Saturday, January 24, 2015

Going Hunting For Demons

I had to stay up a bit late last night to get a review done. I wanted to get two reviews in at my other blog, since I didn't get one in last weekend. Not really a big deal if I don't, but I'm trying to get things turned around this year. I had planned on getting one done last night, but was invited over for dinner with a friend. Not wanting to pass up some chicken & noodles, the review got put on hold. I did get it done once I got home though, so feel free to read my thoughts on Come Back To Me. I also wanted to get a review in here this weekend, so I went with a film called Shadowhunters (2004). It has been a while since I have reviewed a movie from a movie pack, and now they are back.

Goose (David Simmons), Murphy (Ted Taylor), Ray (Liam Smith) and Hudson (John Johnson) are known as the Shadowhunters, a group of demon hunters. A demon they fought five years ago, Malphaedor (Lincoln Lilley), could be getting out of the seals that are keeping him trapped. They decide to go to the hospital that was built over the seal, which is now closed up due to mysterious deaths, in order to investigate, and possibly put Malphaedor back in his prison. Unknown to them though, a sorority is sending in new pledges. Their goal is to spend the night in the haunted hospital, in just their underwear of course. Now the Shadowhunters have to try to protect all of these people as well as themselves.

Shadowhunters was a mixed bag all the way through. John Johnson directs, and is also a co-writer along with Lincoln Lilley and Liam Smith. I haven't seen this many pulling double duty in a while. I didn't really care for the movie too much from the start. The story starts off with a slight back story showing some of the first meeting between Malphaedor and the Shadowhunters. It was filmed in a weird way, black and white but looked like a filter was added to it as well. The group is always wearing things that make them look like they came out of the old gangster era, which can make it hard to tell them apart at times. I admit that the story does get better as it goes, but there is always something to not like just when I thought I would start to enjoy it more. Shadowhunters does end up better than I thought it would, but I still didn't like it a whole lot.

The dialog is what can really kill things the most. We only meet two sorority sisters, their boyfriends (for lack of a better word), and the pledges. The Shadowhunter group gets the best dialog while everyone else, unless they are interacting with the main group, doesn't get very good dialog. Sometimes it felt like they were having a contest to see who could swear the most. The pledges also give us one the fakest slaps I have seen in a good long time. On the plus side, around half of the women get topless for a short while. This will depend on how you like your women, as they are cute for the most part, but small. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I know some that don't care for it.

While there is some blood, the effects aren't all that great. Most deaths happen off screen or we just see an effect real quick like. The silliest death had to do with someone losing their head thanks to a sliding door. Might hurt a lot, but don't think anyone would lose their head over it. The acting was hit and miss. The main for aren't too bad, but have moments I didn't care for. Lincoln Lilley plays the over-the-top bad guy fairly well. The rest of the cast doesn't always do that great, but there are moments that stand out. Rebecca Taylor finds herself in the lead role for the pledges and does a pretty good job at being mysterious. Sunshine Manderback Johnson also stood out some in one of her scenes.

One of the odd things about Shadowhunters was the fact that the demon could jump bodies seemingly at will. Sometimes with just two people in the scene, John Johnson would have the demon bouncing between the two. It actually made the scene a little more interesting, but made me wonder how it was doing it so easily. The ending to the film was actually fairly good as well. There is a bit of a twist with one of the pledges. It was easy to see she was different than the others, but the twist still got me. Or it could have been I just didn't really care enough to catch onto it before the reveal. For a film that was supposedly filmed for an estimated $2,000, it really isn't as bad as it could have been. The lighting and sound could have been better, but at least scenes aren't too dark and you can hear everything. Just sometimes things are too bright and the sound can have an echo to it at times. Shadowhunters missed the mark for being an average film for me.
2 out of 5 At least it had a cool location

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Moving On

With my hand feeling a little better lately, still hurts but not near as much as it did, I find myself in a bit of a review mood again. I haven't done too bad this month, but going almost a week without a review wasn't part of my plan. Not that I could help it really, but still. I'm pretty sure it was time for my next instant watch film, so I went with the first movie in my DVD queue that is also on instant watch. That happened to be The Other Side Of The Tracks (2008), which was renamed The Haunting Of Amelia on Netflix for some reason. The last time I ran across a rename on Netflix, I preferred the new name over the original. Not this time though as the original title makes sense in context with the film, and the new title makes no sense since it isn't Amelia who is being haunted!

