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I think my life can be divided in two parts, before watching "A Night
Train To Venice" and after. I used to be an indecisive and hesitant
man, a weak-willed and irresolute person. Then came the two hours that
changed it all. I was pushed to my limit, tested the boundaries of my
spiritual and even physical powers, the very capacity of human
strength! And I made it, I actually managed to see THE WHOLE freaking
thing, from start to finish, from first to last carriage. And
surprisingly I lived. Now I am the most confident, positive tenacious
and tough man... in the local madhouse. The things movies can do for
P.S. Anyway, if you're preparing your dissertation on the refraction of artificial light through the windows of a night train, you may actually find the movie quite useful.
this film ranks as one of the oddest, unintelligible and unintentionally hilarious european co produced cock ups that ever saw the light of day. how on earth an actor of calibre like malcolm mcdowell agreed to appear in it is beyond me though i suppose the same could be said for 'caligula'. you get the impression when watching this debacle that it probably was taken off the original director and then hacked into another incoherent form by an interfeering producer (the screenwriter is curiously uncredited). hugh ('woodentop') grant plays hugh grant (surprise!, surprise!) only this time with a pathetic jock accent as a journalist who becomes the victim of a group of kraut neo nazi skinheads complete with dubbed yank accents ("hey!! you mother****errrrr!!) who all decide to board the orient express bound for venice. that's about all i could make out of it. a couple of highpoints which really creased me up is the bit when an elderly ticket collector gets slung out of the train window by the aforementioned german chaps and a camp transexual cabaret singer a'la marlene dietrich but without the talent. highly recommended!
And I don't think I am exaggerating. Everything is terribly wrong in this picture: from the absolute lack of story (from minute 20 there is nothing to understand) to the amateur performances or cinematography. A complete failure.
If you like experimental films then you might get a modicum of enjoyment out of the non-linear story line, interleaved editing, and Kenneth Anger-style fantasy imagery, but to the rest of us it is a jumbled mess. As the film progresses, many cards are laid on the table, but not a one of them is played. The dialog is embarrassingly bad, and the meager plot meanders in a few different directions, but doesn't develop any of them. It wasn't even bad enough to laugh at. The ending came close to being laughable, but when I realized that this was in fact the end I was furious at having wasted so much time. The ONLY redeeming quality of the film was the images of Venice during Carnival. That was quite haunting and beautiful, but not nearly worth the boredom and frustration one must endure in the vain attempt to make sense out of this cluttered mishmash.
This is in my top five worst movies of all time. This film caused me to
ask myself many questions, the main one being, why would anyone invest
time and money in producing such a stupid film. Bizarrely, it featured
some fairly reputable actors. I can only guess they were on crack at
I could discern no coherent plot and have no idea why a girl jumps out of the window at the end. Even more bizarrely, after she jumps out of the window and Hugh manages to catch her (quite miraculously) everybody smiles and the triumphant music begins. Wasn't anyone worried about why a young girl should want to jump out of a window??? In case you watched the beginning and switched it off, as I regret not having done, and you are wondering, who was the Malcolm Macdowell character? No explanation is ever given. He pops up every now and then with an intriguing expression on his face.
The only redeeming feature of this film is that you can have a laugh at the clever techniques used to prolong the film making it up to an astonishing 1 hour and twenty minutes. For example: - lots of pointless slow motion shots with gay music -Hugh and the woman make love at least four times and he kisses her breasts on every occasion. (what kind of mother has sex with a stranger in a train while her daughter is asleep presumably in the same carriage)? - Shots of Macdowell's face every few minutes This film is so bad you should probably watch it
What a mess. I bought the laserdisc of this years ago, an impulse purchase, because of Hugh Grant. Up to that point I had enjoyed everything I'd seen him in. After suffering through watching the film, all I could think was that the writer(s) and director must have been doing vastly different types of drugs resulting in an incomprehensible train wreck (pun intended) of a film. Neither Grant's charm nor McDowell's depth and style can save this one. The re-titling of the film to "Train to Hell" is probably the best thing the distributors have done. At least they're being honest that this is a train ride to hell in a handbasket. I haven't bothered to watch the film since (just can't bring myself to torture myself that way again).
This film was in one of those boxed sets, together with two other films
I had never heard of (and Kickboxer staring Van Damme).
When I watch a movie, I don't have any expectations, so am rarely disappointed. When I was watching this one, I was disappointed.
