ARKANSAS: The Town That Dreaded Sundown

From the exploitation impresario that birthed The Legend of Boggy Creek comes this ripped-from-the-headlines heartstopper, chronicling one of American antiquity’s most baffling true-crime cases. A hooded maniac known as The Phantom Killer terrorizes the moonlit streets of Texarkana, Arkansas — and, try as they might, the duo of ‘70s genre staple Andrew Prine and cowboy star Ben Johnson are powerless to stop him. Looking much like Friday the 13th Part 2’s “hooded” version of Jason Voorhees, the villain strikes a particularly chilling chord, as his apparently motiveless actions is as strikingly disturbing as his mute presence. Legendary filmmaking personality/Town creator Charles B. Pierce could do it all: direct, act, produce and write — he’s the one who originally crafted Dirty Harry’s signature line “Go ahead, make my day.” Town is his regional masterpiece, a haunting recreation of the brutal, still-unsolved 1946 Texarkana murders using the very same streets on which the slayings were committed. Come get caught up in this cold-hearted, crimson-soaked procedural — a nightmare-inducing proto-Unsolved Mysteries where an unhappy ending has already been assured.
Dir. Charles B. Pierce, 1976, 35mm, 90 min.