The Midnight Meat Train (2008)

R  |   |  Horror, Thriller  |  7 August 2008 (Russia)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 45,626 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 199 user | 173 critic | 4 from

A photographer, Leon's obsessive pursuit of dark subject matter leads him into the path of a serial killer, Mahogany, the subway murderer who stalks late night commuters, ultimately butchering them in the most gruesome ways imaginable.



(screenplay), (short story "The Midnight Meat Train")
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2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Detective Lynn Hadley
Stephanie Mace ...
Leigh Cooper
Randle Cooper
Nori Satô ...
Erika Sakaki (as NorA)
Guardian Angel
Dan Callahan ...
Troy Taleveski
Station Cop
Earl Carroll ...
Jack Franks


The photographer Leon lives with his girlfriend and waitress Maya waiting for a chance to get in the photo business. When Maya contacts their friend Jurgis, he schedules a meeting for Leon with the successful owner of arts gallery Susan Hoff; she analyzes Leon's work and asks him to improve the quality of his photos. During the night, the upset Leon decides to wander on the streets taking pictures with his camera, and he follows three punks down to the subway station; when the gang attacks a young woman, Leon defends her and the guys move on. On the next morning, Leon discovers that the woman is missing. He goes to the police station, but Detective Lynn Hadley does not give much attention to him and discredits his statement. Leon becomes obsessed to find what happened with the stranger and he watches the subway station. When he sees the elegant butcher Mahogany in the train, Leon believes he might be a murderer and stalks him everywhere, in the beginning of his journey to the darkness. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The most terrifying ride you'll ever take


Horror | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sequences of strong bloody gruesome violence, grisly images involving nudity, sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

7 August 2008 (Russia)  »

Also Known As:

Clive Barker's Midnight Meat Train  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$34,394 (USA) (1 August 2008)


$73,548 (USA) (8 August 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (unrated)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Vinnie Jones and Bradley Cooper were born exactly ten years apart on January 5th. Vinnie in 1965, and Bradley in 1975. See more »


In the subway car at the opening of the film (approx 00:02:20), a ladder is visible through the left window, highlighting the use of a set and studio. See more »


Leon Kauffman: She didn't like my work.
Jurgis: She gave you three minutes. People whose work she doesn't like, she usually gives one.
See more »


Referenced in Silver Linings Playbook (2012) See more »


Mind Candy
Written by Jaime Wyatt and Gregory Butler (as Gregory C Butler)
Performed by Jaime Wyatt
Courtesy of Lakeshore Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

MMT is exactly what the title implies - fast and brutal
15 October 2008 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

There's something deeply disturbing about the 'show biz' politics and intrigues that managed to exile such a well made film to the 'dollar theaters'. On the other hand, horror purists of all calibre will probably get a kick out of seeing the visceral shocks and convoluted twists Riuhei Kitamura and Clibe Barker have prepared for our enjoyment in the environment of a seedy, rundown theater. If the disturbed denizens of 42nd Street have all but disappeared, scared away by the gloss and glitz of the cineplex and the popcorn munching crowd that inhabits it, perhaps the final bastion of grindhouse cinema can be found in watching a brutal, bloody shock horror film in an empty theater with row upon row of sticky floor and no one but a handful of genre enthusiasts there with you.

There's also something deeply disturbing about the mentality of the movie-watching public. That a, by the look of it, worse sequel (and I'll be surprised if it's any better than its predecessors) will gross more than MMT, simply because of a household franchise name, a shot of a tape player and someone musing off screen "I want to play a game...", seems to confirm UK grinders Napalm Death motto "the public gets what the public doesn't want".

That's not to say that MMT is an excellent horror flick. No, far from it. But it does exactly what it says on the tin and then some. If the pace slackens a bit after the balls-to-the-wall pummeling that is the first half hour, it is salvaged by Kitamura's (intentional or not) decision to channel the dark, neon-noir of David Fincher.

If the CGI blood is a sign of things to come in the field of mainstream American horror or a leftover from Kitamura's days in Japan, that's for him to know. What Kitamura brings in his cinematic baggage however is his distinct stylistic hallmarks - when the camera repeatedly spins around a train wagon in motion, one will be hard pressed not to recall a similar rotating camera trick from AZUMI. A long overhead crane shot seems to combine the off-kilter axis games of Argento with Tarantino's now-famous crane shot in KILL BILL.

If some people complain that the editing and style appear to be too music video-ish, I will respectfully disagree and point them in the direction of such atrocities as DOOMSDAY and HELL RIDE. Kitamura at least understands rhythm.

The 'novelty' of staging a slasher in a subway train is what gives MMT the first push. The other is the inspired casting choice of having Vinnie "Mean Machine" Jones in the role of the baddie. The third is the distinctly Clive Barker-ish twist that ends the film - not exactly my cup but that's because my sensibilities are totally different from Barker's.

MMT might never quite reach its full potential story-wise, but it's fast-paced and brutal, exactly what the title promises. 7.5/10

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