Oct. 2, 2013
By Adam Ruhl
Today’s 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. It’s also the film that confirmed Jamie Lee Curtis as the Scream
Queen, so let’s dive right in and look at Scream Factory’s Collector’s Edition
of Terror Train!<>>
Over the course of watching many horror films for this
series I’ve 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
doesn’t do it mind you, just almost, this apparently traumatizes him to
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 they’re 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 man’s 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 let’s talk about the disc. <>>
The art cover for Terror Train is again by Nathan Thomas
Milliner. It’s 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
The film presentation is clean but there is a distinct low
budget feel throughout. Costumes are thrown together and don’t 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 it’s a touch
The extras are pretty thin for a Collector’s Edition.
There’s no commentary’s 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 Curtis’ interview in
Scream Factory’s The Fog release, she talks about Terror Train in some detail.<>>
Death – Interview with the Producer<>>
- Riding the Rails
– Interview with the Production Executive <>>
- All Aboard –
Interview with the Production Designer<>>
- Music for Murder
– Interview with the Composer<>>
- Still Gallery<>>
- TV Spot<>>
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
Story: C / Kids get on train, killer gets on train, kids get murdered
on train. That’s 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!