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This was a very dark film, with nefarious happenings as the countryside
swept by. I really expected more from one of the infamous video nasties
that was banned in Britain. It was released uncut this year.
They needn't have bothered as there are only two objectionable scenes in the whole film. They are pretty bad - a rape by a stranger (Franco Fabrizi), and a murder with a knife as a phallus.
The scum that performed the night train terror were Flavio Bucci from Suspira, and Gianfranco De Grassi, with help from Macha Méril from Deep Red.
Director Aldo Lado set a good mood and I was intrigued with his contrast with what was going on and the celebration at home. It was a holiday movie, after all, as one name is Xmas Massacre.
Five-time Oscar nominee Ennio Morricone did the score.
Watching this, as good as it was, one cannot but help thinking that there was so much more that could have been done to make this a true video nasty.
"Night Train Murders" is one of those several rape revenge flicks that
came from the 1970's following "I Spit On Your Grave" and "Last House
On The Left", and now this one, which is just as unsettling as the
previous two, where in this one we have 2 girls terrorised by 2 men and
a woman, who torture and eventually kill the young girls and then they
come into contact with one of the dead girl's parents and when they
find out the father wreaks revenge.
Okay I found this movie way too unsettling even for my taste, not that I'm saying that this movie is terrible, it just started off well and the torture scenes were this movie's strong point as they were filled with tension and it made me really feel for these girls, but it's the second half of this movie which was a kind of let down, It just didn't have the pay off that I was hoping for, and there could have been a bit more too it. But on a positive not I did like the distinctive use of blue light while the girls are being held captive on the train along with the films cinema photography is perfectly executed as most of the film is shot in claustrophobic spaces adding to the tension that builds as the film progresses is also another of this movie's highlights.
The acting was also strong and convincing especially from the two unlucky girls who were both outstanding. Enrico Maria Saleno who plays the father was also great as he goes from mild mannered doctor and then pushed to his very limits of sanity. But it's Macha Meril who plays the woman of the trio of sickos who steals the show as the ice cold queen who quickly goes from early victim to taking charge of the other two thugs.
All in all "Night Train Murders" is a decent enough horror movie and not just a clone of "Last House On The Left" and definitely a must see for fans of 70's Italian horror movies.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Director Aldo Lado is doubtlessly best known for his beautiful and
eerie Gialli "La Corta Notte Delle Bambole Di Vetro" ("Short Night of
the Glass Dolls" / "Malastrana", 1971) and "Chi L'ha Vista Morire?"
("Who Saw Her Die?" / "The Child", 1972). And rightly so, as "L'Ultimo
Treno Della Notte" ("The Night Train Murders", 1975) isn't nearly as
good nor as elegant as the man's Gialli. A blatant rip-off of Wes
Craven's Exploitation classic "The Last House on the Left" of 1972
(which itself is a remake of Ingmar Bergmann's 1960 film "The Virgin
Spring"), "The Night Train Murders" bears no surprises, and only few
elements that make it worthwhile, other than a score by Ennio
Morricone. "The Last House on the Left" spawned a variety of (mostly
Italian) rip-offs in the following years, including Ruggero Deodato's
ultra-nasty "House on the Edge of the Park" (1980), and one must sadly
say that this is one of the less interesting ones. Personally, I have
never been the biggest fan of Craven's film, but it is doubtlessly a
milestone that was disturbing, genuinely shocking and unforgettable
once one has seen it. This film has no originality, and while it has
the potential to shock and disturb, it only does so in a depressing
***Warning! BIG SPOILERS!!!*** Lado simply takes the story of Craven's film and transfers it into a train. Laura (Martina Berti) and Margaret (Irene Miracle) are going by train from Munich to Verona in order to spend the Christmas holiday with Laura's family. Two lowlife scumbags and a perverted bitch (played by Macha Méril, who is best known for her role in Argento's "Profondo Rosso" from the same year) begin to harass the two girls, later rape them. Later they accidentally kill one of the girls in a sadistic game, the other girl throws herself out of the window of the running train and dies. As it happens, fate then leads the three scumbags to the house of Laura's parents, and her dad his eager to take bloody revenge for his little girl...
