It's a Texarkana terror two-fer from Scream Factory, who give Charles B. Pierce's THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN (1976) and THE EVICTORS (1979) their domestic digital debut.
With a trailer that traumatized every '70s kid who saw it, THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN is a procedural account of the Texarkana Moonlight Murders, a still-unsolved true life killing spree that plagued Arkansas in 1946. Ben Johnson and Andrew Prine play small town cops unprepared to deal with The Phantom Killer, whose motiveless crimes are causing increasing panic in the community. Embellishing the verified facts and inventing some others (like its famous trombone stabbing), the film remains a creepy, intense outing, reminiscent of later docudramas like MAN ON A SWING and ZODIAC -- hick cop comedic relief aside. Look for a post-GILLIGAN'S ISLAND Dawn Wells (a Pierce regular) as one of the victims.
In THE EVICTORS, another '40s-era thriller "based on true events," Jessica Harper and Michael Parks are a couple moving into a Louisiana farmhouse only to find its prior tenants have all met gruesome ends. Is history set to repeat itself? Unjustifiably obscure, THE EVICTORS is an atmospheric slow burn, building a tense, creepy mood not easily shaken off. Bonus points for casting Vic Morrow as their real estate agent -- would *you* buy a house from that guy?
No word on extras yet from Shout, but having this pair of regional recommendations available remastered in their correct aspect ratios (a big deal for TOWN especially) is enough to part me from my money.
Blu / DVD combo preorder:
THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN trailer:
THE EVICTORS trailer: