Detonator (1993)
"Death Train" (original title)

TV Movie  |  R  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  14 April 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 2,550 users  
Reviews: 29 user | 5 critic

A German Scientist has aided an ex Soviet general in constructing a nuclear weapon which is now in the possession of an American mercenary heading across Europe in a hijacked goods train. ... See full summary »


(as David S. Jackson)


(as David S. Jackson)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
General Konstantin Benin
John Abineri ...
Dr. Karl Leitzig
Major Gennadi Rodenko
Andreas Jung ...
Lieutenant Sergei Kolchinsky (as Andreas Sportelli)
Roger Flint
Vili Matula ...
Yolanda Sanchez
Terrence Hardiman ...
German Commander - Captain Wolf
Bill Leadbitter ...


A German Scientist has aided an ex Soviet general in constructing a nuclear weapon which is now in the possession of an American mercenary heading across Europe in a hijacked goods train. Malcolm Philpott, a member of UNACO, (United Nation Anti Crime Organisation) must use a team of hand picked agents from various parts of the globe to stop this death train at all costs. Written by James Allan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The mission is impossible. The consequences deadly. See more »


Action | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |



Release Date:

14 April 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alistair MacLean's Death Train  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


John Abineri is dubbed by David de Keyser. See more »


At 1:06:00 into the film, Tierney is talking to Philpot on a Motorola 8000 series cellular phone. The battery pack has not been fully inserted into the back of the phone, which would therefore not be capable of making or receiving any calls. See more »


Malcolm Philpott: Sigi - there's a lot of poetry and sentiment in a cup of tea.
Sigi: I hope there's also a lot of caffeine.
See more »


Referenced in Bad Movie Beatdown: Live Wire (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Thrilling and exciting action movie with spectacular scenes , nail-biting action and big name cast,
5 November 2015 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

Suspenseful and intriguing movie with all-star-cast and professionally directed . Stirring and interesting thriller with some clichés and stereotypes , containing enjoyable performances from Pierce Brosnan , Patrick Stewart , Alexandra Paul , Christopher Lee and Ted Levine . PA German Scientist has aided a renegade Soviet general (Christopher Lee) constructing a nuclear weapon which is now in a locomotive (it is actually a Slovenian type 642) that was hijacked in Bremen . As a nuclear bomb is stolen and transported from Germany , throughout Switzerland , Slovenia , Yugoslavia to Iraq . The hijacked train is commandeered by a hired hand , a ruthless mercenary (Ted Levine) and his band of hoodlums . The U.N. troubleshooter delegated (Patrick Stewart) attempts to stop the plot aided by a commando team led by Michael ¨Mike¨ Graham (Pierce Brosnan) and Sabrina Carver (Alexandra Paul) . They will race against time to stop an unmanned , out of control freight train carrying terrorists , atomic bomb and explosives . The mission is impossible , the consequences deadly.

This is and amusing and entertaining action movie though has some sloppy executions . This formula intrigue movie belongs to action genre in style of the 70s , being followed in the subsequent decades . The film profits of an acceptable acting by protagonists and overwhelming action scenes . It blends thrills , chills , shootouts , noisy action-packed , international intrigue , and many other things . It is a crossover in which "The Runaway Train" meets ¨Under siege 2¨ , taking parts here and there . This moving picture which is short in realism instead we have far-fetched but moving blow up , crossfire , fighting , it should please most adventure-action buffs . The main and support cast are frankly good , as Pierce Brosnan and Alexandra Paul , both of whom playing two operatives acting for the Secret United Nations Anti-Crime Organization (UNACO) . Secondary cast is plenty with known faces such as Ted Levine , Clarke Peters and Christopher Lee as an ex general who attempts to reborn the Russian Empire .

Based on an Alistair MacLean's novel , a best-selling author , whose stories have been much better rendered in other occasions . Scottish Alistair employed the pseudonym Ian Stuart several times in order to prove that his books were best-sellers due to their content and not solely because his name appeared on the cover . This is one of the several adaptations based on his novels and most of them set in WW2 , such as the successful ¨Where the eagles dare¨ and ¨Guns of Navarone¨ . Furthermore, ¨Ice Station Cebra¨ that is the first of two movies based on an Alistair MacLean novel set in rugged icy and snowy terrain , the second would be ¨Bear Island¨ . ¨Ice Station Zebra¨ is one of two filmed Alistair MacLean adaptations directed by John Sturges , the other was ¨The Satan Bug¨ made and released about three years earlier . Other novels adapted on cinematic spectacle are ¨Nevada Express¨, ¨Force 10 from Navarone¨ , ¨The Golden Rendezvous¨ and ¨River of Death¨ . This ¨Detonator¨ (1993) was followed by a sequel ¨Detonator 2 : Night Watch¨ (1995) by David Jackson , also based on a story by Alistair MacLean in which Pierce Brosnan and Alexandra Paul return as intrepid operatives , they are teamed by their boss -William Devane- when it is discovered that ¨Rembrandt's Night Watch¨ has been replaced by a forgery ; then our valiant duo to Hong Kong , there they meet a shady computer expert/art collector and a suspicious satellite about to be launched by North Korea .

Luminous and atmospheric cinematography by director of photography Timothy Eaton , though a perfect remastering is necessary ; being filmed on location in Slovenia and Zagreb , Croatia . Fitted to action but inappropriate musical score by Trevor Jones , composed by means of synthesizer . This improbable motion picture was decently produced by Peter Snell , being professionally directed by David Jackson , but with no originality . He's a good TV director who subsequently made another similar film titled ¨Atomic train¨ (1999) with Rob Lowe and Kristin Davis . Although the movie has some aspects a little tough to take , this catastrophe film still has its moments . This large-scale and well produced TV movie attempts a spectacular atmosphere with passable results.

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