This is topic Just Before Dawn (1981) in forum « 80's Movies at iRewind Talk.

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Posted by Valley (Member # 1322) on :

Five friends take a weekend excursion into the woods to relax and look over a piece of mountain land one of them has inherited. Warned by the local forest ranger not to make the trip, they are further spooked by an old man they meet who claims demons killed his hunting buddy and are now chasing him. The group dismisses the drunken man's ranting and set up camp on the mountainside for the night unaware that they are being shadowed by someone???


This movie is seldom mentioned, but it is a decent underrated eerie slasher flick. Maybe it is the creepy atmosphere and cinematography that I admire.

Any fans?
Posted by journey (Member # 7316) on :
It's a decent '80s slasher. I think that was the first thing I ever saw Greg Henry in too.
Posted by Burnett (Member # 9924) on :
I saw it recently, and I liked it. A few cool kills (arm in throat), good cinematography and music score.
Hixploitation is a fun subgenre.
Posted by aTomiK (Member # 6575) on :

Watched Just Before Dawn and i also liked it.

It´s a good backwoods thriller with a nice cast and beautiful Silver Falls State Park, Oregon locations.
Writer/director Jeff Lieberman has even created some character development, i especially like what happens to Constance, the part Deborah Benson plays very well.
I was surprised to see Falcon Crest star Jamie Rose nude in her first feature film.

Brad Fiedel´s score is moody and quite stripped down if you compare it to his other 80s works but it fits perfectly.
The 2-discs SE includes great documentary which includes both Lieberman and Fiedel among others.

Good stuff!
Posted by Helen_S (Member # 5804) on :
This is such a fun flick with one of the best kills ever!!
Posted by the young warrior (Member # 9554) on :
Not seen this in many years but I do remember liking it and that it had quite a creepy vibe to it!
Posted by Crash (Member # 7484) on :
Jeff Lieberman didn't direct too many movies, but I think I pretty much like them all: Squirm, Blue Sunshine (my favorite of his), Remote Control, and this one.
Posted by the young warrior (Member # 9554) on :

Rewatched Just Before Dawn (1981) for the first time in many years and though It did feel a tad slow in places it's certainly an atmospheric and very well shot slasher with a simple but very effective music score and some truly stunning Oregon scenery!

One thing i did find though is it did seem a lot more dated to me than many other entries in the slasher genre that only came just a year or two later and if I was unaware of the year in which it was actually made I would have leaned more towards the mid to late 70s rather than early 80s.

Not trying to really criticize it there as I still do think it's a good little low budget 80s horror that is both eerie and entertaining!

Plus always great to see George Kennedy on screen though he did feel slightly underused here as a park ranger and also Gregg Henry who I last saw on screen in an episode of the Patrick Swayze cop show The Beast.

Stand out scene for me - - the killer entering the lake from under the waterfall behind the unsuspecting happy (and horny) campers!

[ 12. September 2017, 11:20: Message edited by: the young warrior ]

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