Terror Train (1980)
Ranking: No, no, no
So Trashy it's almost funny
When I saw this on the guide I thought, ‘Hey, Halloween on a train. Why the hell not?’ and set into wasting two hours of my life watching it (two hours includes commercials, of course, which are an equal waste of my life).
About ten minutes in, Mr. Green, frowning, said “I thought this was a British flick with Peter Cushing.” “No, no” I corrected him. “You’re thinking of Horror Express” “I thought that was the one with Sean Connery where they all stab that guy.” “That was Murder on the Orient Express... it's an Agatha Christie thing.” At this point he just told me I was a nerd and went away.
Moving on, the film is indeed Halloween on a train with a bunch of so-called medical students who don’t even know enough to check a guy’s pulse when they think he might be dead, getting rubbed out by a dude they played a practical joke on in the first reel (I can't believe I just wrote that. I don't even know what the fuck a reel is).
The entire time, the filmmakers try to hide the killer’s identity despite having shown us who it was in the first ten minutes. This annoyed me.
What also annoyed me is that it’s not that hard to avoid getting killed on a train. It’s a fucking train. You just get off. If it was Terror Boat that would be one thing (although it doesn’t have that nice alliteration – it would have to be, like, Scary Schooner or something) – it’s hard to get off a boat without, like, drowning and shit (see Friday the 13th Part Eight: Jason Goes to Manhattan. Actually, fuck that. Watch Alien. Alien is a much better example of what I’m talking about coz, you know, instead of just being on a boat, they’re in space and that). And why the fuck doesn’t the train have a radio? They set it up in the beginning with the train dispatcher dude going “I wish they would fit that old train with a radio”. As if that’s optional.
And then there’s the acting. As is to be expected, everyone in the movie is terrible with the possible exception of Ben Johnson as the responsible adult/train conductor. Not that the poor buggers had very good dialogue to work with, but still.
I mean, this film is so bland they had to stick a magic act in the middle to keep us interested, but only served to remind me that this is not a rad flick like Wizard of Gore but a lame ass, third rate slasher movie. And I still watched it. Fuck.
Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode. Written by: T.Y. Drake. Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Johnson, Hart Bochner, David Copperfield, Derek MacKinnon.