No surprises here, just an exact copy of the plot of "The Last House on the Left", only that it isn't as effective and the ending is very lame. At least in Craven's film we saw all the scumbags wiped out by the parents, whereas in this film, the crazed female culprit, probably the worst of the pack, is still breathing by the film's end. Now that's what I call depressing: Having to see the poor girls tormented and killed first, and then not even having the opportunity to see all those responsible die agonizing deaths - this kinda makes you feel cheated as a viewer.
"The Night Train Murders" is very sadistic, but actually pretty tame in its actual depiction of gore and sleaze compared to other films of the kind. Even though i obviously didn't like this film, I have to say that it does have some good aspects. The performances are above average for a low-budget exploitation feature, particularly the beautiful Macha Méril, whose face every Italo-Horror fan will recognize from Argento's "Profondo Rosso", is wonderfully diabolical in the role of the perverted bitch she plays. The score by Ennio Morricone is good, of course, and there is one sequence that, even though depressing, goes beyond the plot of "Last House on the Left" and therefore can be applauded for its uncompromising character: The sequence in which a spectator, instead of helping the girls or calling for help happily joins their rapists once invited. Though unpleasant to watch, this scene uncompromisingly visualizes the rotten character of so many 'square' people who are always happy to do evil things, as long as they are not likely to get caught.
Still, "The Night Train Murders" is a disappointment in my eyes. The film's utterly depressing character isn't necessarily a flaw, in my opinion. I tend to love depressing, shocking and disturbing Exploitation films. This one just has no originality, and in the end it just leaves a feeling of emptiness, since the revenge part is not properly completed. Not recommended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Aldo Lado's Night Train Murders, an Italian clone of Wes Craven's
infamous horror Last House on the Left (1972), is a repugnant and
sleazy little shocker which, although it doesn't offer much in the way
of gore, is still fairly effective thanks to its (mostly) non-explicit,
but still very disturbing, scenes of sexual violence.
Anyone familiar with Craven's movie should know exactly what to expect from this one, since it doesn't try to add anything remotely original to the storytwo pretty girls, Margaret (Irene Miracle) and Lisa (Laura D'Angelo), travelling home by train at Christmas, are raped and killed, but, by a twist of fate, the perpetrators of the crime end up at the house of the murdered teens' family, where they eventually receive a taste of their own medicinehowever Aldo still manages to deliver a powerful movie that, if anything, succeeds in showing the audience the true ugliness of senseless violence.
After a fairly dreadful Demis Roussos theme song, a rather drawn-out preamble introduces us to the two cuties who will end up wishing they'd taken a plane home, and the vile threesome who mercilessly torture them to death: Blackie and Curly, a couple of lowlife thugs, and a middle-class, but sadistic, woman. At about the forty minute mark, the nastiness finally kicks in and the film earns its reputation as a vicious little sucker: Aldo presents a series of tense and ugly scenes of humiliation which culminate in one of the girls being stabbed in the cooch whilst the other leaps from the train onto some rocks.
Unfortunately, after these well realised and genuinely unnerving moments, the film finishes rather unsatisfactorily with only the two guys getting their comeuppancethe woman gets away with her crimes. Furthermore, a peeping tom, who spies on the girls being tortured and gets to join in on the fun for a while, also escapes retribution.
Now I realise that in real life not everyone gets what they deserve, but with this being a rape/revenge flick, I expected a decent amount of revenge to follow the rape. With only half of the sleaze-bags in Night Train Murders ending up regretting their actions, I couldn't help but feel a bit cheated.
Because of this reason, Night Train Murders, even with its superior production values, better acting and melancholy Morricone soundtrack, doesn't quite manage to equal the film it emulates.
