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Just Before Dawn (1981)

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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 2,246 users  
Reviews: 73 user | 43 critic

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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Title: Just Before Dawn (1981)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Roy McLean
Mike Kellin ...
Ty
...
Jonathan
...
Warren
Deborah Benson ...
...
Daniel
Katie Powell ...
Merry Cat Logan (as Kati Powell)
John Hunsaker ...
Mountain Twins
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

The title of the original screenplay was "The Last Ritual". It was changed after the script's heavy religious theme was axed and the story was rigorously revised. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Heart Of Glass
Written by Deborah 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

 
High on suspense and slow build-up, and better for it; it's a real gem!
26 August 2013 | by (victoria b.c canada) – See all my reviews

*Minor spoiler*

Just Before Dawn has a decent cult following and I can see why. It's easy to see why movies like Wrong Turn were heavily influenced by it. Is it original? Not really. It has echoes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre & The Hills Have Eyes, but it's awfully stylish and manages to have a mind of It's own. I can't get over the fantastic cinematography. The scenery is mind blowing at times, with a beautiful waterfall situated around a lake that we see many times throughout the movie. It made for a very unique atmosphere. Don't expect many gory deaths in this one. Aside from the opening where a guy gets killed with a machete in his crotch area, this movie isn't about gore. It's all about suspense, and boy does it have a lot of it. The Killers in this one are deformed and very twisted. They don't just wanna murder people; they like to toy with their victims in the most frightening ways imaginable. It also helps that these aren't disposable Slasher victims like you usually see. I actually cared about a couple of the characters. It was really great to see some character development here. George Kennedy is NOT the main character here. He has a rather thankless role which I assume was for a paycheck. I managed to enjoy him anyway. Deborah Benson is excellent as the female lead. Her acting chops are a cut above the usual Slasher role. She was vulnerable, yet willfully strong at the same time. She had many qualities that Amy Steele had in Friday The 13th Part 2. Gregg Henry is also very good as her boyfriend. He was charismatic and I managed to relate with him easy. Chris Lemon (Jack Lemon's son) shows up as well

Final Thoughts: This isn't talked about nearly enough for my liking. It's pretty damn good for a slasher in the 80's. It is suspenseful and even scary at times. See it if you can find it

7/10


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Just Before Dawn To Blu-Ray....FINALLY!!! ccc62371
WHY DID I BUY THIS CRAP!!!!! pernille8686
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