Josh (Brendan Fehr) is a pretty depressed guy. Ten years ago his girlfriend died, Josh hasn't really been the same since. He is working at a restaurant run by his sister Ann (Stephnie Weir), trying to get it ready to open up. His best friend Rusty (Chad Lindberg) is trying to get Josh to move on from the death of Emily, but Josh doesn't really seem ready to do that just yet. Then one day, Amelia (Tania Raymonde) shows up looking to get a waitress job. Josh is speechless at first because Amelia is apparently a spitting image of Emily. We eventually discover that most of the people we meet aren't what we think.

I always try to be honest with my reviews. I don't believe in pulling punches and sometimes I go against the general flow of popular opinion. I don't normally say what my first impression is of a film because it takes a while before I start to feel if I'm going to like a film or not. With The Other Side Of The Tracks, my first impression wasn't that I'm going to like this one or not, but that it reminded me a hell of a lot of the TV show Dawson's Creek. Yes, I did watch the first few seasons. The setting, although filmed in different states, reminded me a bit of the TV show and especially the music. I don't know if this was intentional, since Dawson's Creek ended five years before this movie was released. Plus, who knows, I may be the only one that got that impression from The Other Side Of The Tracks. The characters didn't remind of the show all that much, but maybe they could if events such as described in the film had happened on the show. I'm not sure if this was a good or bad thing for me, but it is what it is.

It took me a while to get into The Other Side Of The Tracks. I wasn't really bored with it, I just didn't find it very interesting. I rarely give up on a film though. I think in my time doing reviews, I've only turned off one film early. Not all films get better, and some actually manage to get worse, but this one did manage to get better as it went along. I didn't find it to be a great film, but I still ended up enjoying it. This was mostly because of the story by writer/director A.D. Calvo. Interesting enough, those that didn't like this film say it was because of Calvo. There is a twist to the story that involves more than one character. Looking back on the film, the clues to the twist happen somewhat early. What tipped me off was when one character mentioned taking care of another character, even though that was never seen. I didn't figure everything out right away, but by the end, most should have it figured out before the reveal. This makes the film more interesting in a way since it makes you rethink scenes, and possibly will make you want to watch it again.

There are no effects to be found in this one. The acting wasn't too bad. I enjoyed Chad Lindberg more than anyone. His character is a bit of a wild guy. He isn't wild by a lot, but enough. Lindberg brings his acting to that point just enough to make it believable. I didn't mind Fehr in the lead role, but I did get tired of him being all sad all the time. Not that it was his acting that was in question, as I'm sure Calvo wanted Josh to be that way. Weir wasn't too bad either in the lead female role.

The Other Side Of The Tracks turned out to be interesting overall, but it wasn't interesting enough to make it a great film to me. It starts a bit slow and stays that way. The pacing is the same through the whole film, but the story manages to rise above that. At least it did for me. The Other Side Of The Tracks has never sported a horror tag that I have seen, but it is given a thriller tag, which is why I went ahead with watching it. It does have some ghostly moments, but it was hardly a thriller. I'm guessing because of these ghostly moments it was given the thriller tag, It fell more into the drama genre more than anything else to me, but I still wanted to review it here. The plot mirrors some other films, but is still a well made film. I don't know that I would suggest for anyone to go out of their way to watch it, but if you do have Netflix, you can watch it there on instant watch. Worth a look to me if it sounds interesting to you.
3 out of 5 I would make such a bad waitress

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Your Doom Is Here

Even though I bruised up my hand falling last week, I still managed to get a movie in that day. I slipped on some water on a hard wood floor and landed right on my butt. Now I have pains in places I didn't know about. Worst of it, I think, was my hand which is now all bruised below my thumb and wrist. It doesn't look very pretty and sure doesn't feel good at times. Didn't break it at least, but it has made typing a chore at times. So maybe Doomsday (2008) was the perfect movie to watch that day since I've had a crap week topped off by nearly breaking my wrist.