You'll probably never see a review of this film that doesn't make
reference to Wes Craven's classic 'The Last House on the Left', and
there's a good reason for that; as this film has basically the exact
(and I mean EXACT) same plot, only instead of a couple of young girls
being raped, beaten and humiliated in the woods, they're raped, beaten
and humiliated on board a train. Of course, I knew that this was the
case before I began watching the film; but I was honestly expecting the
two to differ a lot more than they actually do. I do sometimes wonder
about my mental health when I purposefully track down and enjoy films
like this one and The House on the Edge of the Park; films that are
famous purely for relentless violence, but I can rest easy with this
one as it really isn't all that enjoyable. The plot follows a couple of
young women that decide to take a train ride in celebration of the
holidays. However, their bad luck is in when it turns out that a trio
of lunatics have also decided to ride the train that day; and the
meeting between the two parties is pleasurable for one side only!
The main problem with this film is the fact that the first hour is unbelievably dull and there isn't a lot going on in the way of plot or violence. The early scenes set up the movie - but they go on too long, and the film even descends into political discussion on several occasions - and I may be on my own here, but that's not what I want from an exploitation flick. What I do want from an exploitation flick is violence, and the film doesn't completely deliver on that front either. There are unpleasant scenes aplenty in the final third, but one sequence aside; they're not all that shocking. The saving grace of Night Train Murders is director Aldo Lado's attention to detail. He makes good use of his mobile setting, and the train always seems a claustrophobic and unpleasant place to be. Ennio Morricone's score isn't one of his best, and merely goes along with the common exploitation beat. Anyone who has seen The Last House on the Left will know how it all ends, but it fails to pack a punch because the characters are so hard to care for, and Lado doesn't manage to make the audience really hate the villains. Overall, this film isn't very good; but there are a few positives, and exploitation completists may get a kick out of it.
The movie starts out good with Santa-Claus being robbed by the main characters! But then it goes down to a complete rip-off on "The Last House on the Left" by Wes Craven. Anyway it´s about some girls who´re going home to their parent for christmas and end up being raped and terrorized by 2 males and a female on the train. It´s too unoriginal to make a great movie but none the less a nice piece of film for all of us who´s got a thing for terror movies....
That's what those who made this film apparently set out to do, and fairly successfully, too. For one thing, it does have a better rating here than LHOTL, though only by 0.2! Here's the thing about this nice version of the family revenge murder spree tale, it's as if the filmmakers actually said to each other that they wanted to remake LHOTH without the sophomoric comedy, without the inept technical aspects, and do it as a giallo-styled terror film. They were fairly successful. There are nice plot elements here that are not in LHOTL, and the silliness has been left out, making this film version one that fans who like horror without over-the-top humor can enjoy. Ignore those who complain about this being slow, if you know the giallo style of film, that is a pretty standard method. It's called plot and character development. The one thing that is lesser here from LHOTL is that the killers do not show momentary remorse the way they do in LHOTL. but that's only one thing out of dozens done better.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Oh yeah baby, another terrible and overrated Italian exploitation film
that deserves cult status about as much as "Elmo: The Movie." This one
is an almost exact clone of Wes Craven's "Last House on the Left,"
which itself copied Ingmar Bergman's "The Virgin Spring." So what's to
say about a copy of a copy? It turns out, not much. Two young women
(one played by Irene Miracle from Argento's "Infero") are heading home
for the holidays on a late night train. Two obnoxious punks (one played
by Flavio Bucci from Argento's "Suspiria") and an equally sick upper
class female (played by Macha Meril of Argento's "Deep Red") harass,
humiliate, rape and ultimately murder both. The female goes back to her
normal everyday life, while the punks end up at the home of one of the
murdered girls. The parents find out what happened and get their
revenge. After a painfully boring, terribly written first third, this
has a brutal and tasteless middle, and caps it all off with an
ineffective "revenge" finale that has absolutely no impact whatever and
only succeed at being boring and insignificant. This film completely
lacks suspense and really is just a third-rate knock-off of material
done far better elsewhere. And what strikes me as funny is the number
of people claiming this movie is "subtle." If you consider a girl being
stabbed in the vagina and then a camera shot of the knife sticking out
of her crotch to be "subtle," then you need to pick up a dictionary and
look up what "subtle" means.
