Schlocktoberfest IV – Day 20: The Town That Dreaded Sundown

Schlocktoberfest IV

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)


*Spoilers Throughout*

The-Town-That-Dreaded-Sundown-Theatrical-PosterWhat’s It About: Nathan Sundown has a beef with his local town because he built a retaining wall over his property line. Now he vows they will come to dread him…

Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:

  • This looks like the same town as My Cousin Vinny.
  • Horror movie with World War II backstory? Where have I seen this before?
  • So this killer is of the rapey variety? Leatherface never had time for that shit.
  • Starring Uncle Ben Johnson.
  • Both the teenagers he attacked are still alive? What a shitty killer.
  • Oh he didn’t rape her, he just chewed on her.
  • Wow you can totally see the rain machine in this scene.
  • I’ve seen better acting by junkies trying to score at a pharmacy.
  • Well, the beginning of Texas Chainsaw Massacre was pretty slow too…
  • This is the sunniest rainy day ever. There’s literally not a cloud in the sky but it’s pouring. Outstanding directing.
  • Why does the sheriff have a flashlight? It’s broad daylight! But I thought the killer only came out at night. I guess it’s supposed to be night? Maybe? Perhaps they forgot to do the night filter effect?
  • They’ve brought in a legendary ranger who plans on “catching him or killing him.” Well, yeah. They’re not bringing you in to not catch him, dipshit.
  • I’m officially 4 minutes away from hating this movie.
  • I guess Friday the 13th Part 2 kind of ripped off the killer’s look. Although Friday the 13th Part 2 is actually watchable.
  • What’s with this goofy fucking music? Is this not a horror movie?
  • I’m watching this because I’ve heard it was an underlooked classic, but it’s one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.
  • Now all the cops are in drag. I’d rather drag my scrotum through an angry hornets nest than watch the rest of this. You might say I’m dreading it.

    The Director That Dragged Out His Minor Role

    The Director That Dragged Out His Minor Role

  • You know what’s a great movie? Dredd. I could watch that over and over. Karl Urban does a great job as Dredd, and Olivia Thirlby is also good, and quite the cutie pie. Plus you have Cersei Lannister and Avon Barksdale as villains. Can’t go wrong with that. Still not sure how the Judges’ guns hold all that different ammo, though. But it’s not really important. AND I still haven’t had a satisfactory explanation about how if you were on the Slow-mo drug and fell a long distance why you would see your whole fall even though your body is falling at normal speed, so you would be dead before you even saw that you were halfway down. Anyway, I love that movie. I really hope they make a sequel even though it didn’t make much money. But I don’t think the budget was too outrageous either. That reminds me, I still have to see The Raid 2. I’m not sure if I liked Dredd or The Raid better. I guess it depends on if you like sci-fi or martial arts more. But gun or fist to my head, I’d probably pick Dredd. It has a better story and visuals, even though the fight scenes in The Raid are incredible. Be sure to check out both if you haven’t.
  • Oh right, I was watching this dreadful horseshit.
  • Ok, so the killer, let’s just call him Sundown, because they call him The Phantom and that’s just horrible, finally does something creative and takes a girl’s trombone, attaches a knife to the end of the slide, and stabs her with it. Kind of cool, definitely the most interesting part of the movie so far, but shot like a dog that would film a pile of shit it was about to eat.
  • Oh ok, I just looked it up out of boredom and the “funny” cop is played by the goddamn director. No wonder he got so much screen time for absolutely no reason.
  • Maryann! That must mean Gilligan is the killer!

    "Gilligan, NO! Put that coconut trombone down!"

    “Gilligan, NO! Put that coconut trombone down!”

  • I know there’s zero chance we’ll see Dawn Wells’s boobs but that would raise my score about 4 points. To a 4.
  • Maryann escapes Sundown’s brutal attack and heads to a cornfield. Children of the Corn was just ok, but it was certainly a hell of a lot better than this.
  • Sundown’s bag mask also reminds me of Timecrimes, although those were bandages, so really that was more like Darkman, which never really lived up to its potential I thought. Anyway, Timecrimes is fantastic. You should definitely check that one out. I should have just watched that again. Although I don’t think I’d classify it as horror, more sci-fi with some horror elements. But one of the best foreign films I’ve ever seen.
  • More comedy relief? This movie can go fuck itself.
  • So the cops shot Sundown in the leg through a moving train, then Sundown escaped into the woods and they can’t find him. BULL. SHIRT.

Is It Actually Scary: There are maybe two scenes that could be unsettling for those who suffer from some kind of syndrome where you’re extremely easily unsettled.

How Much Gore: About as much as when you nick yourself while shaving your butthole.

Best Scene: This is actually kind of stupid but at least the killer had a fleeting moment of creativity.

Worst Scene: Anything to do with the director Charles B. Pierce’s “zany cop” character. If only there was a scene where the killer shoved a tuba up his ass.

Any Nudity: One tromboner.

Overall: If you liked Texas Chainsaw Massacre, you’ll hate this. I understand that the slasher genre hadn’t fully taken off yet in 1976, and this movie helped serve as a springboard for the likes of Halloween and Friday the 13th. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not a boring mess. It’s seriously one of the worst-directed movies I’ve ever seen. The aforementioned scene where it’s supposed to be a raining at night but it looks like it’s about noon and you can see Venus the sky is so clear is just unacceptably stupid. It makes you spend your time wondering what the hell is happening instead of being held in suspense at the sheriff chasing the killer. But honestly, even if the shots were set up like they were supposed to be it wouldn’t have been exciting at all. Plus, the director’s insistence on shoehorning in screen time for himself to showcase his horrific humor completely changes the tone of the film and makes you roll your eyes under your burlap hood. The fact that it’s based on a true story and they never caught the killer is the most interesting aspect of the entire thing, but I’m sure watching a documentary or special about the true events would be a million times more worthwhile. Go ahead and forget this “forgotten classic.”

Score: 2 cloudless rainstorms during a sunny evening (out of 10)

By the way, there’s apparently a remaquel coming out… a couple days ago, I guess? I’d never even heard of it until I looked the original up. I’m sure it will replace the uninteresting hackneyed direction of the original with slick style with no substance that is prevalent in all of today’s horror films.

21 thoughts on “Schlocktoberfest IV – Day 20: The Town That Dreaded Sundown

  1. What the hell is THIS? Another shitty sounding horror I’ve never even heard of. Is this The IPC?! I should watch Dredd, huh? Everyone seems to like it… The Raid, too! But not whatever movie you’ve reviewed here. I’ve forgotten the title already and I’m too lazy to scroll.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Oh he didn’t rape her, he just chewed on her.” HAHAHAA! That was amazing.

    I’ve never seen this movie, but I remember the movie cover from way back in the day cruising the video store aisles. Something about the masked guy made me think it was about the KKK. Guess I was way wrong about that.


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