In the year 2008, an unknown virus is found in Scotland. There is no known cure, and fearing that it will spread, Scotland is sealed off from the rest of the world. A wall is build across the UK and the whole area is considered a no fly zone. The drastic measure works, as no one outside the zone becomes infected. Now in 2035, the deadly virus is found in London. Not knowing what to do about this new outbreak, it is decided to send an elite group into Scotland in search of a cure. Since people are still alive in Scotland, it is believe that a cure was found. Eden (Rhona Mitra) is picked to lead a squad into Scotland, mainly because of her "don't care what happens" attitude. She was a child when the outbreak started in Scotland. Her mother gave her up so that Eden could escape, now she is heading back into a country that is now completely different from the rest of the world.

A quick warning before I get into the review proper, I watched the unrated version of Doomsday, so something I might talk about here may not be found in the rated version. I added Doomsday back when Netflix added it to movies they were offering. Even though Doomsday is clearly more of a science fiction type film, it does have some moments in it that would fit well into any horror film. There is probably a good reason for this, and it was the main reason I wanted to check this film out, writer/director Neil Marshall. He is no stranger to the horror genre, with films like The Descent and Dog Soldiers. They all start with D, what is up with that? Anyway, it is easy to see, and Marshall admits to it freely, that Doomsday is a mix mash of other films. I knew of one film going in, but I won't say which films I knew just from watching this one. I think that is part of what makes Doomsday a fun film, catching the films that inspired this film. As for the story, it was just alright to me. Hard to say if people would resort to being a cannibal, or go back to being knights, but it was still a fun watch. While Doomsday falls into the science fiction genre, it is really more of an action film than anything else. Not all the action seemed to fit well though. I get that UK is well known for its castles and knights, and I guess it isn't much a stretch being 30 some years after their country was sealed off, but it they did feel out of place considering a lot of the action had to do with guns. The big chase scene at the end, which will remind you of another film more than anything else in the film I though, was rather dragged out.

The real horror part of the movie came more with some of the effects. The cannibals don't eat their kills raw, at least not completely. The effect for the BBQ was well done. There is also a beheading that was pretty cool. Considering all the stunts that were done for the movie, it was a nice surprise to see that the effects were also well done. The acting wasn't too bad. I had mixed feelings about Rhona Mitra in the lead role. While I thought she did a good job in the role, I could never really get into her acting all that much. The character she plays will remind you of many strong female characters. The only actor that I knew right away was Malcolm McDowell, who was also just okay to me. The person who stole the show to me was Craig Conway. He could be very over-the-top with his acting, but I still enjoyed it.

Doomsday was cool in the "I remember that movie" kind of way, and the action scenes were also well done. Maybe being watching the unrated version is what cause some scenes to feel dragged out, but I'm not going to bother watching the rated version to find out. If I come across it on cable or something like that, I would likely watch it again if there wasn't something new I wanted to watch. It is a well made film, and I'm glad I got around to it at last. I didn't find it to be a great film though since it was just a love letter to other films. Still worth a watch if you never have.
3 out of 5 I would so make a good knight!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cannibal Directors

I'm back at last to review something here. I have been a bit on a roll, just not here. It had been a few weeks since I did a review at my other blog, so I decided it was time to correct that. To make up for not doing one there for a while, I did three over the weekend. If you are interested in hearing my thoughts on the following movies: Don't Blink, The Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death, and At The Devil's Door, just click the link for them. For here, I finished my first book of the new year, Tribesmen by Adam Cesare.

