Hello readers, and welcome to a new monthly post in which I will be reviewing a Scream Factory release. Each month I will pick either a new or previous release from the line of collectible horror releases which are released each month under the Scream Factory name!
Ben Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Hart Bochner, David Copperfield, Derek McKinnon, Sandee Currie, Timothy Webber, Anthony Sherwood
What’s It About?:
“A masked killer targets six college kids responsible for a prank gone wrong three years earlier and who are currently throwing a large New Year’s Eve costume party aboard a moving train” – IMDB
In 1978 John Carpenter released Halloween, now one of the most recognized slasher films of all time. Not only did it become an instant classic, but it also skyrocketed star Jamie Lee Curtis into full-fledged “scream queen” status. Two years later in 1980, Curtis starred in three new horror films, one of those being Terror Train.
After a fraternity prank goes wrong, an unsuspecting pledge ends up in a mental institution. A few years later, we find our group of kids graduating from college and throwing a costume party aboard a train. Unfortunately for the students involved in the prank, someone is on board to take them out one at a time.
After watching this release a couple times before doing my review I really developed a liking for this film. Jamie Lee is the ultimate scream queen, even if her horror career was quite short-lived. Also the casting of magician David Copperfield was a unique choice, but also understandable as putting on magic shows is all about the showmanship which shows in Copperfield’s role. It was great to watch director Roger Spottiswoode make the move from editor to director. Spottiswoode, if you weren’t aware, was previously the editor for Sam Peckinpah on some extraordinary films. Terror Train proved a terrific directorial debut and one that will live on in the history of slashers.
This release includes four new interviews on the disc with production executive Don Carmody, producer Daniel Grodnik, production designer Glenn Bydwell and composer John Mills-Cockell. The interviews are each around 10-15 minutes and provide a little behind the scenes information about what went into making the film.
Producer Daniel Grodnik is personally my favorite interview on this release. He talks about how he was very close friends with John Carpenter at the time and told Carpenter that he wanted to make Halloween on a train. Carpenter wished him luck and gave his blessing. Hearing how they were able to score Jamie Lee as the lead and also magician David Copperfield are also interesting tales, but I can’t spoil everything so you’ll have to pick up a copy and listen for yourself.
Overall, I really ended up enjoying this feature, having never seen it before writing this post. The film fits perfectly in with the other slashers of it’s time, but also isn’t over the top and ridiculous as some slashers eventually got during the era. If you’re in for a good who-done-it, then Terror Train won’t disappoint. I highly recommend this release for any classic slasher fan. Give it a chance and pick up a copy from Scream Factory directly, or Amazon if that’s your preferred purveyor of goods.