The Sleeping Car (1990) Poster

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6/10
Overloaded with wisecracks.
gridoon23 December 2001
If you've ever wondered what a horror film written by a Woody Allen wannabe would come out like, then check this one out. It's imaginatively directed, has a typical but enjoyable "haunted place" premise, solid makeup effects....it's an all-around good job, but with one major flaw: the dialogue is overloaded with cheeky wisecracks and witticisms (sample: "You want scary? Go shopping with my ex-wife") that sometimes hit the mark, but are too often delivered at the most inappropriate moments (even while the hero is battling an evil ghost!). (**)
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7/10
A mildly enjoyable horror comedy with several creepy moments.
HumanoidOfFlesh22 May 2006
A new tenant Jason moves into the apartment-a railroad car converted into a house-he finds the place possessed by the ghost of the Mister,a conductor who blamed himself for a horrible train crash in the past.As the Mister comes back for revenge and starts killing the car's visitors and neighbors,Jason and his roommate try to exorcise the demons for good."The Sleeping Car" by Douglas Curtis is a mildly enjoyable horror comedy that has its share of gruesome moments.The makeup effects are pretty good and the death scenes are suitably gory.Unfortunately the film relies too much on juvenile humour.There is also a nice amount of nudity provided by Judie Aronson and Sandra Margot.So if you are into 80's horror give this one a chance.7 out of 10.
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6/10
Horror B-movie with a twist !
Phroggy31 March 1999
This one would be just an average horror B-movie, reasonably well done from what I could judge from a pan&scanned video, but the characters makes up for the ludicrous premise : they are lively and fun. There are illogisms, as usual, but the overall fun atmosphere makes it worth viewing for genre fans. And there is a first : death by couch springs !
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4/10
Your little jokes aren't funny, Jason...
Coventry28 March 2005
"The Sleeping Car" is a pretty insignificant and worthless horror film that is made endurable by a couple of nice special effects and a neat supporting role by Kevin McCarthy. The plot revolves on an over-aged journalism student Jason (David McNaughton from "American Werewolf in London) who rents an old, refurnished train carriage to live in. This carriage – the sleeping car – is possessed by the spirit of "the Mister", the landlady's late husband who was responsible for a huge train crash ten years earlier. The screenplay doesn't make that much sense, but you can hardly consider that an obstacle in early 90's horror movies. There's some nice murdering and the female lead Judie Aronson is yummy. What's really annoying about the "the Sleeping Car" are the constant witty remarks of protagonist Jason McCree. He uses a supposedly funny one-liner every time his character does or says something. Even in the climax, when he's fighting (?) the demon, he interrupts the action for a lousy remark...Very annoying.
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7/10
Totally Awesome 80s cheese
charliecbc2 October 2008
This movie is a nice little lost gem of an 80s horror comedy. The guy from An American Werewolf in London moves into a railroad sleeping car that has been converted into a small duplex house. He starts dating the girl from Friday the 13th part 4 while goes to college and is taught journalism by a hyper active, smart ass college professor who looks younger than him. The sleeping car he lives in is haunted by the evil ghost of a guy involved in a train wreck. The spirit kills people using telekinesis in some creative and gory ways. Its' favorite method is to have the bed springs come out of the mattress and mutilate the victim. Basically this a well paced, light-hearted haunted house (haunted sleeping car converted into a house, actually) movie with some gore and nudity thrown in for good measure, and it's actually pretty funny. I really liked this movie and it's a shame it is so hard to find and has never been released on DVD.
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4/10
Worth a single viewing, nothing more
Zbigniew_Krycsiwiki1 October 2016
Perhaps I am being generous with this one, considering I just watched Suspiria, but I found this to be a very colourful, interesting looking movie, with a lot of atmospheric blue lighting contrasted against deep reds , bright yellows, and it has a couple of clever moments (including death by fold-up sofa, probably the most memorable) and it has a good look to it, overall, but.....

So much of the dialogue is poorly written, unfunny one-liners, the characters become annoying, and even at a brief 80-minutes, this tale of a man living in a converted train car, haunted by the spirit of John Karl Beuchler, seems padded, with its especially drawn out ending taking up nearly fifteen minutes of the run time.

Still, it isn't *terrible*, and might be worth a single watch, for fans of cheeseball 1980s horror, but anything more than that is asking too much from this one.
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6/10
A Haunted Train Car, Only Bloodier
gavin69429 October 2012
Jason (David Naughton) moves into an abandoned train car where he resurrects the vicious ghost of his landlady's dead husband... The Mister (John Carl Buechler). After some near-fatal encounters with the violent specter he seeks local exorcist Vincent Tuttle (Kevin McCarthy).

Another review called this film "a snooze". A snooze? With Kevin McCarthy, David Naughton and effects master John Carl Buechler? How could a film with these three horror giants be a snooze? The constant wisecracks, the older journalist returning to school... plenty of potential for a good ghost story here, with 1980s comedy thrown in.

