Skip to content
Find file
Fetching contributors…
Cannot retrieve contributors at this time
29 lines (28 sloc) 3.25 KB
there were four movies that earned jamie lee curtis the title of " scream queen " in the early '80s .
two of them were halloween movies , but the other two -- prom night and terror train -- were the uninspired knockoffs that came directly after the success of halloween .
the same " god , i'm scared , there's some guy in a mask coming after me " routine she did in john carpenter's classic , jamie lee copies here , with none of the urgency or suspense .
terror train takes place on ( where else ? ) a train , charted by some pre-med students finishing their first four years of higher education .
most of them won't make it to med school , though , and it's obvious from the foreshadowing done when the conductor complains , " i wish to hell they'd put a radio on that train . "
the conductor character probably has the most lines of anyone , even jamie lee .
from the beginning , he's talking his head off ( he tells one of his co-workers " think on this -- when's the last time someone built a shopping mall next to a train station ? "
as if it makes any kind of sense ) and it only gets better as he engages himself in an argument about the benefits of railroad over recreational vehicles .
of course , the loudmouth conductor is the first person to find a bloody body , which is then gone when he brings a skeptical trainman back to view it .
i forgot to mention the prologue .
it's a party three years earlier , with the same group of students .
two of them play a trick on a geeky frat pledge , promising him he's going to get laid .
they send jamie lee up to stand behind the bed and talk to the geek as he comes in , noticing a form on the bed .
she says , " kiss me , kenny , " and he kisses the body on the bed , which happens to be a cadaver .
( " oh my god , they killed kenny !
you bastards ! " )
it's a sick trick , and one jamie lee wasn't let in on .
she still hasn't forgiven the guy as they board the terror train ( " you asshole , you can't have a good time without hurting somebody ! " ) .
the killing starts before the train even leaves the station .
since it's new year's , everyone's wearing disguises ( a convenient plot device we've seen before ) , and someone stabs the guy in the groucho mask when no one's looking .
at least one of the characters says it's a groucho mask ; when the killer dons it and steps aboard , it looks like gene shalit who , by the way , would make a great killer in a slasher movie .
speaking of weird-looking dorks who still persist on the entertainment scene , one of terror train's most famous gimmicks is the appearance of david copperfield " as the magician , " who regails those aboard with illusions set to disco music .
then there's his greatest trick -- getting laid with hair that looks like that .
for all its attempts at visual style and substance , terror train is more lionel than amtrak , more prom night than halloween , and nothing really worth watching .
only die-hard fans of jamie lee curtis and david copperfield ( if he truly has any fans ) should even attempt to watch it .
and it makes me wonder if a horror movie set in an rv could be much worse .
i mean , when was the last time someone built a shopping mall next to a train station , anyway ?
terror train is definitely the cinematic equivalent of a sleeper car .
Jump to Line
Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.