Sunday, July 5, 2009

Night Train to Terror

If I told you one movie contained within Nazis, stop motion animation, a Russian roulette death club, breakdancing, a porno scene involving a squaw and an explorer, an omniscient narrator, a carnival, and Richard Moll in a dual role, would you be all like, hell yeah, sign me up, that sounds like a real coherent good time! Or would you be like, hmmm, I don't know, it sounds like a leeetle to much for my poor senses to take in right now.

Such is Night Train to Terror. If I was to describe it to you play by play, you would be like, hell yeah, Jenn, that sounds right the fuck on! But then I would have led you astray with my comedic writing style (ha!), and you would watch the movie expecting this great marvel of cinema, yet you would be sorely disappointed. Sorely, my friends. And then you'd hate me. Since I want nothing more than to win your love and adoration, I won't write a play by play of Night Train to Terror. I will merely say this: when you have a movie with a frame type situation (here it's God and Satan on a train discussing the fates of three people - those who you see in the vignettes involving Nazis, squaws, Russian roulette, et. al.) make sure....wait, I'm not really sure what you should make sure of. That shit makes sense? You know, I don't often care if stuff doesn't make sense, in fact sometimes I rather enjoy it when it doesn't. But this movie made little sense and not in good, I'm watching a fever dream, let me sit back and enjoy it kinda way. If a movie can take you (in fifteen minutes of screen time or so) from seeing a girl selling popcorn at a fair to the same girl and her lover, as well as ex-pimp, all strapped to electric chairs while a computer chooses who gets to be electrocuted, it's done something. I'm not sure what. And if that same movie can take you from watching 'band' (in the loosest sense of what constitutes a band - drums? guitar? lots of dancing while wearing headbands? One song to their repertoire?), to seeing a Nazi demon mow down with a machine gun imprisoned females playing the violin for the entertainment of Nazi troops, I guess that's talent. I shouldn't be so harsh on NTtoT. It makes some pretty impressive leaps.

I'm at a loss for words. And I love bad horror movies! You know, as I was watching this last night, I didn't even feel like finishing my glass of wine! I went to bed at 11 pm! Well, I tried watching Drive-In Massacre but was too exhausted emotionally after NTtoT, I couldn't even commit to another movie! I hope I'm okay. I feel a little better now, thank goodness. Your sympathy is appreciated.


  1. My sympathies, indeed. I know this isn't the effect you wanted, but now I sort of want to see this. . . .

  2. HW, don't do it! Please, I implore you! Well, the band stuff is kinda funny....


    Ah, Night Train to Terror. What a...well, TRAIN WRECK of a movie! :) You may or may not know this, Jenn (I wouldn't if I didn't spend a lot of time poring through the imdb comment section, wishing I had half the wit and knowledge of the average writer there ;) ), but apparently except for the frame story, every segment of NTTT was in fact a full-length (crappy) DTV movie that some editor went all "Richard Moll in the First Story" on in order to hack them down to 30-minute chunks. That's right, you have full 80-90 minute stories condensed to a third of their length. No wonder it doesn't make any sense!

    The "death club" segment was definitely the winner of the lot, what with the inventive roulettes, the stop-motion bug, and Jimi Hendrix's pimp brother making an appearance. Also, anytime you have Bull from Night Court molesting bound naked women and hacking up corpses, you've got *something* special there.

    Anyway, I'm guessing that as bad as NTTT is, it's still better than any of the movies would have been at full length. And is it wrong that the frame story stuff reminded me of the Muppet Show ballroom segments? If they'd told a few more bad jokes in between choruses of "Everybody's Got Something to Do," it would have been PERFECT!

    --The Vicar

  4. Thanks, Vicar, now I've got that song in my head again! 'Come on, dance with me, dance with me!'

    I cannot effin' believe that each of those was a movie in and of itself. Although you're right, the death club story was the winner of the lot. Although the Nazi demon story wasn't without its charms. I especially enjoyed when he took off his sock and he had a cloven hoof. Saw it comin' a mile away, but it was still pretty good. And his makeup job! What the hell was going on with those eyebrows?

    Well, people did a lot of cocaine in the eighties. I can just imagine the director and editor putting this thing together, chain smoking and cutting up rails, thinking they've put together a masterpiece.

  5. Muwahahaha.. Can I take credit for putting you through this crime against nature? I still say it was a complete surprise on that box set in comparison to some of the other bland flicks like The Pyx, there is never a point where I wasnt amazed that the film was in one of the multi-packs considering the random gore and terrible 80s rock (??). Your life just wouldnt have been complete without having seen it =D

  6. Carl, I think you told me you liked this one? That there was a twist ending? That it had redeeming value? WTF, Carl, WTF?

    It does seem sorta kinda out of place on there with The Pyx and The Werewolf vs. The Vampire Women, but I don't know, the more I think about it, I think I was actually sort of entertained.

    All last night, I was singing 'come on and dance with me, dance with me' mostly just to the cats and having a good time with that, and they enjoyed my singing and dancing, I think. I now officially need more of a social life. :)

  7. Ill have to review the original comments I left you to refresh but I dont remember thinking there was a twist ending, I still say the flick is awesome and completely unexpected =D When the claymation came out of no where and Richard Moll was hacking up naked chicks I was sold, the terrible 80s-o-city of it all just made it all the better.

    I would neva, eva, eva eva eva eva eva blame anyone for not liking it, but its a total blast in my book lol.. claymation..

  8. Night Train to Terror was not a DTV movie. It was distributed theatrically in 1985 by Visto International, a low-rent indie film company ran by Oscar winning screenwriter Phillip Yordan (who commissioned NTTT's script...). I spoke with the former president of Visto recently, who is a semi-retired attorney. They also released other films from Italy such as Warrior of the Lost World with Donald Pleaseance and Fred Williamson. NTTT was given a regional release and played primarily in grindhouses. I actually own the original theatrical one sheet for this film! The three unfinished films in NTTT were all written by Yordan, and yes, when they did not get released, they took some of that footage to edit it into what became NTTT. As such the movie was not given good box office success, and was compared more of the likes of Plan 9 From Outer Space. Nonetheless, its good fun!