I couldn't find an existing thread for this one so I'm starting one here.
I DVR-ed "The Town That Dreaded Sundown" off of TCM a few months ago and finally had a chance to watch it last night. For those that aren't familiar with it, "Town" is a Charles B. Pierce (of "The Legend of Boggy Creek" fame) film that is based on a series of murders that occurred in the spring of 1946 in Texarkana, TX. The murders were never solved and the killer was dubbed the Phantom Killer by the press for his elusiveness. His targets were mainly couples parked at the various local "Lover's Lanes".
Stylistically, it is similar to Boggy Creek, as it is filmed as a pseudo-documentary, with a strong backwoods southern influence. Pierce claims that "only the names have been changed", but the story differs significantly from the true events. The film turns the Phantom Killer into a cyclical killer that strikes roughly every 21 days and it also modifies the details of most of the attacks (including introducing a slide-trombone stabbing of one of the victims!).
It's an early ancestor of the slasher film; the Phantom Killer wears a grain sack over his head and breathes hard, all things that remind one of the first couple Friday the 13th films.
It was filmed on location in Texarkana. Some of the locals play roles in the films, and it shows. As I mentioned before, it was produced and directed (and features) Charles B. Pierce, and it shows (that isn't totally bad; the Pierce films are an odd little sub-genre, but they are entertaining). It's not great film-making by any stretch, but it kept my attention and some of the attack scenes were rather chilling. The police/detective work strayed a little too much towards the Dukes of Hazzard/Smokey and the Bandit end of the spectrum for me, but it was tolerable.
Also for fans of Gilligan's Island, Dawn Wells plays one of the victims.
It's not available on DVD, but I think it has been on TCM twice this year and it was a nice wide screen print.
Strangely, Wikipedia claims it is shown annually in Texarkana as the last feature in a series of a "Movies in the Park" program.