Night Train to Terror (1985)

I defy you to name one other film that offers as much breakdancing, animated monsters, spandex, gushing blood, naked breasts and Bull from Night Court as the diabolically incompetent and massively entertaining Night Train to Terror. Destination? Hilarity!

It’s a horror anthology film, built out of one unfinished flick and two existing films severely edited to the point that they play like extended trailers. The wraparound segment has God and Mr. Satan — played, according to the credits, by Himself and Lu Sifer, respectively — sitting on a moving train, debating for the souls of each story’s characters, while a musical group with way too many guys wearing headbands and aerobic outfits sings the same damn song over and over and over in the next car.

The first case they pore over – the incomplete Scream Your Head Off – stars Barbarella’s John Philip Law as a salesman who ends up in a mental ward and is coerced by the hot middle-aged nurse to go out and drug young women so that they can be strapped to tables naked and have their internal organs harvested to the highest bidder. Oh, and Richard Moll is in it.

Next comes the heavily abbreviated version of 1983’s Death Wish Club, in which Gretta, a skank with bad teeth, makes porno movies until she meets frat boy Glen. Gretta takes her new beau to a strange suicide club, at which one member is dispatched each time via some bizarre method, whether that be a giant winged beetle with a sting of death, electric-chair Russian roulette or lying in sleeping bags until your head is crushed by a wrecking ball.

Last is a chunk of 1980’s Cataclysm, in which a Nazi war criminal with a cloven hoof continues to live — and murder — in the present day without having aged. Cameron Mitchell investigates, and finds stop-motion monsters and open-heart surgery footage. Oh, and Richard Moll is in it.

Between each vignette, That Damned Band “sings” that “song,” engages in semi-Laugh-In bits and breakdances in slow motion. At the very end, a model train car crashes, presumably killing all aboard, which is a good thing. In its own fucked-up way of utter incompetence, Night Train to Terror is genius. —Rod Lott

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3 Responses to “Night Train to Terror (1985)”

  • Brandon L. Summers Says:

    Nice review. The Dungeonmaster (’84) is better. It’s a warped pseudo-anthology, goofier, little more cohesive, with Moll in a better part. “Night Train” just looks like someone’s desperate act. I like the God and Devil stuff, but it doesn’t hold up.

  • Byron Lord Says:

    I saw this at the Berkeley… was it the 2 before it was 4? No matter! They gave everyone a miniposter. I thought it was a Christian scare movie and was bored to death.
    Goldsboro, NC, not Berkeley, CA….
    sincerely, Byron Lord

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