD is on Paragon VHS, supposedly it is available on a compilation DVD, but I've never seen it. Anyways I digress... More like the Hills Have Eyes than Friday the 13th, this film stands on its own due to it's atmospheric look and style and it's commitment to building it's characters. The film is effectively creepy throughout, never wholly revealing the killer to you, instead masking the killer or killers, through shadows and camera work. The film score is quite haunting and unlike other slasher films it doesn't spike up every time someone moves, it just builds along with the suspense and flows with the story. The film was recently re-made, loosely, as Wrong Turn. If you can find Just Before Dawn I highly recommend watching it, with the lights out.


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