Alternate titles : The Phantom Killer, Terror at Dusk.

Tagline : "In 1946 this man killed 5 people, today he still lurks the streets of Texarkana, Ark."

The Town That Dreaded Sundown Based on actual events, this often overlooked B-movie attempts to recount the story of a serial killer, known as "The Phantom". Who stalked the lovers lanes, preying on courting couples, in the American town of Texarkana in the mid-1940's.

Its 1946 and most of "the boys" have returned home from World War 2 and are settling back into civilian life. The mid-western town of Texarkana was just a quiet farming town back then, so when the local police are called to investigate a brutal attack on a young couple by a man wearing a white hood, the town is shocked beyond belief.

Despite a massive manhunt operation by the police and sheriff's office, who even draught in the FBI to help, they fail to net the hooded killer who continues to strike at each full moon. Leaving a trail of dead teenagers in his wake.

Determined to crack the case, they bring in one of the country's top investigators, Captain Morales of the Texas Rangers, as played by Ben Johnson. But with the various law enforcement agencies patrolling the woods and back lanes, the killer continues to stay one step ahead of them, by switching tactics and attacking couples in their own homes.

Some of the sharper eyed viewers will notice similarities in the camera work between this and some of the earlier Friday the 13th films, which isn't surprising as the pre-hockey masked Jason in the second film was actually based on this character, right down to the white hood.

Told in a docu-drama style, complete with a narrator filling in between scenes, it should be noted that the truth has undoubtedly been stretched in paces. The scene with Officer 'spark-plug' Benson and the other patrolmen going out on stake-out duty dressed as women just seemed too ridiculous to be true and I can only assume was included for comic relief. In addition, those who are familiar with the real case will know that the end shoot out in this is entirely fictitious.

However, aside from this, the film still proves to be an interesting and somewhat chilling look at these real life crimes which terrified a town and still remain unsolved to this day.

Overall Marks : 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia

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Buy the UK BD/DVD combo pack  [Amazon UK]


Buy the US BD/DVD combo pack  [Amazon US]


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