The Town That Dreaded Sundown [Blu-Ray]

Charles B. Pierce

BY Serena WhitneyPublished Jun 1, 2013

A brief cameo appearance in last year's Seven Psychopaths and the news of the upcoming Ryan Murphy produced remake of The Town That Dreaded Sundown have added to the resurgent popularity of the Phantom Killer, the man responsible for the infamous Texarkana Moonlight Murders that took place in 1946. In a morbid way, this has made it the perfect time for Shout! Factory to release Charles B. Pierce's 1976 cult classic, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, on Blu-Ray to the masses. Based loosely on the sack-headed serial killer that attacked and murdered at least five people in Texarkana in 1946, the film takes a Police procedural approach, focusing on Captain J.D. Morales (Ben Johnson) and his team of inexperienced officers hot on the killer's trail during an intense investigation. The movie also ups the horror element by utilizing scenes of the well-documented murders in a thoroughly sinister manner. Although the few elements of horror displayed do manage to send chills up any viewer's spine, The Town That Dreaded Sundown isn't without its flaws. The comedic scenes involving bumbling cops dressed in drag feel as inappropriate and misplaced as they did in The Last House on The Left and Halloween 5. Also, as terrifying as the scenes involving Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island getting shot in the face and a female victim meeting her demise via trumpet were in 1976, they may unfortunately invoke unintentional laughter from today's audience. On Blu-Ray, the film is far more defined, showing a noticeable difference from its original transfer. The features on the Blu-Ray also include interviews with the film's stars, original artwork and a separate DVD, which includes Charles B. Pierce's lesser known but surprisingly more frightening The Evictors.
(Shout! Factory)

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