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12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Rubber sock-puppet aliens aren't the worst part!

Author: Craig from Australia
15 August 2005

Alien Express is one of the worst movies I've bothered to experience.

The plot is predictable. The aliens look like rubber sock puppets. The effects would have been mediocre in the 70's, but are just atrocious by today's standards. Couldn't they take a shot of a real train instead of using an obvious model?

The acting isn't great but, really, the dialogue is the worst part. It gouges its way into your mind. "Don't you die on me. Not now." If you ever manage to suspend disbelief long enough to be absorbed into the movie, you'll rapidly be jolted painfully back to reality by the aliens, the model train, or the clichéd dialogue.

The only reason I didn't give this movie a "1" is that it doesn't deserve to be rated so badly that some poor suckers might watch it for the pleasure inherent in a truly bad film.

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10 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Only Beavis and Butt-Head would like this movie...

Author: Asteri-Atypical from Orlando, FL
14 August 2005

"Eh-heh eh-heh hey, dude - look at these aliens. They're like - biting the humans and stuff! Eh-heh eh-heh eh-heh"

This must rank amongst the worst movies of all time. It's utter drivel for anyone with a modicum of a brain. Sure, you have the reviewers on the payroll who give glowing reviews and vote highly for this abomination but it's easy to tell who these sell-outs are. Their reviews are TOO good. To give a movie like this even a mediocre review claiming it had some B-movie remedial appeal would be a glowing review! Calling this a great movie tips the hands of the corporate shills.

But enough of that.

This movie had about all the bad characteristics a movie can have without being SO bad that it's enjoyable just to laugh at. The old Japanese 60's monster films had a quality that this movie lacked. At least in those 60's films you could laugh at just how bad the rubber monster suit looked. Or laugh at seeing the strings holding the space ships, how the models dangled on the strings and how the flames curved UPWARDS out of the back. Those movies made fun of how BAD they were. Alien Express (aka Dead Rail) seems to actually think of itself as a GOOD movie - which makes it incredibly absurd.

The effects were awful by today's standards. Beyond awful. However not quite as bad as the 60's monster movies hence they lacked the comedic appeal. The plot and dialogue were about as sophomoric as I've ever seen, made even worse by being every bit as predictable as you might expect. I won't even point out the plot and logic holes in this one; it just wouldn't be fair to this pitiable plot (plus it would take to long to even get started). Most of the acting was awful; Lou Diamond Phillips must have been very desperate to agree to touch this one.

SciFi Channel is rapidly becoming the "cheap thrills channel", producing movie after movie without an iota of concept or intelligence in the lot. I can only wonder - why bother?

Don't bother with this tripe. It doesn't get any worse.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Badness is Relative

Author: wsmith-26 from Ventura, California
3 November 2006

This is a truly awful film. Lou Diamond Phillips simply calls this one in. The use of miniature models of the train are laughable. The plot seems to develop on the run (there is an alien on board; oh, and an eco-terrorist is on board too; oh, and the conductor is dead and the train is out of control; oh, and the train is going to run into another train one hour ahead; oh, and that train has nuclear waste on it...). I mean, come on really! The alien monsters are not scary (although there are a lot of them), and the acting is abysmal. Check out the guy playing the "next President" - do you really think he could be President? For goodness sake, he has spent his whole acting career playing bad guys!

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Really, you would think they learned how to do special effects.

Author: sorin61 from Romania
18 July 2006

I am a big fan of sci-fi movies. So, when I saw this movie in the EPG, I thought I was in for a pleasant evening. What a disappointment ! Such a poor display of "special" effects I could not imagine in 1980, but in 2005 ? Come on, why would you do special effects of an helicopter flying in the desert when you can film a real one for a much lower price (I guess) ? And those killer "muppets"... well, I could do better than that in a couple of hours in the garage. You can expect to have a low budget on a movie, but I don't think it's reasonable to have a low movie for any budget. As for the "star" of the movie (I use a lot of quotes tonight...), Lou Diamond Philips, the guy is not even remotely an actor. Maybe he should have stayed to the martial arts movies. All in all, an awful movie. Maybe I am in a bad mood tonight. Then again, maybe not. A sincere 1 out of 10.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A Candidate for "Mystery Science Theater 3000"

Author: Amtrak_Mike from United States
20 August 2005

What do you get when you put Lou Diamond Philips, Todd Bridges, Barry Corbin with a bad toupee, and an alien all on a train? You get a very bad movie called "Alien Express" or "Dead Rail" that would be more entertaining on Comedy Central's old series "Mystery Science Theater 3000." You name it, this awful movie suffered in areas of acting, plot, storyline, and special effects. In fact, the exterior passenger train shots looked like the production staff used a common HO scale model in front of a painted background! The rest of the special effects goes downhill from there.

