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Night Train Murders [Blu-ray]
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You Can Tell Yourself It’s Only A Movie… BUT IT WON’T HELP!
It was released as SECOND HOUSE ON THE LEFT, NEW HOUSE ON THE LEFT, and TORTURE TRAIN. The ads screamed, “Most movies last less than two hours! This is one of everlasting torment!” It remains one of the most graphically fiendish films in exploitation history, the story of two teenage girls traveling through Europe, forced into a nightmare of sexual assault and sadistic violence.
Irene Miracle (INFERNO, MIDNIGHT EXPRESS), Flavio Bucci (SUSPIRIA), Macha Meril (DEEP RED), and Marina Berti (WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO YOUR DAUGHTERS?) star in this depraved shocker directed by Aldo Lado (SHORT NIGHT OF GLASS DOLLS, WHO SAW HER DIE?) and featuring a haunting score by Ennio Morricone (THE BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE). Experience evil gone off the rails: NIGHT TRAIN MURDERS is now presented in a brand-new High Definition transfer from the original uncensored negative!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I rented this thinking it was going to be just another slasher movie, but imagine my surprise when a few minutes into the movie I realized that the director, Aldo Lado, actually had some talent and shot a film that was not only engaging, but quite beautiful.
I won't ruin the movie by giving away a bunch of spoilers but lets just say two girls on the way home for Christmas have a bad (to say the least) encounter with two petty thieves who are unknowningly being manipulated by a rich (and ultra-seductive) female passenger played by Macha Meril, who was in Bunuel's erotic masterpiece BELLE DE JOUR.
If you're a gorehound looking for wall to wall guts (or nudity) then you'll be disappointed, but if you want to see an intelligently made film about the darker side of human nature then check it out. Make sure you watch the interview with director Lado, very interesting.
When the two girls find themselves fearing for their lives and uncomfortable, they take advantage of a somewhat convenient bomb-threat and sneak onboard another train that will get them to their destination about half an hour early. They get on-board only to find that the train is, mostly, deserted and seemingly without lights or electricity. They take a nap in one of the compartments and then wake up later on in the night to have dinner by candlelight. However, during their dinner they soon discover that the thugs, along with their female friend, have sneaked on-board and the two girls find themselves trapped in a horrible nightmare of torture, rape, humiliation, and heartless cruelty.
When the deeds are done the terror still continues. Even after the bodies are violated and disposed of there is still such incredible suspense in it's unfolding of events. When the parents show up to pick the girls up and find the two thugs and the girl at the train station instead, we can feel the slowly building paranoia as the characters realize who they are each dealing with. As the parents come to find out what happened, we truly can feel their sorrow as they realize that they will never see their daughter alive again. Then the revenge aspect comes into play and it is even more shocking than we anticipated. It is not shocking in a gratuitous gorefest kind of sense, but rather it is shocking in that it is obvious that the father who performs these killings is unprepared and inexperienced in such matters. The terror comes from the fact that he is a normal man who is doing something he has never wanted to do. As a result the film is not only horrifying, but it is also an emotional roller coaster ride.
This is one of the most effective horror films I have ever seen. The realism of the situations presented here comes off so authentic and suspenseful that it's practically a guarantee that most viewers' stomachs will be in knots. The film is relentless in it's horror and the way the victims' lives are toyed with. The audience is toyed with as well in several moments of what I could pretty much describe as false hope. The film will likely take an emotional tole on viewers who aren't prepared. This film is far more disturbing than The Last House on the Left due to the unfolding tension. There are no moments of forced dark comedy or cheap style. The film pulls no punches in depicting the last hours of the lives of these two innocent girls. The character of Curly is also far more terrifying than the character of Krug in the original in that he comes across as so simple-minded and yet so screwed up in a realistic way. This is an absolute must-see for all horror fans. This film is a masterpiece, and I'm glad that a modern day version of The Virgin Spring has finally been told in a proper and effective way.
Night Train Murders has a lot going for it though; for starters unlike the movie it knocked off there is no comedy here. It's a straight forward movie with no happy ending.
The script by Renato Izzo & Aldo Lado lacks in the character development, but despite that they are able to create real characters as well as make some political statements. Aldo Lado also directs and does a fine job at the pacing of the movie; the first half of the movie is rather slow. Not a whole lot happens as we follow the two teenage girls who despite depth come across as real and likeable people.
Some people might find the first half boring and in many ways I understand why. But despite the slowness I still quite enjoyed it. I liked the two main characters and that helped keep my interest. The scenes with the parents early on are also well done and like the two girls the parents lack depth, but come across as real people.
Night Train Murders does start to get a little boring right before the villains attack the two girls. But it's only a matter of minutes before the movie picks up again. The torture scenes on the train are actually rather tame compared to most movies like this. Though the razor blade scene easily has to rate as one of the most twisted scenes ever; besides that scene while there are some shocking moments and the torture scenes are unpleasant Night Train Murders is though very tame compared too many movies with this style.
The train scenes during the attack are very well done; first off it's well shot and beautifully lit. The blue lighting used really is amazing and adds to the tension. The girls are stuck with these terrible people and you feel as if you are stuck with them as well. Anything that might be lacking in those scenes is made up for with the feel of claustrophobia.
The villains are pretty much a poor mans version of the villains from Last House on the Left, Flavio Bucci as Blackie even has a resemblance to David Hess. Despite that the villains work well for the most part and are very unlikable. In movies like this even when the villains pay for their crimes there is no happy ending due to what came before. But Night Train Murders while offers nothing really different to this genre doesn't have your typical ending.
Like in real life not everybody pays for their crimes and while there is revenge in Night Train Murders not everybody gets what's coming to them. While it's some what disappointing it also keeps the movie a little more real. The two thugs are worthless vile people who truly get what they deserve, but I thought the most interesting part was the fact the Lady on the Train played by Macha Meril was probably the most sadistic.
The lower class will often pay for their crimes, which they should; but many times the upper class even if more ruthless a lot of the times get away with what they have done. Some of these aspects help keep Night Train Murders feel very real. The revenge scenes were solid, but they could have maybe lasted a little longer. They are too quick, but at the same time get the job done.
While Night Train Murders may not be the best this genre has to offer and the torture scenes are tame compared to other movies like this, it still works well and is rather unpleasant to watch. Even when the movie ends you still feel a bit down due to what came before it. For those looking for something hardcore you won't find it here, but Night Train Murders is quite well done in my opinion.