Monday, October 14, 2013

Night Train To Terror (Blu-ray Review) - Vinegar Syndrome


USA/1985
Directed By: Various
Written By: Philip Yordan
Starring: Barbara Wyler, Jamie Scoggin, Stacey Lyons
Color/93 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE

The Film
As a group of teens party aboard a train that is on path to its destruction unbeknownst to them, a few cars down God and Satan discuss the fate of 3 souls that need to either be saved or damned. This is the wrap around story for NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR, with each soul being discuessed making up the trio of stories in this anthology horror film. The first chapter is entitled HARRY, in which a mental asylum uses a man to drug people and bring them back for tests, torture and organ harvesting. There is plenty of gore and nudity in this chapter. The second chapter, GRETTA, features a couple who are lured into the company of a cult-like group called The Death Club who love the thrill of near death experiences. With each meeting of the club a member introduces a new game of fate that could result in a participant's death. These games of Russian Roulette range from the sting of a deadly bug, to electric chairs and even a swinging wrecking ball. Finally the fate of CLAIRE is brought to our attention. She is a woman of faith and her husband is a writer who has just released a book denouncing the existence of God. The couple ends up facing off with a man named Oliver. Oliver just so happens to be the son of Satan. 


NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR is a bit of an oddity. While absolutely working as a campy 80s horror film that is very entertaining, it was meant to be more. The footage for each of the 3 stories were from films that were never completed, which helps explain why sometimes the stories are disjointed and it feels as if we're missing something. It's because we are! All that said, we still get a purely 80s (look no further than the neon-clad music video type scenes and break dance intermission to see just how 80s I'm talking) horror film filled with  gore, nudity and some really cool (if campy) effects and visuals. This film is a fun ride (to terror.)

The Audio & Video
Vinegar Syndrome presents NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack for the first time in HD. The 1080p, 16:9 anamorphic widescreen transfer is largely a revelation for the film. Skin tones are nice and natural, colors are striking and detail levels are strong. There is a bit of edge enhancement and ghosting in a handful of moments but for the large majority of this movie the picture looks great and compared to previous transfers I've seen is a revelation. The audio is also a great job by VS. The mixing job is spot on and dialogue comes through loud and clear. There are some moments of background noise like crackling and hissing but they aren't an on-going problem. I don't think anyone could ask for more out of this disc.


Please note that screen shots have been taken from DVD copy of the film.

The Extras
A pair of commentary tracks, interviews, a trailer and a bonus film for the GRETTA segment? Like I said, I don't think anyone could ask for more out of this disc.

 
The Bottom Line
I was pretty damn excited when I heard Vinegar Syndrome would be releasing NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR on Blu-ray and my excitement has been matched by a great product. The oddball nature of how this film came together is something horror fans should experience and there's no better way than with this release.

NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR is available HERE

6 comments:

Caffeinated Joe said...

Will have to give this one a viewing!

CMQ said...

I know you mentioned it was all from unfinished movies but I think that' sort of right/wrong. The Suicide Club is a full movie i think. Sorry, I sound like I'm nitpicking but I'm not. Just like talking about anything horror related. Great blog by the way. I love looking forward to your October challenges


CMQ said...

Sorry. Not The Suicide Club. I meant the Death Wish Club

Celluloid Terror (Seth Poulin) said...

Not nitpicking at all, if I'm wrong I appreciate the information. Now I need to track down the full movie. Thanks for the info and the kind words!

Celluloid Terror (Seth Poulin) said...

Ha, apparently the bonus "Gretta" film on the DVD disc in this set is the full movie. That search didn't take long!

CMQ said...

Ahh I didn't know there was a bonus film. I was trying to convince myself that buying the blu ray was worth it as I have it on one of the 50 MOvie collections. That's reason enough now. Thanks!