The plot is very predictable and is similar to two 1970's movies called "Horror Express" and a disaster movie called "The Cassandra Crossing." At least "The Cassandra Crossing" had a better cast, an engaging storyline, and real train scenes.

If you want a good laugh and a movie to mock at a "B movie" party then watch this; otherwise, "Alien Express" derailed long before departing from the station!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Wow, a new low for me in cinoexperience

Author: DizzQuixote from United States
4 February 2008

I stumbled into this mess of a movie whilst too amped from viewing sports history. The Giants just upset the Patriots in the Super Bowl, and I couldn't sleep. I assumed/hoped this movie would put me to sleep, so I didn't surf away after only 1 minute, as I probably should have. Life is too precious. Puzzled, I IMDb'd it, and soon ended up in the reviews. They were better than what I was simultaneously watching, and I could only try/hope to watch the whole movie just to verify the unanimous disdain (excepting one apparent idiot). I don't know exactly how to say this, but I think that all of the reviews sell this movie short. It is worse than Plan 9. It takes the cake. It's unbelievably stupid. Actually, that last sentence could be misinterpreted. Not only is it unbelievable, it's unbelievable that it was even conceived and completed as a "movie". And it's way beyond unbelievably stupid. The hemorrhoid commercials every 12 minutes were a real relief, and I've never felt that way before! This movie must have been a pet project of Sci-Fi channel's accounting dept., as it can only be some sort of tax write-off against capital gains. If that's the case, the accountant should get any positive recognition as a true visionary. Other than as a wonderful way to rewrite off all of the company's cheepo garbage props out in desert storage (one last time, maybe), and give a bunch of slumming B-actors, a busman's holiday out in the desert, it must have been a way to hold a clinic for all of their new upcoming producers, directors, techs, etc. They should all consider themselves survivors. And they should all look for new lines of work.

A truly deplorable effort. But not exactly a waste of time. I now have a new bar to judge other movies by. And I can't wait to revisit Battlefield Earth. That movie is infinitely better than Alien Express. And to think that they left room for a sequel!!!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Nothing much to like

Author: Jack from Minnesota, USA
19 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is fairly typical for the Sci-Fi Channel: one-dimensional characters, a ridiculous plot, and terrible special effects. We've got some alien sock puppets loose on a train, and Lou Diamond Phillips does his best with what little he's given to eke out a performance. And save the day. Everyone else in this is utterly dispensable; the ex-wife who goes through the time-honored cliché of first disliking Lou, then of course comes to love him again at the end. The obnoxious State Senator who gets munched early on, and a gaggle of dull security guards who run around a lot. Then there's an eco-terrorist who is in this movie for absolutely no reason whatsoever, except to provide us with 3% more running around. He spends the whole middle part of the movie hiding in a box.

The special effects really deserve their own paragraph. We start with a meteorite that flies through the air, trailing flames behind it, at about 100 miles per hour. According to the physics of this movie, if you exceed the posted speed limit in your car, atmospheric friction may cause you to burst into flames. Then it lands on the hood of a car, coming in horizontally. Sort of like a velcro ball landing on a velcro floor I guess. It really doesn't damage the car much, just bends up the hood a little bit. Later on Lou gets in a helicopter and goes chasing after the train. Even though the train only had a two minute head start, it takes a good half hour to catch it. The CGI is so bad that the helicopter looks like it's as big as the hills it's flying over. Then it flies into the side of a mountain - this effect must be seen to be believed. It looks like they took a jar of gasoline and threw it against a wall, then superimposed the flame effect over the helicopter. About 10 times too big. No wonder the helicopter couldn't pull up in time, it was carrying five tons of nitro glycerine. Then the eco-terrorist eventually blows himself up, but instead of exploding in all directions like most explosions do, he explodes upwards like a cannon aimed into the air. Then there's the whole deal with not being able to stop the train because that would allow the little aliens to get off, but it appears that the aliens can actually fly faster than the train is traveling, so why this would keep them on the train I have no idea.

Overall, if you've got a couple of hours that absolutely need killing, and it's down to this movie or reruns on the Food Network, well, come to think of it, some of those chefs are kind of cute. Usually these movies have at least one or two things about them that make it possible to sit through them; maybe there's a sexy girl, some T&A, or a character that actually has some personality, or some suspense or, well, something. I really didn't see any of that here.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Dead Rail - A sit-com in disguise.

