Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014) Rema... I mean "meta" (LOL)

This movie was bound to have a modernized version made, and probably one of the last good slasher films out there that could handle an update. Years back the Gray brothers of the Guts and Gory fame talked about lensing a remake of this film, and apparently it fell through.

Continuing its library-mining operation, MGM is developing a remake of 1976 horror movie "The Town that Dreaded Sundown." MGM had no comment but the Lion has been asking agents for possible takes from writers to reboot the Charles B. Pierce film. The original movie was based on five unsolved murders attributed to the Phantom Killer during three months in 1946 in and around the city of Texarkana on the border between Texas and Arkansas. Pierce shot large parts of the movie in and around Texarkana with extras recruited from local residents. MGM has been focused on reboots since it emerged from bankruptcy in early 2011 with Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum as co-CEOs. Upcoming projects include "Carrie," "Hercules" and "The Magnificent Seven." Birnbaum opted out of staying in the exec suite to focus on producing via an exclusive deal with MGM. (2012 Press Release)

So here we are in 2014, and we finally have a remake. Though the "fans" have removed that tag and have been calling it a "meta" (after, meaning a sequel) film which is hilarious. 

The plot is indeed a Phantom killer copy-cat, terrorizing a modern-day Texarcana. Sounds like a safe way to do this film, and cater it to today's iPhone and YouTube-loving audience. I can't fault them for going this route at all. However, the fact that this killer is a copy-cat doesn't mean that the movie isn't a remake. We have to remember that Roy Burns was a copycat, and A New Beginning is still a Friday the 13th sequel. Additionally, the 2009 Friday the 13th film can also be called a "meta" however it is indeed a remake. And yes, I know people will fight me and call it a reboot, reimagining, and so on. Same dick, just in a different hole.

I am personally looking forward to the film because The Town That Dreaded Sundown is among my favorite horrors of the 70s and 80s. With this new take on the film, it will no doubt follow modern slasher movie trends, jump scares, gore and TnA – which is acceptable. However, what made the original effective is that it successfully teetered between drama, horror, mystery, slasher and thriller/suspense with a hint of Duke of Hazzard hijinx with some creepy stalking scenes. I will say this: I am not sure if I want to see a trombone kill in 2014. 

The original was also successful in that it never gave up the killer, never hinted to he or she may have been. The movie also never offered up any hard suspects throughout the entire film. This new film needs to follow those same lines, but we all know they will:

  • a) not only give up the killer, but tell his backstory
  • b) unmask the killer (bad idea)
  • c) expose him and kill him at the end, however he may not be fully dead (need those sequel bucks)

All of this being said, let's just hope they did not take the name and completely fuck it up beyond any repair. Let's also hope this isn't just a Friday the 13th, Halloween, TCM ripoff. 

Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014) Trailer


  1. Whoa this is unusual. I got the film on blu ray when it first street date for blu ray. A fine transfer as well was used by the way, plus the more recent interviews with Andrew Prine & Dawn Wells 'n such.

    That trailer looked somewhat interesting and yeah, I am sick to death of remakes. Meh depends. I'll probably give this one a shot but I am keeping expectations low as I did as a slasher/giallo hound with Scream 4 so that they are modestly met (modestly being a key word to buy the film here, by the way).

    Agreed with your reasons. Don't care about the Trombone kill myself; loved it originally but if they repeat it here its all just as well; not like its gonna be a deal-breaker for me. Agreed with your reasons on the whole back story thing now. For example I love how in TCM 2 (1986) the family lives in a rural community outside of Dallas in hillbilly squoilar with Chop-Top's Vietnam settlement money from our fine government but if that was made now 'n days there would be: A pop-punk soundtrack, an overly long backstory towards the end of how they bought the property & too many civilian involvement with the slashers, ect.

    You brought up many good points & I hope they don't mess this one up, I still love the original notable cult favorite.

    1. I really didn't want to see this remade, but on the same token I am hoping it will make people appreciate the original more.

  2. Agreed that I honestly don't see the point in its modern day remake. But alas it is going happen - its been one of the few properties with a notable cult classic following that hasn't been touched, think about it. But god point about the almighty original classic.

    I've always wanted to see a good interview with the star of the original film, I mean for my money bud dAvis. The man is also a stuntmen's hall of fame legend as we both know. I think he also does conventions but I can find very little of any anything pic-wise online. I believe he is a shy gentleman. He still stunt coordinator right on up to Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, replacing Tarantino's usual lead coordinator of Buddy Joe Hooker.

  3. he oritinal was shit and boring