I recently checked out a pretty sweet little horror anthology from 1985 called ‘Night Train to Terror’ on VHS and it did indeed deliver the goods, especially in that oh so ridiculously sweet 80’s way. It’s not always easy to find a decent horror anthology but this one had a certain charm about it especially with it’s rather ambitious special fx & visuals that really made it such a damn good time.
The movie certainly kicks off with a total bang as we’re thrust into a full blown dance party on a train, with crazy 80’s fashion, a super cheezed out band rockin’ performing a totally “rad” third rate pop song. Now that’s a train I want to reserve a seat on! Anyway, soon we realize that God and Satan are also on a train that’s flying through outer space and trying to determine who will live on the party train as it’s going to crash. This is where we see the frightening tales of evil materialize on screen as it sets the stage for the stories involving some of the more questionable passengers.
So what we’ve got here are a few cool tales of terror, what’s really interesting is these stories here are all apparently edited versions of different horror films: Death Wish Club, Cataclysm and an unfinished movie project with Richard Moll (of Night Court fame) called Scream Your Head Off. Yeah and if you’re for some reason a big Richard Moll fan you’ll be pleased to know he stars in two of the segments! Also while we’re on the hot topic of Richard Moll flicks, you’ve got to check out ‘The Dungeonmaster’ from 1984, which is easily one of the most ridiculously fun horror/Sci fi flicks of the 80s. So back to the Night Train, it would seem one reason why these segments work so well is that they’ve likely trimmed out all of the excess fat from these movies and got to get straight to the damn point. So many obscure 80’s horror flicks would be bonafide cult classics if they’d trim 20 or so minutes from their run times. That’s a fact!
Yep, Night Train has got a lot to offer in it’s spooky entries, but don’t expect shit to make a heckuva lot of sense. The stories are actually kinda confusing, probably because they’ve been majorly butchered to pieces. That being said, there’s some cool shit going on, there’s one about a dude who drugs women, then kills them only to collect their organs. There’s a ton of nudity and some gore and of course Richard Moll shows up. The next segment’s about a freaky ass death club, whose members are obsessed with near death experiences, not the “out of body” stuff but like putting themselves into elaborate death traps to see if they can survive it. This one’s also pretty damn confusing, but there’s some cool ass traps and a rad killer insect that they let out of a bottle to fly around them at a dinner table..oh yeah and then some killer big hungry monster bugs! Lastly the third one was fucking fantastic, It had some weird ass Nazi guy who never ages, you guessed it…more Richard Moll, monsters a plenty and a totally excellent stop-motion animation creature sequence. This one’s story is super confusing as well, or maybe i’m just stupid, but it doesn’t really matter because it’s all 80’s gory goodness. I’d say just drink some booze and smoke a joint before watching, as it’s not there to wow anyone with a well crafted story that’s for sure!
So check this one out if you’re in the mood for a sweet 1980’s horror party flick, it delivers on all levels and you really don’t have to pay much attention to what’s going on, just sit back and enjoy the goofy ambition of it all…
I may be late to the party with this one, but I got to see Snowpiercer last night in the theater finally! It’s one helluva flick and I’d really expect nothing less from Boon Joon-ho who also directed the amazing monster movie “The Host” years ago. For one I love movies that take place on trains but this one is certainly not your average adventure on the tracks! This wild ride takes place years after a chemical is released into the atmosphere to solve climate change problems on the Earth, instead it turns the planet into a frigid ball of ice and one man builds his ultimate dream, a fast moving train to house the existing survivors of the ice age. The only problem is that the rich survivors live a lavish life far at the front and the poor are jam packed like sardines to live in filth in the back tail end cars, suffering from brutality and starvation from their higher ups. This situation could only last for so long before a revolt is planned by the poor box car rebels who are lead by none other than Chris “Captain America” Evans, who’s nearly unrecognizable in the role.
Evans finally really gets a chance to prove he’s far more than a Marvel superhero delivering an excellent performance filled with real emotion. I also have to mention his role in this movie is far more ass kicking than anything you’re likely to get from a Disney Marvel movie. It really made me see him in a whole new light and judging from the film’s nearly flawless critical reception it was clearly a great move for him. Cudos to Evans for taking the role.
We’ve got an incredible adventure here, that in a way really has something to say about the divide today between the rich and the poor, all taking place on huge, high speed train that travels continuously across the globe with no plans of ever stopping in fear of the icy otherworld. It’s a crazy idea as the people aboard the Snowpiercer refer to the train as “the world”. What’s most interesting is seeing Evans and his crew fight their way through each car and with each the decor changing and changing dramatically. It’s some of the most stunning visuals I’ve seen in recent times and gives the perfect backdrop to this breath taking tale.
I’ve got to mention the role of Song Kang-ho who’s a personal fave of mine from many other flicks. He plays the ass kicking, drug addict who almost steals the show himself and Tilda Swinton’s villainous role is one that you’re not likely to forget anytime soon either. This movie will also make you look at “protein bars” and forst bite in a whole new light. Bottom line here is you need to go check this out asap, it’s one of the best movies of the year and I hope it busts the door wide open for Boon Joon-ho here in the USA, we need more movies with amazing original ideas like this on the big screen hitting the major theaters, it’s a shame this one got such a small limited release…