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The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)

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In 1946, a hooded serial killer terrorizes the residents of a small Arkansas town.


Charles B. Pierce


Earl E. Smith



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Johnson ... Captain J.D. Morales
Andrew Prine ... Deputy Norman Ramsey
Dawn Wells ... Helen Reed
Jimmy Clem ... Sgt. Mal Griffin
Jim Citty Jim Citty ... Police Chief R.J. Sullivan
Charles B. Pierce ... Patrolman A.C. Benson
Robert Aquino Robert Aquino ... Sheriff Otis Barker
Cindy Butler ... Peggy Loomis
Christine Ellsworth Christine Ellsworth ... Linda Mae Jenkins
Earl E. Smith Earl E. Smith ... Dr. Kress (as Earl E. Smith)
Steve Lyons Steve Lyons ... Roy Allen
Joe Catalanotto Joe Catalanotto ... Eddie LeDoux (as Joe Catalanatto)
Roy Lee Brown Roy Lee Brown ... Rainbow Johnson
Mike Hackworth Mike Hackworth ... Sammy Fuller
Misty West Misty West ... Emma Lou Cook


Set in the late 40's the residents of Texarkana, Texas are left terrorized by a mysterious hooded killer who is stalking victims during the evening and leaving the local police at a loss. Written by Losman <losman@express-news.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Everyone Who Comes to This Lover's Lane Has the Same Thing on Their Mind. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

24 December 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dreaded Sundown See more »

Filming Locations:

Texarkana, Texas, USA See more »


Box Office


$400,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$5,000,000, 31 December 1976
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The 2015 Eureka region B/2 Blu-ray/DVD release and the Netflix version opens the film with the more recent MGM logo. The 2013 Shout Factory region A/1 Blu-ray/DVD omits the logo. See more »


In the sheriff's office, there are some shots of the bulletin board in the background. On the board is the FBI's Wanted Poster for Frank Morris, following his escape from USP Alcatraz. The Alcatraz escape took place in June of 1962, sixteen years after the events in the film. See more »


Emma Lou Cook: Buddy, you better not go down this road or you're gonna get stuck.
Buddy Turner: Oh it's ok there's gravel on it.
See more »


Featured in Killer Legends (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

Well made, sometimes effective horror film that is based on a true story.
25 April 2010 | by hu675See all my reviews

Set in the late 1940's Texarkana, Arkanasas. The residents of a small peaceful town are terrorized by a mysterious hooded killer. Who's been stalking and killing random victims during the night. When the police from the town are hopeless and confused by the terror. A professional detective from Texas, Captain J.D. Morales (Oscar-Winner:Ben Johnson) arrives in Texarkana to help the police office. Who is also charged in the case is Deputy Norman Ramsey (Andrew Prine). Although these vicious, then unusual crimes stopped as quickly as they begin. Morales and Ramsey are running out of time.

Directed by the late Charles B. Pierce (Bootleggers, The Evictors, The Legend of Boggy Creek) made an well made horror film that is occasionally scary and suspenseful. This sometimes, unusual movie is also narrated by the late Vern Stierman. Which is surprisingly effective, when it is used. Pierce himself appears in a supporting role as Patrolman A.C. Benson. Who is the comic relief of the movie but that's the only complain of the movie. Sometimes, i felt the film's sense of humour sometimes hurts the effectiveness.

Since the movie is only available in a bootleg release. You can find this movie in Full Screen or Widescreen. You are better off finding this in Widescreen. Since it is extremely well shot by James W. Roberson in Panavision. The movie is also gimmicky at times, especially during the conclusion. Since this picture has become an Cult Classic over the years. Now...There's an remake in the works and it might be shot in 3-D! If you haven't seen this, this is worth seeing. The look of the hooded killer is giving homage later in "Friday the 13th Part 2". The killer in this movie, who is truly scary is played by stuntman Bud Davis as the Phantom Killer. (****/*****).

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