91% Guardians of the Galaxy Aug 01
80% Get On Up Aug 01
90% Calvary Aug 01
—— Behaving Badly Aug 01
38% Child Of God Aug 01

Top Box Office

59% Lucy $43.9M
63% Hercules $29.8M
91% Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes $16.8M
57% The Purge: Anarchy $10.5M
43% Planes: Fire And Rescue $9.5M
18% Sex Tape $6.1M
17% Transformers: Age of Extinction $4.7M
16% And So It Goes $4.6M
23% Tammy $3.5M
90% A Most Wanted Man $2.7M

Coming Soon

—— Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Aug 08
—— Step Up: All In Aug 08
—— Into The Storm Aug 08
—— The Hundred-Foot Journey Aug 08
86% What If Aug 08

Premieres Tonight

86% The Honorable Woman: Season 1

New Episodes Tonight

100% Defiance: Season 2
40% Dominion: Season 1
41% Gang Related: Season 1
86% Maron: Season 2
56% Married: Season 1
94% Rectify: Season 2
—— Rookie Blue: Season 5
39% Rush: Season 1
82% Satisfaction: Season 1
85% Welcome to Sweden: Season 1
41% Working the Engels: Season 1
77% You're the Worst: Season 1

Discuss Last Night's Shows

86% The Bridge (FX): Season 2
91% The Divide: Season 1
83% Extant: Season 1
—— Graceland: Season 2
—— Hot in Cleveland: Season 5
50% Jennifer Falls: Season 1
—— Motive: Season 2
69% Mystery Girls: Season 1
—— Rogue: Season 2
100% Suits: Season 4
38% Taxi Brooklyn: Season 1
—— Wilfred: Season 4
43% Young & Hungry: Season 1

The Town That Dreaded Sundown

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)


No Reviews Yet...



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 758

My Rating

Movie Info

This thriller -- based on actual events -- tells in a pseudo-documentary-style of the murders of five people by a man in post-WWII Arkansas. This mystery was still considered unsolved at the time of its release. ~ Kristie Hassen, Rovi


Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense

Earl E. Smith

Nov 6, 1995

American International Pictures (AIP)

Watch It Now



Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (4)

A spooky dramatization of actual events, but in the end it feels like a docudrama more than a horror film.

December 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Uses simple period detail and underpopulated settings to convey an anti-Mayberry notion of the South as a place haunted by unsolved, unavenged murder -- an idea that ties this fact-based tale to the genuine horror of the region's civil rights murders.

July 12, 2013 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Plainly dated and a bit slow, but there are also some solid chills and it makes a respectable attempt at historical accuracy.

May 24, 2013 Full Review Source: FEARnet

The true story is so fascinating that it overcomes most of the film-making flaws.

June 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Leaves us with such striking moments of stark, raw terror, that it puts many less serious horror films to shame.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Most students of horror cinema will slap themselves awake solely for the murder scenes, which generally don't reward one's attention.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for The Town That Dreaded Sundown

The Town That Dreaded Sundown is a surprising Slasher film that is very different than the standard Slash and dice formula of so many others in the genre. The film relies more on atmosphere to create the terror on-screen, and it doesn't have a lot of bloodletting, which makes for a terrific little yarn that has been forgotten by many fans of the horror genre. Another thing that sets this film apart from the traditional Slasher is the good acting from its cast. The cast do a fine job in their roles and Director Charles B. Pierce has assembled a good cast here. The plot is based on real events, which makes this for compelling an engaging viewing. This is a skillfully executed picture that gives the viewer a true, terrifying horror experience that is gritty, tense and in your face. A film like this is rare in the Slasher genre, and only a few films have had the honor of joining this one in terms of using atmosphere and suspense to deliver the chills necessary to thrill the viewer. The kill sequences are nerve racking, and are better constructed than many mainstream Slasher flicks. Since this is a true story, it makes it that much scarier. Actor Ben Johnson (Terror Train) is one of the high points of the film, and his performance in itself is very good. Director Charles B. Pierce has crafted something totally unique here, and this is the most surprisingly effective Slasher yarn that has been released in the 70's that has some well thought out kills that doesn't overdo anything and effective performances with a well structured plot. This is a rare gem of a horror film that is overlooked, but should definitely be seen by every serious horror film fan. The Town That Dreaded Sundown is far better than many films in the genre.
February 2, 2013
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

A surprisingly successful low budget horror movie based on the true story of a hooded serial killer who terrorised Texarkana in the mid-1940s. Whether by accident or design, the occasionally wobbly supporting performances, the flat style of direction, the score and the authentic semi-documentary voiceover give the film a pleasantly old-fashioned feel, in keeping with the period reconstruction. Only once or twice is the effect spoiled by the modish use of slow motion, and I could also have done without the comedy interludes which, though mildly amusing and far from terrible, hurt the tone of the picture, I feel. The scenes featuring the killer - including perhaps the most imaginative use of a trombone in cinema history - are, however, very well executed, surprisingly brutal and genuinely frightening. Good performances from Andrew Prine as the local Deputy Sheriff and Ben Johnson as a hotshot Texas Ranger drafted in to co-ordinate the manhunt.
November 27, 2010

Super Reviewer

Real life serial killer films probably owe a lot to this film. It's by no means perfect, but offers a lot of memorable imagery. The voice-over is too prevalent and ruins the pacing a bit, as does the frequent comical interludes. They are accompanied by slapstick music and palm to face acting. It does a god job at capturing the murder scenes, which are eerily similar to those in Zodiac. Interesting for it's time, but has been overshadowed by more well-rounded efforts since.
August 10, 2009

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Town That Dreaded Sundown on our Movie forum!

What's Hot On RT

Total Recall
Total Recall

Nine Movies That Bring the Funk

Weekly Binge
Weekly Binge

Watch Arrested Development

Cosplay Gallery
Cosplay Gallery

See over 350 Comic-Con Costumes!

24 Frames
24 Frames

Photo gallery of great movie spaceships

Mad Max
Mad Max

See full trailer for Fury Road

Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile