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Town That Dreaded Sundown, The (1976)
Movie Review by The Spastic Cannibal

Town That Dreaded Sundown, The (1976) "The Town That Dreaded Sundown" is, what you could consider, an archetypal slasher that does the job of... generally profiling the infamous true case of the "Phantom Killer". The hooded figured attacked eight people around Texas and Arkansas in 1946, killing five before suddenly and mysteriously stopping...

The film portrays the killer's attacks well, for the most part, with some suspense and mild carnage, though it suffers from extensive tedium as well as awkward and out-of-place comedic interjections. Certain moments were so haphazardly ridiculous that I started having a real hard time understanding the "point" of the film. I can't fault a biopic for possibly shoe-horning in a few inaccuracies for the sake of entertainment, but tying a knife to a trombone slide and stabbing someone while mock-playing it was beyond asinine and completely ruined the effectiveness of the scene. Wes Craven's "Last House on the Left" was also impaired by a similar problem involving disarranged humor that detracted from the "horror" of the story (much to my disgust). Many of the scenes in "The Town That Dreaded Sundown" dealt with bumbling cops in utterly needless, drawn out lulls that were also quite bothersome to me.

Can't call the film a total loss since we DO get Mary Anne from "Gilligan's Island" getting shot in the face TWICE. Her limited screen time was what made the movie worthwhile, if you ask me. TTTDS was a bit disappointing for me at least, but fan's of proto-slasher 70s serial killer bios might wanna peep it out. I just didn't get all that much out of it...

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