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
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:

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 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 Adjust Your Tracking (2013) 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

 
A nightmarish hell pre dawn
21 February 2015 | by (adelaide, australia) – See all my reviews

JBD has something that a lot of other horror films lack. I knew that the first time I saw it. It stands above many others. It's funny to think this when it's scenario here is nothing knew. The film even has better actors for this type of flick, none better than Gregg Henry, and it's great to see him play a good guy. The actress playing his girlfriend, looks like a female version of him. Are they related? Again, despite the warning of an old buzzard (horror icon, George Kennedy, who else) not to venture into these dangerous woods, of course they pay no heed. Henry and co proceed in their R.V. into this elevated terrain, below quite a drop, (kind of has you thinking of RV with Robin Williams). The killer family (cliched) are of course deformed, some of them giants, very much Wrong Turnish 1. As they trek out into the mountains, the movie takes it time to pick off it's victims (I like movies that work this way) they are picked off gradually. JBD, an unhurried frightener flick, maintains much suspense, throughout, which it never loses, some of it truly claustrophobic. This horror is one of those few, I've actually found truly and effectively scary. Some moments, truly jangle the senses. Violence is restrained here too. Although JBD with a lot of instances and happenings which are cliché'd, what it has great suspense, which a lot of other films lack this much in volume, it's story structured with a master disciplined touch. It has a less is more thing going for it. The unrelated ten minute opening too is one of grand suspense, in a movie that pushes all the right buttons. There is a warning, on the cover that the last ten minutes of the movie may be intense or disturbing. What an over exaggeration, you'll see what I'm talking about, when you see that image.


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