Set in the early 80's, director Tito Bronze has decided to make a cannibal film based off the success of a certain other well known cannibal film. He has selected an island and claims to have everything ready to go there with the local natives. Going with him are his screen writer Jacque, cinematographer Dennis, makeup artist Daria, and his stars Cynthia and Umberto. They get to the island but there is no one there to greet them. After walking for a bit, they find the village, but again, no one is around. What they don't know is that all the locals have been killed, and now their spirits aren't in a very good mood. They are about to cause the cast to turn on each other.

Tribesmen is a short book, at 109 pages, and I don't want to get into to much detail, so this could end up being a short review. If I'm right, this is Adam Ceasre's first published book. It gets some high marks on Good Reads. Lowest I could find there was 3 stars out of 5, which is where I was planning on placing it as well. Even though it is a quick read, I had some trouble getting into it at first. There is an introduction as we find out what happens to the natives of the island. We learn later that there is a curse on the island now, but I have no idea if that was a result of what happened to the natives, or if the natives was part of the cure. The curse is never fully explained, which is fine, but I found it to be something that I wanted to know more about since the story hinges on it.

After we find out about the natives, we are introduced to the main characters of the book. None of the chapters are all that long, and each one is title with a character name. For the most part, the story is taken over from that characters point of view. The story is still told in a normal way, just that we are clued in on that characters thoughts a bit more. As for the story, it was just okay for me. I have never been real big on cannibal type things, so that probably played a part in why I wasn't real big on this book. Another reason was the characters. I wasn't able to really connect to any of them. While there is some development for each character, it wasn't really enough to get me invested in any of them.

On the plus side, it is a nice homage to the cannibal genre. The film the crew is going to make is supposed to be a bit of a ripoff film of another, perhaps the most famous, cannibal film. It is never actually said which film, the book always uses some other title for it, but it is very easy to tell which film they are talking about. To be fair, only one person in the book actually gets nibbled on, but Cesare does a fairly good job with describing what is going on and the gore that goes with it.

Overall it isn't a bad book. After the first 30 or so pages, I started to get into it more. It was a quick read from there. I did like Tribesmen, and I feel like I am in the minority for just liking it. It was a good first little novel to give you a taste for Cesare's style. I did like The Summer Job better, so I feel his stories are improving on me. If it sounds like this book is something you will enjoy, please give it a try.
3 out of 5 Eat me or don't, I don't care!

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Twister Mania

I'm thinking that after this review I might do a sting of reviews at my other blog. I haven't done one there since just before Christmas, so I'm just a tad behind. Hopefully I can get out of the house and hit the theater Saturday and there are a couple of movies on instant watch that I was thinking of reviewing for there as well. That is if I feel up to writing that much. Anyway, for today I decided to watch Into The Storm (2014). Not a horror movie, but certainly a thriller. I passed the movie while it was playing at theaters, can't remember why now, but I was happy to see where I could rent it from Netflix.

Pete (Matt Walsh) is a storm chaser looking for the right storm. He has a special car that has all kinds of gadgets and cameras. His plan is to have the car in the direct path of a tornado so it passes over the car. Along with him is Allison (Sarah Wayne Callies), his weather data analyst, along with a couple of guys helping with the camera work. Allison thinks a major storm is about to happen around a small town called Silverton, where a high school graduation is taking place. Gary (Richard Armitage), the vice-principal, has his son Donnie (Max Deacon) working on a time capsule that will be opened in 25 years. Instead of doing that, Donnie decides to help his high school crush Kaitlyn (Alycia Debnam Carey) with her own video project, leaving his slightly younger brother Trey (Nathan Kress) to film graduation. Little do they know that the area is about to get hit hard by some tornado's.

I found Into The Storm to be entertaining. It isn't the best film out there that features tornado's, but it might have some of the best special effects. I liked some of the characters, mostly the characters that had to do with the town. Personally, I could have done without the storm chasers. The car plays a aprt of the plot late in the film, but I don't see why it couldn't have been worked around somehow. To me, the storm chasers cause people to think of the film Twister, which is a better film overall. This is very evident on IMDb where the forum is mostly people trying to compare the two films. I don't know why those people can't enjoy Into The Storm for what it is, and not for what it isn't, Twister. The story by writer John Swetnam and director Steven Quale is just okay. While some complain there is zero character development, I had to disagree. While there isn't a lot, there was enough for me to care about them. This gave some nice heart felt moments later in the film that didn't make me cry, but I did feel my eyes water up all the same. Because some of the main characters are storm chasers, there just felt like there was too much driving going on at times. I get what Quale was trying to do at times with this, add suspense by not knowing if they will get to a certain place in time, but it did get overly long in places.

