When the calendar page turns to October, we Rejects have only one thought: horror. To celebrate this grandest and darkest of months, we’ll cover one excellent horror film a day for the entirety of the month. That’s 31 Days of Horror and 31 Films perfect for viewing on a dark, chilly, October night. If you, like us, love horror and Halloween, give us a Hell Yeah and keep coming every day this month for a new dose of adrenaline.
Synopsis: After Warren inherits a nice slice of wilderness, he and a few friends head out on a camping trip to check it out. Unfortunately for Warren and his friends, there are a couple of residents who already call the land home – and a few of them are ready to kill to keep it. Also, they kill for fun.
I’m a tremendous fan of the opening scene, as it includes the most brutal death in the film and starts the mood off right. I’m torn between really filling you in on this scene or letting you watch it for yourself. Let me just tease you a little. It involves a serrated machete and someone’s most beloved region.
There are relatively few deaths in the film, though one is played out for several minutes while two of the others are especially brutal. The first and last kills alone earn this a three out of five, as they’re very sexual. One involves a groin, the other fisting. The weapon of choice for these country bumpkins is a serrated machete – which is a pretty mean weapon to jab into someone.
There is one good looking lady in the film and an average babe shows off some pretty average titties. You really can’t give this movie more than one and a half skulls here, but at least the boobs make an appearance.
Hillbillies don’t make for the most frightening of villains, but Just Before Dawn has an effective score and is well directed by Jeff Lieberman (Squirm, Satan’s Little Helper), which makes it an atmospheric, tense, and creepy movie.
Released to theaters in 1981, it’s an early entry into the slasher genre, following and lifting a few things from 1980’s Friday the 13th. It was released on a 2-Disc DVD after a long absence in 2005 and is a pretty easy find these days, though it lacks the notoriety it deserves. If you consider yourself a child of 80’s horror or slashers, this is a definite must see.