The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)

USA, 90m
8,111 feet
35mm film, Panavision (anamorphic), Technicolor, 2.35:1
mono, English

An American horror film directed by Charles B. Pierce.

Plot Summary

In 1946, a hooded murderer, the Phantom Killer, is stalking the streets of Texarkana, Arkansas. As the body count rises, the are baffled and put into motion the state's biggest ever manhunt, hoping to catch the killer before he can strike again.


Directed by: Charles B. Pierce
Samuel Z. Arkoff presents a Charles B. Pierce film
© Charles B. Pierce Film Productions, Inc.
Produced by: Charles B. Pierce
Associate Producer: Tom Moore
Screenplay by: Earl E. Smith
Cinematography: Jim Roberson
Film Editor: Tom Boutross
Music by: Jaime Mendosa-Nava
Production Mixer: Dick Damon
Wardrobe: Bonnie Langfiff, Karen Jones
Make-up: Cheri Johnston
Special Effects: Joe Catalanatto
Art Directors: Myrl Teeter, Grant Sinclair

Ben Johnson (Captain J.D. Morales)
Andrew Prine (Deputy Norman Ramsey)
Jimmy Clem (Sgt. Mal Griffin)
Jim Citty (Police Chief R.J. Sullivan)
Charles B. Pierce (Patrolman A.C. Benson)
Robert Aquino (Sheriff Otis Barker)
Cindy Butler (Peggy Loomis)
Christine Ellsworth (Linda Mae Jenkins)
Dawn Wells (Helen Reed)
Vern Stierman (narrated by)
Earl Smith (Dr Kress)
Steve Lyons (Roy Allen)
Joe Catalavetto (Eddie LeDoux)
Roy Lee Brown (Rainbow Johnson)
Mike Hackworth (Sammy Fuller)
Misty West (Emma Lou Cook)
Rick Hildreth (Buddy Turner)
Jason Darnell (Capt. Gus Wells)
Mike Downs, Bill Dietz, Carolyn Moreland (newspaper reporters)
Michael Brown (police officer)

Alternative Titles

La citta che aveva paura – Italy
Kaupunki pelon vallassa – Finland
Staden som fruktade solnedgangen – Sweden
Verenpunainen auringonlasku – Finland

The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2014)

See also
Friday the 13th (1980)
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
Scream (1996)



  • Film Bulletin vol.46 no.1 (January – February 1977) p.13 – review
  • Filmfacts vol.20 no.5 (1977) pp.104-105 – reprinted reviews
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.244 no.49 (21 January 1977) pp.3, 26 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.44 no.521 (June 1977) p.130 – credits, synopsis, review (by Verina Glaessner)
  • Variety 26 January 1977 p.30 – credits, review by Mack


  • American International Pictures: A Comprehensive Filmography by Rob Craig pp.378-379
  • American International Pictures: A Filmography by Robert L. Ottoson pp.309-310 – credits, synopsis, review
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.325
  • Faster and Furiouser: The Revised and Fattened Fable of American International Pictures by Mark Thomas McGee p.326
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.403 – credits
  • Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir pp.438-440 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Nightmare USA by Stephen Thrower p.516 – note
  • The Pocket Essential Slasher Movies by Mark Whitehead p.89
  • Regional Horror Films, 1958-1990 by Brian Albright pp.179-180
  • Rock ‘n' Roll Monsters: The American International Story by Bruce G. Hallenbeck pp.267; 294
  • Serial Killer Cinema: An Analytical Filmography by Robert Cetti p.478-481