Not everyone will ring in the new year in Terror Train.
Movie: Terror Train (1980)
Plot: A group of college kids party it up for New Year’s Eve on a train. Little do they know that a past New Year’s Eve prank has come back to make sure they never ring in the new year.
Killer: It was pretty obvious who the killer was 5 minutes into the movie, but let’s just say, for the sake of surprise, the killer is a mysterious mad-person who dons the costume of his latest victim.
Scene of Awesomeness: The sound effect when the killer falls off the train and lands on the ice before slipping into the river is what horror movie deaths is all about.
Scene of Ridiculousness: One of the conductors does his best to show that he knows how to do magic tricks, too, as if we didn’t hate magic any more than we already do.
Body Count: 10
1 vivisected corpse from the mortuary (Hey, it counts, sort of…)
1 sword through the stomach and body crushed on a train track
1 face through a mirror
1 throat slashed
1 chest sliced open
1 magic sword box trick gone wrong
1 fall off a train after being smacked with a coal shovel (Awesomely Overkill Award)
1 pair of nipple-less breasts
Actors/Actresses of Note: Jamie Lee Curtis continues her scream queen reign after Halloween and Prom Night. A less obvious actor of note is David Copperfield in the role as a magician. Talk about character acting…
Quote: “Jesus, I don’t know who it is anymore!” – Alana
While Terror Train may suffer from being too obvious as a horror movie, it still manages to bring something good to the table. Even if we figure out who the killer will be minutes into the film, the theme of disguises does a good job of cloaking who are obvious suspect has become. The killer doesn’t just switch in and out of costumes throughout the film, but has a change of identity that we really don’t know until the end, which keeps us in suspense. Of course, even that masked identity has been done before, but Terror Train was one of the first in the horror genre.
While the kills are few, there are definitely some creative ideas mixed into the usual slit throats and decapitations. We have a vivisected corpse, a man slowly crushed by a train, and the dive off the train that I’ve mentioned over and over. Sure, some special effects could have lead to this movie’s grade shooting up, but it’s the thought that counts.