MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 890 this week

Just Before Dawn (1981)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  14 October 1981 (USA)
6.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 2,545 users  
Reviews: 76 user | 51 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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Gregg Irving) , 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

Related Items

Search for "Just Before Dawn" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Just Before Dawn (1981)

Just Before Dawn (1981) on IMDb 6.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Just Before Dawn.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Blue Sunshine (1978)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A bizarre series of murders begins in Los Angeles, where people start going bald and then become homicidal maniacs. But could the blame rest on a particularly dangerous form of LSD called Blue Sunshine the murderers took ten years before?

Director: Jeff Lieberman
Stars: Zalman King, Deborah Winters, Mark Goddard
The Prowler (1981)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A masked killer, wearing World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35-year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.

Director: Joseph Zito
Stars: Vicky Dawson, Christopher Goutman, Lawrence Tierney
Squirm (1976)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  

At the beginning of the film, we learn from one of the characters that earthworms can be called to the surface with electricity, but somehow it turns them into vicious flesh-eaters. Sure ... See full summary »

Director: Jeff Lieberman
Stars: Don Scardino, Patricia Pearcy, R.A. Dow
The Burning (1981)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A former summer camp caretaker, horribly burned from a prank gone wrong, lurks around an upstate New York summer camp bent on killing the teenagers responsible for his disfigurement.

Director: Tony Maylam
Stars: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer
Curtains (1983)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Six young actresses auditioning for a movie role at a remote mansion are targeted by a mysterious masked murderer.

Director: Richard Ciupka
Stars: John Vernon, Samantha Eggar, Linda Thorson
Final Exam (1981)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

A psycho killer shows up on college campus to slash up pretty co-eds and dumb jocks.

Director: Jimmy Huston
Stars: Cecile Bagdadi, Joel S. Rice, Ralph Brown
Madman (1982)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

At a summer camp for youths, cockey pre-teen calls out the name of mass serial killer "Madman Marz". Suddenly, counselors are being maimed and slaughtered in various ways by the ... See full summary »

Director: Joe Giannone
Stars: Gaylen Ross, Tony Fish, Harriet Bass
Night School (1981)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Who's been decapitating the innocent girls at a local night school? The police are baffled.

Director: Ken Hughes
Stars: Leonard Mann, Rachel Ward, Drew Snyder
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

After a seemingly innocent prank goes horribly wrong, a group of sorority sisters are stalked and murdered one by one in their sorority house while throwing a party to celebrate their graduation.

Director: Mark Rosman
Stars: Kate McNeil, Eileen Davidson, Janis Ward
Hell Night (1981)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Four college pledges are forced to spend the night in a deserted old mansion where they get killed off one by one by the monstrous surviving members of a family massacre years earlier for trespassing on their living grounds.

Director: Tom DeSimone
Stars: Linda Blair, Vincent Van Patten, Peter Barton
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

At the snobby Crawford Academy, Virginia's group of friends start to go missing years after horrible events that happened to her as a child around her birthday.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, Lawrence Dane
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A quartet of murderous psychopaths break out of a mental hospital during a power blackout and lay siege to their doctor's house.

Director: Jack Sholder
Stars: Jack Palance, Donald Pleasence, Martin Landau
Edit

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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The eerie whistling motif heard in Brad Fiedel's music score is a reference to the rescue whistle that Warren carries in the film. 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

Referenced in Wrong Turn (2003) 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
My favourite Jeff Lieberman film.
23 February 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Liebermans' entry in the original slasher craze is definitely more well made and intelligent than some. In fact, in making it he wasn't so much inspired by "Friday the 13th" as he was "Deliverance". He and his crew make this a powerfully atmospheric outing, utilizing the real Oregon woods to great effect, and turn it into a fun survival-of-the-fittest yarn, even developing the two main characters in interesting ways. Five young adults venture into the Oregonian mountains to do some camping and check out the local land that one of them has supposedly inherited. Before long they begin to be victimized by a stealthy, heavyset psychopath. Slasher movie fanatics who watch this sort of thing for gore and/or nudity will be quite disappointed with Liebermans' film, as it's clear he has a different agenda going on. That's not to say, of course, that the women aren't attractive, or that there isn't some effective nastiness to be enjoyed. But what the director really wants to convey is the need to have a respect for nature - because it CAN kick your ass if you're not prepared. He begins with an intense opening set piece and generates some truly unnerving suspense; this is the kind of film that can have a viewer literally on the edge of their seat. It's also stylishly done; take note of one scene transition in particular. Brad Fiedel, who a few years later gained his fame with his theme for "The Terminator", supplies a music score that is chilling in its subtlety. (The whistling is a really nice touch.) The better than usual cast features some very familiar actors: Gregg Henry, Ralph Seymour, Jamie Rose, Mike Kellin, Chris Lemmon (Jacks' son), and George Kennedy as the veteran forest ranger who's aware that the area is fraught with danger. The gorgeous Deborah Benson, who really should have been able to enjoy a much more visible career, is a standout as the female lead who starts out as a rather tentative character, starts to cut loose, and ultimately finds her inner strength. John Hunsaker is extremely creepy as the killer. There's one well executed plot twist along the way, and at the end an innovative and memorable way of dispatching our villain. The pacing is deliberate, the camera-work and cinematography excellent, and the scenery beautiful, in what has to be one of the more unheralded horror films of its time. It comes highly recommended. Eight out of 10.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Just Before Dawn To Blu-Ray....FINALLY!!! ccc62371
WHY DID I BUY THIS CRAP!!!!! pernille8686
A German DVD from this movie is UNCENSORED! hodderschick
Please Dont Say to me... startofend
What DVD to get? Bunders
Where's the DVD? BillyBC
Discuss Just Before Dawn (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?