There are a ton of Dario Argento movie vets are the cast. Other then the three I already mentioned, there's also Gianfranco De Grassi (who appeared in the Argento-produced "The Church"), Enrico Maria Salerno ("Bird With the Crystal Plumage"), Giovanni Di Benedetto ("Four Flies on Grey Velvet" and others) and Dalila Di Lazzaro ("Phenomena").
My advice: Skip this trash!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Since watching Wes Craven's "The Last House on the Left" (1972) more than 30 years ago, I have abided by my promise to never see this film again, it being truly one of the most repugnant that I've ever sat through. And yet, I didn't as much mind Aldo Lado's homage/remake/pastiche of three years later, "Night Train Murders." As in the original, the film deals with the brutal rape and murder (inadvertent, in the Italian picture) of a pair of college girls by a trio of brutish thugs (in the latter film, one of the trio is an upper-class woman with sexually depraved tendencies) and the retribution taken on them by the father of one of the girls. Lado's film starts out with a lighthearted, almost comical tone, which shades gradually into one of unease and finally sickening horror. His picture is a lot more polished and technically proficient than Craven's, featuring some beautiful exterior shots (Munich at Christmastime looks particularly stunning), handsome production values and attractive actors (Macha Meril, who many will remember from Dario Argento's "Deep Red," and who here plays the depraved Lady on the Train, is particularly easy to look at). That surface gloss makes the film go down easier than Craven's, but that scummy original is probably still the more powerful of the two. The most notorious scene in Lado's film, the deflowering of one of the schoolgirls not at knifepoint, but VIA knifepoint, is mercifully staged in a darkened cabin but retains its power to shock today, 35 years after the film was banned in the U.K.; the excellent reference book "DVD Delirium 3" calls this scene, which is reminiscent of the genital violence in the 1972 giallo "What Have You Done To Solange?," "among the most disturbing depictions of sexualised violence ever committed to film." Far from being just an exploitation film, however, Lado seems to be trying to deliver some serious messages here, both about violence in society and how the upper classes (personified by the Lady on the Train) manipulate the lower classes to do their dirty work. In a grippingly well-made exercise in suspense, maestro Ennio Morricone's score once again adds immeasurably, especially his theme for harmonica (which many will find reminiscent of the one he did for Sergio Leone's 1968 masterpiece "Once Upon a Time in the West"). The picture's opening theme song, however, "A Flower's All You Need," would have been infinitely better without the absolutely dreadful singing provided by then-popular Greek warbler Demis Roussos. Referring to "The Last House on the Left" in one of the numerous extras on Blue Underground's great-looking DVD, Lado says that it was "not intentional to reproduce that story." Whether we can believe him or not, haters of the Craven film just might find Lado's a bit easier to bear. And forget about "Black Christmas"; THIS might very well be the darkest Christmas movie ever made!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
We'll it seems during the 70's a lot of films tried to hope on the
revenge you raped my daughters bandwagon. The "Night Train Murders" is
no exception and like some of the others, it's a very cheap and
pathetic attempt. It really is an unmemorable flick.
The overall picture that takes place on the train is too grainy and dark too watch. The acting I would call average. The girls in this movie, we'll you feel sorry for them but they don't deliver any surprises in this. Like "Last House on the Left" and other flicks, you know their going to die. They actually do have a chance to escape and there's even some bumbly old geezer that catches the disgraceful pedophiles in action but he does nothing, in fact he tries to join in!!!!
This is bad sleaze as you can tell, Meanwhile one of the daughter's dad is a doctor who claims that he isn't " a violent man". LOL!!! We'll that is about to change when her the bad news of his daughter's death.
Even the revenge scenes are a bit unsatisfying, and the movie is probably a bit wee too long It's like Aldo Lado forgot he was still filming a movie and forgot about the running time.
There's even a crappy theme song because supposedly it's Christmas , man really terrible film.
Anyhow the movie is not that great , I would almost say it's below average, but if have some time to kill and what to spend it watching a "Last House" knockoff with worse acting, and worse effects give it a look.
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