Author: proscribe-1 from United States
18 August 2005

It is way beyond me how this script was ever sold much less produced and distributed. The dialogue was so bad it was sickening. The train and helicopter scenes appeared to have been done on flash cards by high school students. Lou Diamond Phillips must have hidden under his seat when this --- this "movie"? was shown at a private screening afterwhich he most likely left by the back door. The only emotion it aroused in me was pity for the cast, they had to "bite the bullet" to get through this one. I couldn't stand to watch all of it, it was so predictable that it was funny. Who knows maybe it will be picked up by one of the networks as a situation comedy.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

kick butt movie

Author: kai ringler from United States
18 January 2010

Really don't care that no one on here likes this movie,, i do , and that's what this review is about. Lou Diamond Phillips is great in this comedic role. that line about train a b and c is now to me an instant classic, the cg is great, yeah train looks a little fake,, but the aliens wow do they ever rock,, Todd Bridges,, where's Arnold, and Mr. Drummond,, wow he's been out of the loop , guess that's what jail does to you.. a bullet train is on it's way to Las Vegas with the Senator for him to deliver a big speech, a meteor has just hit,, and now all of a sudden we got aliens running loose aboard the train, and our hero cop has to save the day, to make matters worse his ex-wife is on board arguing with him. i just thought this movie was so wonderful,, a must see if you like action.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: bababear from United States
25 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Watching ALIEN EXPRESS inspired feelings of awe, shock, pity and, yes, sheer terror. To think that actors who have done good work in the past should come to something like this. The horror, the horror.

Tell me if any of this sounds familiar.

A train especially built for a political campaign is on it's way to Las Vegas for a big rally for the candidate, a Senator from Texas (Barry Corbin, the only actor with roles both ALIEN EXPRESS and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN in the same decade). At a railroad crossing in Utah a meteor incinerates a car waiting for the train to pass.

The train stops. Local law enforcement is summoned. Oh, can it be? The Senator has a lovely young lady (Amy Locane from CRY-BABY and MELROSE PLACE) who just happened to have once been married to one of the officers answering the 911 call. Lou Diamond Phillips (STAND AND DELIVER, LA BAMBA) is the ex-husband.

Meanwhile eeeeevil aliens have managed to stow away on the train.

The train leaves. Lou gets his buddy to pilot a helicopter so that Lou can drop onto the moving train (about 70 miles per hour) so that he can save the day. As the buddy's reward, he crashes the helicopter into the mountain.

Which is another example of how poorly written ALIEN EXPRESS is. The cop hero's sidekick must die, we all know that. But he's supposed to die near the end of the third act, usually while saving several lives.

Once on the train, Lou manages to lose his shirt so that he can channel Bruce Willis in DIE HARD by wearing a wife beater t-shirt. Yeah, Lou is 46 years old but he hits the gym. The part he's playing isn't worth bothering with, but he's in good shape.

The Senator is going to have an afternoon delight with Miss Utah, but aliens intercede and both he and the woman young enough to be his granddaughter pay the ultimate price.

Soon we have bomb threats, multiplying aliens, and of course the train goes out of control and speeds toward its date with destiny while Lou and Todd Bridges (DIFF'RENT STROKES) try to save as many lives as they can.

There is exactly one surprise in the entire movie. Early in the story a couple lift wine glasses to their thirty-fifth anniversary, with hopes for thirty-five more years together. The dude gets banged up, but he and the Mrs. both live. Maybe the writers just lost track of them.

This is the kind of movie that you'd love to be a fly on the wall. These actors who have done better work (and, really, deserve much better than this) are probably just happy for the work. Did they actually think they were working on something worthwhile, or did they cry (and/or drink) themselves to sleep at night? At the end of the story the (fairly numerous, all things considered) survivors gather in the last car of the train, which is unhooked. The other cars go over a cliff but the one containing the protagonists stops just inches short of the cliff.

Lou and his ex are reunited. Happiness reigns. I'd have thought that the first thing they'd do was get off the train so they'd have solid ground under their feet, but I digress.

Someone looks out the window and sees a shooting star. Look, make a wish. Then another. Then more and more. The Earth is being bombarded with meteors that will crack open and creepy crawly hand puppets with big teeth will be everywhere.

It's gotten to a point that seeing the words "The Sci-Fi Channel Presents" on an "original" movie tells us that we'll be glad we have Ti-Vo so that we can fast forward through the next two hours. Or, better yet, just go ahead and erase it two minutes into the story and spend that time more wisely.

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