The Kansan - Newton, KS
by Garon Cockrell
31 Days of Scream-O-Ween! - Terror Train
email print
Oct. 2, 2013 5:20 p.m.

By Adam Ruhl

Todayís Scream Factory goody hails from a long, proud

tradition of Canadian horror films like Black Christmas and later, My Bloody

Valentine. Unlike those holiday themed horrors Terror Train veers off on its

own path by taking on the horrors of being trapped on mass transit with a

murderer. Itís also the film that confirmed Jamie Lee Curtis as the Scream

Queen, so letís dive right in and look at Scream Factoryís Collectorís Edition

of Terror Train!<>


Terror Train

The Film:

Over the course of watching many horror films for this

series Iíve noticed a plotting trend. Much like The Burning, Terror Train

starts with some kids prank gone wrong; which maims someone and sets them on a

long term path of murderous revenge. In this case its college kids who trick a

virgin pledge named Kenny into almost kissing a corpse from the med school. He

doesnít do it mind you, just almost, this apparently traumatizes him to

insanity. <>

Flash forward a couple years later and those same kids are

getting ready to graduate. Alana (Curtis), a girl who was in on the prank,

joins her boyfriend and the Greeks for a costume party on a train. They are

traveling at night, in Canada, in winter, which sets up their isolation (the

conductor goes into a long diatribe about how he wishes the train owner would

put a phone on it, because FORESHADOWING).

Even before theyíre underway, one of their friends is

impaled on a sword which everyone thinks is a really funny joke (must be

Canadian humor), which allows Kenny to don the dead manís mask and board the

train. Once the train gets going frat boys are lined up for slaughter by a

deranged maniac as he tries out a series of increasingly bizarre masks. This

movie is fun but strange, case in point, about midway through the movie David

Copperfield, the actual magician David Copperfield, performs a magic show on

the train. 1979 David Copperfield, slasher movie, train, while those elements

sink in letís talk about the disc. <>


The Disc:

The art cover for Terror Train is again by Nathan Thomas

Milliner. Itís well done but not quite as well composed as some of his other

covers. In a way it reflects the somewhat awkward visual composition of Terror

Train itself.

The film presentation is clean but there is a distinct low

budget feel throughout. Costumes are thrown together and donít always make

sense for the characters. There is a lot of debris scattered around the train,

it is supposed to be a party but it just ends up looking a little haphazard.

Terror Train never quite sold me on its own reality and itís a touch


The extras are pretty thin for a Collectorís Edition.

Thereís no commentaryís at all, this film just screams for a David Copperfield

commentary track. The bonus features only has a handful of interviews, none of

which are the actors, director, or writer. See Jamie Lee Curtisí interview in

Scream Factoryís The Fog release, she talks about Terror Train in some detail.<>

The Features:

  • Destination

    Death Ė Interview with the Producer<>

  • Riding the Rails

    Ė Interview with the Production Executive <>

  • All Aboard Ė

    Interview with the Production Designer<>

  • Music for Murder

    Ė Interview with the Composer<>

  • Still Gallery<>

  • Theatrical


  • TV Spot<>


The Specs:


1080p Hi-Def widescreen 1.85:1


DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0


DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1


English-only Audio & Subtitles


Original Release: 1980


Runtime: 97 minutes


Rated R<>

Final Grades:

Story: C / Kids get on train, killer gets on train, kids get murdered

on train. Thatís all the plot you need.

Presentation quality: B+ / Looks good and the train shots are pretty

but not very complex visually.

Scare factor: B- / Scares are broadcasted a little too much.

Gore Factor: C / Violent but not particularly gory.

Special Features: C / No commentaries and a handful of interviews with

producers and the composer. Sparse compared with some of the other releases.   



Add Terror Train to your collection, click HERE!

Recent Posts

    latest blogs

    • Community
    • National