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Terror Train (1980)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  3 October 1980 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 5,615 users  
Reviews: 115 user | 73 critic

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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Doc
...
Derek McKinnon ...
Kenny Hampson (as Derek MacKinnon)
Sandee Currie ...
Timothy Webber ...
Mo
...
Howard Busgang ...
Ed
Steve Michaels ...
Greg Swanson ...
...
Merry (as D.D. Winters)
Joy Boushel ...
Pet
Victor Knight ...
...
Shovels (as Don Lamoureux)
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Storyline

A college fraternity prank goes wrong and a student ends up in the mental asylum. Three years later, it's graduation time, and the members of the fraternity decide to have a costume party aboard a train trip to celebrate their graduation. Unknowingly to them, a killer has slipped aboard, killing them off one by one, disguised in the costumes of the victims. Written by Humberto Amador

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

costume | killer | college | prank | train | See All (71) »

Taglines:

Don't waste money on a return fare. You won't be coming back! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

3 October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Train of Terror  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Reportedly, veteran actor Ben Johnson asked director Roger Spottiswoode to give his character Carne less dialogue rather than more. Spottiswoode once said that Johnson said to him: "'Now Roger. I'm sure I've told you this before but on my first day working with John Ford, he took me aside and said 'Ben, when you're in front of the camera, you're not going to need too many words...you just won't need them. They can get in the way'. 'So Roger', Ben says, 'you go through and take out all the extra dialogue you can'. He told me that was sound advice from Mr. Ford and he wanted me to take it. He wanted me to go through the script and get rid of all the extra words he didn't need! He said, 'I know most of your actors want more words and more scenes but that's not me. I listened to Mr. Ford and he was pretty right about things. You can just take most of the words away'". See more »

Goofs

After the killer murders the student in the lavatory, a witness opens the door to find the dead body and blood everywhere. Minutes later, a second witness opens the door to find the lavatory in a clean, pristine state. It would be virtually impossible for the killer to have disposed the body and cleaned up the mess (without help) in the short amount of time it took for the second witness to see the lavatory. See more »

Quotes

Alana Maxwell: [Referring to the killer] Jesus, I don't know who it is anymore!
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User Reviews

 
The Only Slasher to Take Place on Train
7 October 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A few years after a prank sends a fraternity pledge to the mental institution, the fraternity has a big party on a train. Why a train? Why not? This idea goes horribly wrong when a costumed killer arrives... how do you escape from a train?

Kenneth Nelson says "its claustrophobic setting, impressively violent killer, and top-notch performance by Jamie Lee Curtis help it stand out from the rest of the pack." Now, I'm no fan of Curtis, though it's hard to deny she was pivotal in 1978-1980 for bringing the title of "scream queen" upon herself. And this film is frankly better than "Prom Night".

Released in 1980, near the beginning of the slasher trend, the idea had not gone stale yet. In fact, had it been released a film years later, it might have kept the subgenre alive longer. Without a school or a neighborhood as the background, this film really stands out as one of a kind. Thirty years later... how many train films have we seen? (Sure, "Midnight Meat Train"...)

A young David Copperfield is the entertainment, with card and coin tricks. He is the real star of the film. Him, the ongoing discussion about what is better: a train or an RV, a conversation which seems surprisingly contemporary.

In short, see this film. I'm not a Jamie Lee Curtis fan, and wish anyone but her had played the part... but she does a decent job, the story is good, the kills are nice... and how often do you see someone get murdered by Groucho Marx?


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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