Hugh Grant plays a writer living in Munich, who travels on the Orient Express to take his book manuscript (on the subject of Neo-Nazis) to a publisher in Venice. Unknown to him, a bunch of German skinheads (with authentic American accents) sneak onto the train.
While the above excitement is going on, a parallel story of a beautiful woman with a young daughter, and a white haired stranger hovering around in the background (played by Malcolm McDowell, doing his best to look extremely intense).
I didn't know what to make of this film. From the cinematography I had assumed that this film was shot in the late 80s (actually 1993 - one year prior to Hugh Grants success in Four Weddings and a Funeral). The plot was non-sensical, the direction was non-existent, and at the end of it I had no idea where the time had gone, or what I had just seen.
Movies that parallel reality with a surreal, dream-like existence run the risk of alienating any audience not completely in tune with the director's vision; in this case, that alienation turns to unintended comedy when journalist Hugh Grant boards the Orient Express from Munich to Venice, where neo-Nazis have sneaked aboard and threaten to cause chaos. Also on-board this train trip to Hell is Tahnee Welch as a recently-widowed stage actress, her little girl and caretaker, plus an internationally known dancer, some drag queens, and Malcolm McDowell as a tough-talking "Stranger". From what I could decipher, it appears Grant blames the presence of the Nazis on himself (he apparently wrote an unflattering piece about Skinheads), but once the train pulls into Venice (in time for Carnival!) all that business aboard the Express seems to have been forgotten. It would be impossible to credit director Carlo U. Quinterio for his 'unique' vision; the filmmaker blatantly copies the criss-crossing style of Nicolas Roeg's thriller "Don't Look Now" (also set in Venice), creating an indecipherable scenario wherein the editor was allowed to go berserk with the flash-forwards and flashbacks. The movie is so cluttered up with murky minutiae that it allows the straight-faced proceedings some camp value (how else to describe the cobbling together of Nazi atrocities and S&M imagery with sex scenes involving Grant nibbling on Welch's breasts--shown again under the closing credits!). Low-budget mess resembles those Golan-Globus pictures from the 1980s, and poor Grant seems at a complete loss for words. NO STARS from ****
everybody likes to watch bad movies from time to time, simply because
they're so bad it's funny. well, this is not one of those movies. no
how well developed your sense of irony might be, this movie is so
insultingly bad that I doubt anybody could derive any pleasure from
one of the biggest complaints my friends and I had was that it feels like it was written by 3 separate people on 3 different continents, without any knowledge of what the others were doing. for some reason, hugh grant takes a train to venice (imagine that!) and on the trip he meets this woman and has gibberish conversations with her. malcolm mcdowell comes around and says some needlessly cryptic things and a guy gets tossed off the train. then there's the nazis who aren't so much characters as really bad caricatures played by people with no talent.
oh yeah...there's a naked man in a cage at one point, as well as some american nazis holding a rally and beating guys up in the street, though they're in Europe...
once hugh gets to venice, all hell breaks loose...well, not really. the movie just doesn't make any sense from this point on. it's like a bad fever dream. i won't even try to explain because there's no point.
granted, a movie doesn't have to be linear or have a coherent plot to be a good movie...look at david lynch. however, this is not a david lynch film. it's just bad. there is no story, plot, coherence, there are no real characters, and really no point. i'm angry that i watched this and now hate everybody associated with its production.
I'm generally not somebody who'd criticize, but this movie deserves to
be exposed. It's the worst piece of cinematography I've ever seen and I
have been leading the film club at our school, so I saw all the amateur
crap pupils brought in. For goodness sake, home movies of babies
sleeping motionless are more interesting. This movie sucks so much,
that if you own it, you'll never need a vacuum cleaner again! It's so
dull that in comparison even cotton candy seems like a razor sharp
object! Neonazies chase the leading character, but he is able to walk
away from them in an empty train cart, only to run into them later on
and escape by allowing them to get killed at his convenience.
Come on, even when you see the sexual scenes between the leading actors (and the lady is hot) you'll just say to your self, why do they show this. Shouldn't they rather end it? And when they finally end the movie, you're not even glad the torture is over, you actually get angry at them for waiting until the end. Trust me, it's the time you'd better spend with the TV turned off.
I'm seriously considering contacting my lawyer and making a civil suit against the director for not committing suicide before finishing this movie.
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