The special effects are the star of the movie, as I'm sure they were intended to be. Even though some of the tornado's look to be the same one used over again, could be wrong but it looked that way, this was more of a minor issue for me. The tornado's and the damage that they cause was very well done. The only time I didn't care for the effects, and I'm not sure it was the effects, was when a mill gets hit. The people inside just fall, which didn't really look right for some reason. The acting wasn't too bad. I got a little tired of Richard Armitage's always very serious acting. I know that was supposed to be his character, but it still got old pretty quick. The rest of the cast does a good job, not that Armitage didn't. The best scene for acting was probably when a couple of the characters think they are about to die.

Now that I think about it, there was a scene where people get slammed hard against a grate and seem to come away from it unharmed. That bugs me some, but I didn't think too much about it while watching it. There is a cool scene with planes, but some couldn't understand why an airport that size would be outside a small town. Probably because it is a movie and they can put it where ever they want! Into The Storm wasn't a great film, but it was a lot of fun to watch. Watching it home really made me wish I had gone to see it on the big screen. Maybe not the best tornado film out there, as I would have preferred it to be just about the people in the town, but it is still well worth the watch.
3 out of 5 At least no one ended up in Oz

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Dead Witch At Home

There are some movies that avoid on purpose. Not because I have heard they are so bad that I should avoid them at all costs, but because I heard nothing but good things about it. You would think that would make me want to go see it, right? Not always at least. Sometimes I just don't want to run the risk of being disappointed by a film because my expectations are very high. The Conjuring (2013) was one of those films. It was given to me by a friend on DVD a good while back, but I still never got around to watching it. Not even sure where that is now anyway. Around Halloween, I was at Best Buy and decided to pick up the Bluray of it. I actually got around to watching it Saturday.

Based on a true story, The Conjuring is set in 1971 and later, as the Perron family move into a new house. There is Roger (Ron Livingston) and Carolyn (Lili Taylor), along with their five daughters Andrea (Shanley Caswell), Nancy (Hayley McFarland), Christine (Joey King), Cindy (Mackenzie Foy) and April (Kyla Deaver). It isn't long before they find their dog dead. Carolyn wakes up with strange bruises, and the girls start to see things as well. As things there get worse, Carolyn goes to a presentation that Ed (Patrick Wilson) and Lorraine Warren (Vera Farmiga) are doing at a nearby college about their investigations into ghosts and demons. Carolyn approaches them afterwards and asks for their help, but they refuse at first. After hearing her pleading, and seeing how shaken she is, they agree to go to her house. After a walk through, the Warrens decide that the Perron family do in fact need their help with what is haunting them.

Even having distanced myself from The Conjuring for a while now, I was still a bit disappointed with it. Not by a lot though. I was surprised that the story, by Chad and Carey Hayes, had so much to do with the Warren's. Being a fan of things paranormal, I knew who they are before going into this movie. I don't know a lot about them, but knew a little bit about them at least. Seeing how what happens in the movie play out the way it did, allowing us to get to know the Warren's makes sense. The first half of The Conjuring was great, though I did find myself wishing that they would use the kids more. Director James Wan does a great job at building the suspense. He never makes what happens to such a level that it can't be believed, although there was some scenes that felt like they maybe ended to quick. The last half of the film, when we find out just how bad the haunting is, I didn't like it as much. The quiet haunting goes out the window and the extraordinary begins. It isn't really anything we haven't seen before, but I guess it was just a direction I didn't really think the story would go. Lorraine Warren stands behind what the film shows happening to the Perron family though, saying the film is accurate as far as that goes. Just the whole between the walls and what happens with didn't grab me as well as the first half did.

