19. The Night Train Murders

It's your Horror Review Advent Calendar.
25 Christmas themed movies.
Ho, ho, ho.

Director: Aldo Lado (1975)
Starring: Flavio Bucci, Irene Miracle
Find it: IMDB, Amazon

The most miserable entry in our advent calendar, The Night Train Murders posits a terrible hypothesis: "imagine if the plot of The Last House on the Left happened to you... on Christmas Eve." True story: you can make any horror movie 40% more depressing by having it happen on Christmas Eve. Nothing is more depressing than being murdered on  Christmas Eve. Not even burnt turkey.

Of all the Last House On The Left rip-offs I've ever seen, The Night Train Murders is the rip-offest. That it was acquired by the 'Shameless' DVD label is apt, since shameless is the only word to describe its constant thieving. It basically is Last House On The Left. Only the murders happen on a train, which makes it okay. Even the tagline (YOU CAN TELL YOURSELF IT'S ONLY A MOVIE*) is stolen from Wes Craven's infamous video nasty. Most of the time, it doesn't even try. Which is understandable. Because making a movie is hard enough without having to think up an original story too.

To repeat the plot is pointless, since it's Last House On The Left. I suppose this movie being set during Christmas is different. But a Friday the 13th ripoff entitled Saturday the 15th would still be a Friday the 13th ripoff. My point being, I've seen The Last House On The Left, so I could have done without seeing this.

The preamble to the atrocities is boring and goes on for too long. Well, unless you like watching people do boring Christmas shopping and have boring Christmas parties. And then the atrocities themselves are boring and go on for too long. The parents' revenge is boring but doesn't go on for nearly long enough. There's not even a chainsaw, David Hess nor a microwave. The train toss is passable enough, with the lovely young things running afoul of two junkies and their evil ho friend. As you knew was going to happen from the very start of the thing, the girls are raped and murdered. A random commuter joins in for some of the rape.

One of the girls is then violated with a knife, which is icky but fairly original. She dies, as you do, from blood loss/shock. Her friend jumps from the moving train. It's entirely inappropriate, but I did laugh when the second body was thrown out of the window. And Poirot thought that The Orient Express was bad. I'll stick with The Polar Express, thanks. The rest of the movie is no laughing matter. Firstly because the subject matter is so horrible, secondly because it's a dull film, and thirdly because it's shit. The highlight being that one of the actors has a fascinatingly ugly face.

I'm not a fan of rape/revenge movies even when done well. And The Night Train Murders certainly isn't done well.

*You'll know it's ONLY A MOVIE. Because you've seen THE MOVIE before. Back when it was called you-know-what.

1 comment:

  1. I bought Night Train Murders when it came out on Blue Underground DVD back in 2004. TO THIS DAY, my wife still complains about this as THE WORST movie she has ever seen because of me. Any time someone asks her how she can handle all the gore and violence in my movie collection, she says that she is okay with it but there was this ONE MOVIE...

    Personally, I don't mind that she hates it so much because it is not a favorite of mine at all. In fact, I sold the DVD to some poor soul on eBay. His wife is probably still griping about it too. Hm, I wonder if my wife would like The House on the Edge of the Park...