Posted by Timo |

this is another early 80's slasher flick that scared the shit out of me way back when!

A Young frat Pledge gets a hideously cruel joke played on him and flips out only to be institutionalized. 3 years later that same group of college kids is having a new years eve party on a chartered train. of course, it's a costume party so identities are hidden and the killer has endless ways to disguise himself as he seeks his revenge on those involved in the prank.

It's all pretty tame by today's standards, but it has some very nice touches. Our favorite horror heroine Jamie Lee Curtis is on board ( ha! ) as is veteran actor Ben Johnson as the calm authority figure. Also on hand is David Copperfield. Yup. I'm not even kidding.

Obviously, this movie is really dated. The hair is downright terrifying, but the premise is quite good. The Lighting and color play an important role here and really add to the creepiness provided by the claustrophobia of the train.
There are quite a few moments where the killer obviously does not have to pay attention to space or time because it's magic, I guess. people are magically killed when no one is around! he moves through locked doors and crawls around on the outside of a speeding train! Decapitations! Severed hands! Some decent gore and a nice final-Final reel. as in the killer is dead dead dead. No sequels.

Jamie Lee Curtis is in fine form here. She really is perfect for these kind of roles. This one has a nice twist and some really great atmosphere. It also has a really odd semi-homo moment between the 2 lead guys when one is dying. it's cute.

I found this when searching to see if anyoe else caught it:
"Then there is the strange discussion between Doc and Mo suggesting a homosexual attraction between them that I missed the first couple of times through . It makes one rethink Doc's motivation for being such an utter asshole -- he is "in the closet", resentful, and treats people like shit to vent his frustration ... Come to think of it, there are a lot of images of closets in this movie. It also explains why he snaps after his buddy Mo is killed, but just sort of shouts a lot after the death of his slutty girlfriend. Then there is the cross dressing female impersonator supporting player who turns out to play a pivotal role ... With Jamie Lee's rather androgynous appearance [Ms. Curtis' costume is a pirate, a very male character, and is wearing her hair like a member of Def Leppard], the male frat boy bonding, and Bochner looking misty eyed at Mo in every other shot, I see a subtle, amusingly subversive homosexual subtext at work that is unprecedented for a film like this of it's time. " Found HERE

the transfer on this one is quite decent. This one also has disco moments, but the disco lights here actually really add to some of the spookiness.

a horror fan would probably own this, but it's def. worth a rental or bargain bin pickup!

The Trailer