Night #26: Night Train To Terror (1985)


Directed By: John Carr, Phillip Marshak, Jay Schlossberg-Cohen (Yes it took 3 people to make this)

No way! I think this train is coooool!”

Holy shit.

Sometimes a movie comes along that kind of astounds you. Of course, that can be a good thing but more often than not it’s a sign of something pretty bad. What do you think this one is?

Night Train To Terror would make a great album name and we actually start off with a musical number as the most 80s group – made up of people most certainly not playing their songs – have taken over an empty carriage to perform their music video. There is no rhyme or reason to this by the way. They appear to be the only passengers on the train and their song is absolutely terrible and like a lot of terrible songs, it’s pretty catchy.

Naturally, from there we cut to the train’s other two passengers: God and Satan. They’re debating the various merits of mankind because whenever God and Satan get together that’s literally all they do. You would think they have other interests, but if the movies are to be believed well…they don’t.

This is an anthology, which means that God and Satan debate the merits of the characters in the movies we’re about to see and decide who belongs where. First up is the story of a drunk driver who kills his new bride in an accident. Hospitalised, he finds himself in a private sanitarium who have a private line in procuring young women. Our man here is drugged and sent out as the bait for young beauties. Then, when they’re at the sanitarium they have their tops ripped off. Seriously, just walking through the door is enough for you to get your chest exposed in this one. If there was a T&A quota (More T I suppose) then this section alone filled it. Anyway, he turns the tables on his captors and gets his revenge, kind of, the segment just ends as someone tells us what happened.

Ok, weird. After a musical interlude – that fucking song again – we get the next segment.

A woman working at a carnival falls under the spell of a man who literally throws money at her. She wants to be a piano player but gets into porn instead, like the time Michael Jordan decided to play baseball. Some young stud of a man happens to see one of her movies and tracks her down. Next thing we know they’re together but she can’t resist the charms of the old pornographer and so the young couple end up in death club, where they and other members participate in dangerous activities that risk certain death. This one literally ends with an off-screen character telling us that the couple lived happily ever after even though they’re terrible people.

Musical interlude. Musical fucking interlude.

Our final story is about a cop and a doctor investigating a figure who might be the devil (Which is weird as we’ve already met the devil. I think they just pretend its a minion) and spoiler…it’s the devil and everyone dies. This one is actually the best segment of the lot I think, with some awesome plasticine special effects and a nice bastard of an ending.

Something seemed off about these segments, particularly the first two which seemed to haphazardly jump around. I had a feeling why this was and when it was over I had to confirm it. As it turns out, all three segments are from other movies. That first movie, in the Sanitarium? That’s an unfinished movie called Scream Your Head Off. They took some of the elements from that and strung them together in something that barely made sense. The second is a movie called The Death Wish Club that is actually a very different and thoroughly stranger movie than what we get here and the last is a flick called Cataclysm. You have to admit, it’s a fairly novel way of repackaging three failed movies, even though only two of them were ever completed.

Even if the movies themselves are poor-to-average (I maintain the final segment is pretty fun), throw the terrible terrible musical interludes in and you have a unique experience.

And I can’t not listen to this damn song.


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