Friday, December 5, 2014

Schlock and awe movie time!

Alright I’m diving into the masked killer film again with “The Town That Dreaded Sundown.” This is set in the late 40’s in Texarkana, Texas. Supposedly this is based on a true story, but I haven’t looked into if that was true or not. Wait….according to the interweb it is a true story. Well, the interweb is never wrong!

A hooded (or pillow cased) crazy if sneaking about at night killing couple who make out in their cars. Now he isn’t all about the body count as he only seems to kill a couple once every three weeks. Why three weeks? Why does he only go mainly for couples getting sexy in cars? No idea. See the police cannot stop this guy. Hell, they can’t find anything about him. They are completely befuddled. We get a man-hunt that goes nowhere and a killer with a thirst for killing, but with no known motivation. It is a dilly of a pickle.
"The Phantom Killer" or as we know him "Sack Face"

This was a tough movie to watch. It is an attempt a serious crime documentary type recreation with a narrator and everything. It is also tries to be a serial killer thriller. It is almost horror, but really isn’t. Finally, it throws in some pants on head comedy for so unknown reason. I’m not sure what they were really going for here and that made it almost unwatchable for me. The serial killer stalking was great and then some lame Dukes of Hazard type comedy would happen and pull me out of the movie completely. I was just waiting for one of the cops to mention his “little fat buddy” and then do a stupid laugh.
The fact there is a faceless killer stalking about makes for a descent story as it is. Then add in that this guy is never caught and it gives it a bit of a creep factor. This guy is menacing and the pillow case/ sack head he uses gives him a great look. He just seems to like to get all shooty and stabby on his victims which may have true. However, on one occasion he does take a trombone and tie his knife to the end of it. He then mimics playing it and stabs a woman to death in the process. I have no idea if that was true, and it wasn’t supposed to be funny, but I couldn’t stop laughing when it was happening. Seriously? Who thought of that, especially if it didn’t really happen?
the town that dreaded sundown 2
Trombone stabbing time!

If anything this film helped jump start the masked killer films of the late 70’s early 80’s. Sure many will point to Friday the 13th as the progenitor, but it looks like this might have been the film that others looked to for some inspiration then. If it would have just focused on the true story without adding the pointless comedy relief it could have much better. This could have been a really descent film, but it was just a mess of narration, serial killer, and slash-fest with horrible comic relief. A waste of a good serial killer story and just mess to watch at times.
I did see that this had a reboot/retelling/sequel is out there now. Why?


  1. Oh gawd I remember this movie from late-night Skinemax viewings.
    That trombone scene was just too funny, but I guess it did foreshadow all the current 'crime reenactment' shows that dot the lame cable networks nowadays.

    Thanks for posting this and dredging up some...strange memories!

  2. welcome.
    that is sort of becoming my new thing.