6.3/10
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84 user 59 critic

Just Before Dawn (1981)

Five campers arrive in the mountains to examine some property they have bought, but are warned by Forest Ranger Roy McLean that a huge machete-wielding maniac has been terrorising the area.... See full summary »

Director:

Jeff Lieberman

Writers:

Mark Arywitz (screenplay), Jeff Lieberman (screenplay) (as Gregg Irving) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
George Kennedy ... Roy McLean
Mike Kellin ... Ty
Chris Lemmon ... Jonathan
Gregg Henry ... Warren
Deborah Benson ... Constance
Ralph Seymour ... Daniel
Katie Powell ... Merry Cat Logan (as Kati Powell)
John Hunsaker ... Mountain Twins
Charles Bartlett ... Vachel
Jamie Rose ... Megan
Hap Oslund Hap Oslund ... Pa Logan
Barbara Spencer 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 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 halfway 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 November 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Justo Antes De Amanecer See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Oakland Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The first draft of the script that would become this movie was written in 1978, and originally titled "The Tennessee Mountain Murders". The script went through rigorous revisions (and two title changes) before being filmed. See more »

Goofs

The long shot of Jonathan, Megan and Daniel crossing the rope bridge is preformed with stunt people. Their size and hair is noticeably not the same as the actors. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Interglobal Video released a cut version with most of the explicit gore removed. The uncut version was released by Paragon Video. 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

Frightening and bizarrely compelling
27 August 2000 | by ehoshawSee all my reviews

Very scary backwoods slasher is much better than others, such as "The Prey" and some of the later "Friday the 13th" sequels. The story has to do with five teenager campers running afoul of a pair of psychotic, machete-wielding hillbilly twins. One by one they are dispatched by the murderous giants (who giggle as they slaughter their prey). This has some great photography of the Oregon wilderness, a creepy musical score, and some of the best shocks ever put into a horror/slasher film. I really enjoy the scene where Daniel and Megan are menaced by one of the killers. A classic that deserves a video re-release. I actually stumbled across this one for four bucks at a resale shop in Northern Michigan.


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