Outside of makeup, there wasn't much to be found for special effects. I didn't go into this film expecting a lot of effects though. In truth, ghost stories don't really need them. The makeup effects are done well. I was surprised with the way Lili Taylor looked at one point. The acting was very good. This makes the third film that Patrick Wilson has made with Wan. I was a little surprised by his role, but he does a good job with it. Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor are both good in their roles, and play a pretty good husband and wife. I liked all actresses that played the daughters, but each only get a scene or two that they are in a lot. This was too bad really, as there as some talented actresses in that group.

I know that this review sounds more negative than positive, but that isn't really how I felt about The Conjuring. I've had some trouble getting through this review, so I guess the negative things were just easier to write about. Even though the last act was something I didn't really care for, it didn't take too much away for me. They say this is how demons work into you, start slowly and wear you down in order to take control. Still, I find the slow, quiet, clapping, doors opening or slammed shut, hearing strange noises are much more scary to me than the loud, floating possessed person, pulled around by something not there. I guess that is why I was disappointed that The Conjuring went down that road, even if it is supposed to be all true. Even so, it is easy to see why this one hit it big with the horror fans. If you haven't watched it yet, give it a chance. There is a little something for everyone in it unless you just don't like ghost stories.
4 out of 5 I should have bought a haunted house

Thursday, January 01, 2015

We Want Your Women

Since I have the day off today, and I am being lazy, and I'm in a writing mood right now, I thought I would get caught up with my reviews. Might as well, right? As I said in my last review, I had two films about to come out of my instant watch. The were both removed today, so I had to get the other one in yesterday, which is why I didn't get two reviews done. Both films were older, older than I am actually! The second film, the one I watched yesterday was Humanoids From The Deep (1980). I think I have heard of it before I watched it, but I don't remember much about it.

In a small fishing town in California, things are not going to well for the locals. There is a land dispute between Hank (Vic Marrow) and Johnny (Anthony Pena) that is really starting to get bad. On top of that, the town is on the verge of going under as the fishing hasn't been all that great lately. Doctor Susan Drake (Ann Turkel) thinks she has a way to solve that though. Her solution has cause a side effect though, a new species of humanoid type fish. They are starting to attack us humans, at least the guys. The woman they just want to have sex with.

Like the last review, I was actually surprised by this one. Humanoids From The Deep, called Monster in the film credits, was directed by Barbara Peeters and Jimmy T. Murakami, who directed a few extra scenes that Peeters wouldn't do. Apparently Roger Corman wanted more sex and nudity in the film, but Peeters didn't. It was really that which I thought made me like this film more. The plot was okay and did keep things somewhat interesting. At first people thought things were happening because of the dispute that was going on, but of course we know there was more going on than that. Things get off to a bit of a slow start, but it doesn't take long before attacks start to happen. As I said, the plot was just okay to me. The kills could certainly be gory, but I don't know if that would have carried the film completely. This is just the type of film that screams nudity. Women in the water and beach, how can you not have nudity? We eventually find out that at least one of the women is still alive, so while there is monster rape, we never really see it happening. Just clothes being ripped off and the monster falling on top of the woman. I can't say that it really made the film more serious, but it did take away how campy the humanoids looked. Easy to look at the nice naked women instead of the silly looking monsters. I hate for this to sound the wrong way, but it also made the film a bit more fun to watch.

The effects were actually pretty darn good. The humanoids look rather silly, especially the arms on them, but the gore effects are very gory and look good. They do some damage to people, and Peeters wasn't all that shy in showing it. Ripped off faces, monster blood and brains, it is all there for us. The acting was also fairly good. There was some I wasn't too impressed with, but that was from more minor people. Doug McClure snags the lead role in the film. He plays the good guy that does get into it some with Vic Marrow's character. Vic of course plays the bad guy who does try to help when things get bad. According to trivia, Ann Turkel agreed on the role because it wasn't about sex and nudity. Lynn Theel provides most of the nudity, but she wasn't the only one. I watched this on instant watch so there wasn't any extras to be found. On the Bluray though, there are some deleted scenes that provide some more nude scenes that was eventually not used.

