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Terror Train (1980)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  3 October 1980 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 6,033 users  
Reviews: 118 user | 74 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 overview, first billed only:
Derek McKinnon ...
Kenny Hampson (as Derek MacKinnon)
Sandee Currie ...
Timothy Webber ...
Howard Busgang ...
Steve Michaels ...
Greg Swanson ...
Merry (as D.D. Winters)
Joy Boushel ...
Victor Knight ...
Shovels (as Don Lamoureux)


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) »


All Aboard... If You Dare! See more »


Horror | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

3 October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Train of Terror  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The picture was part of a Hollywood cycle of slasher movies made during the late 1970s and early 1980s which had started after the box-office success of Halloween (1978) and Friday the 13th (1980). See more »


The train passes the same ice-encrusted curve several times throughout the film. See more »


Alana Maxwell: I never knew you liked magic.
Kenny Hampson: I watched you tonight.
[Referring to the magician]
Kenny Hampson: You liked him.
Alana Maxwell: No. Kenny, you're better than he is. I'm sure you're better than he is.
Kenny Hampson: I am. He didn't know how to cut a woman into pieces.
See more »

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User Reviews

HALLOWEEN on the rails
29 September 2001 | by (San Gabriel, Ca., USA) – See all my reviews

The 1980 horror film TERROR TRAIN might best be described as HALLOWEEN on the rails. In it, a fraternity has a party taking place on a train speeding through the Canadian night. And then, one by one, without anyone knowing it (a situation made even more complicated by the fact that everyone's dressed up in disguises), they all get bumped off in shocking and violent fashion by a maniac. And as with HALLOWEEN and THE FOG, the heroine at the center of this is none other than Jamie Lee Curtis.

But unlike most HALLOWEEN-inspired bloodfests, TERROR TRAIN does boast a lot of good things to lift it above the worst of an always-bad bunch. The director here is Roger Spottiswoode, who served as a film editor for some of Sam Peckinpah's films, including his 1971 horror film STRAW DOGS. The train's conductor is portrayed by veteran character actor Ben Johnson, a stalwart of both John Ford and Peckinpah who won a Supporting Actor Oscar in 1971 for THE LAST PICTURE SHOW. Even more, the atmospheric cinematography of TERROR TRAIN is provided by the legendary British camerman John Alcott, whose groundbreaking work for Stanley Kubrick, including 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and THE SHINING, is legendary. Furthermore, the violence and bloodshed are surprisingly kept relatively down; and while the revelation of who the killer is may not in and of itself be so surprising, it does give the opportunity for both Johnson and Curtis to be heroes.

TERROR TRAIN may not be everyone's cup of tea (and it doesn't really compare to HALLOWEEN); but for those willing to take a spooky ride, it is well worth it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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