A masked killer, wearing World War II U.S. Army fatigues, stalks a small New Jersey town bent on reliving a 35-year-old double murder by focusing on a group of college kids holding an annual Spring Dance.
Virginia Wainwright is a spirited young woman who has returned to a private school having survived a deadly accident and regenerative brain surgery. She is proud that she belongs to the Top... See full summary »
J. Lee Thompson
Melissa Sue Anderson,
Four college pledges are forced to spend the night in a deserted old mansion where they get killed off one by one by the monstrous surviving members of a family massacre years earlier for trespassing on their living grounds.
Vincent Van Patten,
A story of love and obsession. A young radio personality who, after her mother dies, discovers she had been having a love affair for 15 years. Now she finds herself recreating her mother's ... See full summary »
Amy Holden Jones
Jamie Lee Curtis,
A decades old folk tale surrounding a deranged murderer killing those who celebrate Valentine's Day, turns out to be true to legend when a group defies the killer's order and people start turning up dead.
Slightly traumatized and painfully shy Angela Baker is sent away to summer camp with her cousin. Not long after Angela's arrival, things start to go horribly wrong for anyone with sinister or less than honorable intentions.
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
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?
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