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An English anthropologist has discovered a frozen monster in the frozen wastes of Manchuria which he believes may be the Missing Link. He brings the creature back to Europe aboard a trans-Siberian express, but during the trip the monster thaws out and starts to butcher the passengers one by one. Written by
Jonathon Dabell <J.D.@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>
The train interior sets and the train model used for the exterior shots were the same sets that the producer/director had just used for their collaboration Pancho Villa (1972), which had just finished production and which also featured Telly Savalas. See more »
The military forces are not correctly dressed. The first one - O'Hagan - is in a blue suit with red epaulets with a star on his service cap. Stars only appeared after the revolt. See more »
Professor Alexander Saxton:
The following report to the Royal Geological Society by the undersigned, Alexander Saxton, is a true and faithful account of events that befell the Society's expedition in Manchuria. As the leader of the expedition, I must accept responsibility for its ending in disaster, but I leave to the judgement of the honorable members of the Society the decision as to where the blame for the catastrophe lies.
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Judged on its own terms--as a 70s ghoul movie--this film should be rated a 10 out of 10! The plot is well-structured and tightly directed, and contains lots of great elements: 1906 setting, fancy trans-Siberian train ride, a ghoul, a mad monk, alien theorizing a-la-X-files, zombie soldiers stalking, Peter Cushing sawing the top of somebody's head off, a beautiful spy, eyeballs in a dish, a beautiful Polish Countess, and, believe it or not, it's all very cohesive! That's an admirable achievement
And the acting is great. The Monk is a scene-stealer. Christopher Lee gets to play a testy, priggish Edwardian scientist, and he does it very well. Cushing's character plays off Lee's stodginess as a laid-back deal-maker(yes, he actually smiles and cracks jokes)These two performances prove that Lee and Cushing were both gifted and versatile actors. Telly Savalas arrives for the final act, and proceeds to strut around and chew up the scenery on a level that would make Rod Steiger or Al Pacino jealous. This movie is one of the best of its type. Yes, in the first two minutes you can see signs of a limited budget, and yes, the microscope scene is ludicrous, but in a way, on the level of imagination and poetic license, it's pure genius.
Corrections: a certain "Dik" offered this information while commenting:
1. "An Italian film".(It's a Spanish/UK production) 2. "Lee plays an American Scientist"(the first thing you hear in the movie is Lee saying he is part of the ROYAL Archeological Society, and there's also a lengthy exchange about his character's Englishness: "Queen Victoria, crumpets, Shakespeare"...etc.(The commentator actually goes on about how Lee's portrayal of an American reflects how foreigners view Americans. Well...there's a little problem with that idea, isn't there?)
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