I went into Humanoids From The Deep not expecting to like it. It sounded like a cheep monster film, and not all interesting. The longer the film went on though, the more I was enjoying it. The big climax at the end at the festival was well done. The trivia on IMDb says that there was only three monster suits being used, with only one that had a lot of detail to it, but with creative editing, you will never notice that. If you are like me and have never watched Humanoids From The Deep, you really should consider giving it a watch someday. The film takes itself fairly seriously, but one shouldn't go into thinking it is a serious film. This is just one of those films where you sit back and allow it take you on a ride. Enjoy it for what it is.
3 out of 5 I always hated it when my bikini came off at the beach

What Happens When The Sun Goes Down

I was thinking of getting this review in last night while I waited on the new year to come in, but obviously I didn't do that. I barely made it since I worked and was very tired by the time I got home. I didn't do anything special, and to be honest, didn't notice it was the new year until I heard fireworks going off near by. So, welcome to 2015 everyone. I hope this year will be better than the last. Hopefully I will start this year off right with lots of reviews this month. To start things off, I have one of two films I had to watch before they were taken out my instant watch queue. The first one I watched is The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976).

Based on the real murders that happened in Texarkana, Texas in the 1946. Murders start to happen in or around Texarkana roughly every 21 days. The attacks are on couples who are parked in remote "lovers lane" type places. The first couple manages to survive the attack, but the police are not able to get much information about the attacker. They only know it was a tall, strong guy, wearing a mask. After the second attack, this couple wasn't so lucky though, Texas Ranger Captain J.D. Morales (Ben Johnson) comes in to help with the investigation, but will it be enough?

I was a little surprised by The Town That Dreaded Sundown. I had always heard a lot about this film from horror films. For the longest time it was a hard to find film, often found at bootleg tables though. Now it is actually out on Bluray and it was on instant watch. This one surprised me some by how close it came to the actual murders. It does take some liberties, especially towards the end of the film. No one was attacked in their home like we see in the film, and I haven't seen a mention of the police coming close to catching the killer. Being set in the 1940's gave it its own feel as well. It was cool seeing all the old cars and such, but they sure couldn't drive when in a hurry. Not sure if this was done on purpose, or if it was just the tires not getting any traction in the rain and mud. There is a voice over, done by Vern Stierman, that explains what is going on or catches us up on what has happened since the last murder as the plot jumps forward to the next one. Some found it annoying, but it didn't bother me as bad. I thought it gave the film an almost documentary style feel to the whole film. The comedy is what really got to me in this film. I didn't really find it funny usually, except the stakeout scene. Oddly enough, all comedy scenes are done by Charles B. Pierce, who is doing double duty of being an actor and directing. The style of comedy that is mostly used feels out of place with the rest of the film.

There isn't much going on as far as effects go with this one. We see some of the wounds, and there is blood to be found, but there is nothing real gory about any of it. The acting wasn't too bad. Andrew Pine plays a local cop that seems to be the most involved in catching the killer, and comes the closest to doing so. I wouldn't call him the lead character, but he is in a lot of the scenes. Dawn Wells also shows up for a while. I mostly know her from the TV shows she was in, so was a little surprised to see her in a movie like this one. I actually had to find out which character she was, didn't recognize her when I watched the movie.

The Town That Dreaded Sundown does do a pretty good job with the murder scenes. The killer, who is played by Bud Davis, looks like someone you wouldn't want to mess with. He never talks, but sometimes he starts to breathe heavy. That in itself can be very creepy. I don't know that this film would have been a lot better without the unneeded comedy, but it certainly would have improved it some. I'm glad that I was able to get around to actually watching it though. I can see why it has become something of a cult classic. Now that it is out on Bluray, hopefully more people like me can give it a watch. Not a perfect film, but worth giving it a watch someday if you haven't already.
3 out of 5 Glad I never played a musical instrument