Just Before Dawn (1981)

“Will Anyone Survive Those Hours Just Before Dawn?” In the mood for a low-budget backwoods slasher flick from the early 1980s? You could do a lot worse than Just Before Dawn, which was directed by Jeff Lieberman (Blue Sunshine). It’s actually pretty damn good in its own way if you keep your expectations reasonable. Five teenagers – “Warren” (Gregg Henry), “Megan” (Jamie Rose), “Jonathan” (Chris Lemmon, Jack’s son), “Constance” (Deborah Benson) and “Daniel” (Ralph Seymour) – head out into the wilderness for a camping trip where they are terrorized by a couple of psychotic, inbred twin brothers (these guys make the hillbillies from Deliverance almost look civilized in comparison!). George Kennedy portrays forest ranger “Roy McLean,” who fails in his attempt to warn the teenagers from heading up the mountain. The film features some genuine scary moments and makes good use of locale (abandoned church, waterfalls, rope bridge, etc.). Just Before Dawn was filmed on location at Silver Falls State Park in Oregon.

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