Even John Bowen, who concedes the film is charming and endearing, believes the film is greatly flawed. He says the movie is "trying way too hard to be clever", is full of continuity problems and has a premise that is "vague and arbitrary". That last concern pretty much sums up the horror genre. Bowen is especially hard on writer Greg Collins O'Neill ("Tuff Turf"), but there is always that question of how much you can blame dialogue on the writer and how much has been reworked by the director or actors.

The effects are very cool, as should be expected. The Mister emerging from the walls, the use of seat springs to drill through a man... this is more than a ghost story, it is a bloody killing spree.
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6/10
All In Fun Horror
Rainey-Dawn29 October 2016
While this isn't the greatest comedy horror film it is pretty good one with some chilling scenes. Some of the comedy is kinda lame but other parts of it is pretty damned funny. While I liked some of the comedy in the film, I wish they would have dropped the comedy part and made this one a straight horror film because this could have been super scary if done as out right horror movie.

The story and special effects are so-so, not awful but not the best. The killing scenes are kinda funny sometimes.

The film isn't anything special in the comedy-horror genre but I found it worth watching nonetheless. Mildly entertaining. Just something different to watch in the horror category.

6/10
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5/10
"What's your story McCreed"?
lost-in-limbo2 January 2016
Strange, outlandish mix of horror and comedy feature heavy in this very forgotten 90s midnight b-grade genre film starring David Naughton ("American Werewolf in London"), Jeff Conaway and Kevin McCarthy. Familiar ideas are presented in this supernatural piece, but a unique choice of setting by using a rail car as its haunted house get-up gives it a bit of character, atmosphere and creativity. Too bad the story, while having some bite doesn't play out the same suit. The visual effects are competent and gruesomely twisted with some cheesy deaths. Even the demonic ghost mister is a vivid creation. Director Douglas Curtis keeps an up-tempo style and this allows him to keep the story moving then focusing on its limited scope. But what I found hurt it, was the humour and delivery of it. The dark tone had its moments, but the lame dialogue could have been toned down. It just felt forced and artificial with a script wanting to make a joke with every nearly every line. It kind of got overbearing, even the knowing performances felt off. Naughton's nervous energy just irritates and the lovely Judie Aronson is witless. While a bug-eyed McCarthy looks at a lost. Conaway simply hams it up, but I definitely found the most amusing. Also making a minor appearance is John Carl Buechler. For most part an enjoyable, if not always funny oddball horror-comedy.
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5/10
low on the horror side
trashgang19 March 2013
Still no proper release so far for this horror made in a time when horror was a not done and was almost death. Some big names from the genre in it, David Naughton of An American Werewolf In London (1981) and Kevin McCarthy and special effects man John Carl Buechler as The Mister.

It take a while before the horror comes in, Jason (Naughton) is just divorced and is searching for a new place to stay, one he finds in an abandoned train car. But from the start we know something happened with the freight train and let this be a car from that accident. Jason awakes the ghost of the landlady's husband. A thing he better did not.

The first half hour we go a bit into the characters with some comedy elements, especially at school. Jason got befriended with Kim (Judie Aronson) which he falls in love with but he still has nightmares of his ex Joanna (Dani Minnick).

There's a bit of nudity here and there with the typical saxophone music. Judie Aronson shows her breasts while having sex with Jason. There's a bit of red stuff and at the end we do see the real Mister but by then it's all too late. Kevin wasn't convincing at all and even looked ridiculous. This is as I said it a thousand times before a perfect example why horror was on a low base around the time being made.

Gore 0/5 Nudity 1/5 Effects 2/5 Story 2,5/5 Comedy 0/5
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"It was the freight train from hell!"
Backlash0078 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
~Spoiler~

The tagline for The Sleeping Car reads "Forget Freddy, Forget Jason, here comes The Mister!" What are execs thinking? Don't compare your cheesy little movie to icons. It's never true. The Sleeping Car is a movie that could have worked. David Naughton plays a man getting over a hellish marriage and trying to go back to school. He rents a railway passenger car that used to belong to The Mister. The Mister (played by effects man John Carl Beuchler) is a deceased railroad worker with a shady past who doesn't like sex, drugs, or rock and roll. As you probably guessed, he haunts the "sleeping car." Judi Aronson also stars as a saucy, young co-ed and Kevin McCarthy plays Vincent Tuttle, Naughton's bizarre neighbor. The plot is a bit clichéd but when has that ever stopped a horror movie from being good? The main thing holding it back, as others have pointed out, is the humor. There are way too many wisecracks during tense moments in the film. The Naughton character is cracking jokes during the final showdown with the ghost. If he's not scared, how am I supposed to scared for him? It just doesn't work. The special effects, which Beuchler also had a hand in, are really good (I also spied Wayne Toth's name in the credits). One death by couch springs is particularly cool. The Mister himself is also sporting a really creepy and badass look. But he's no Freddy and certainly no Jason. The Sleeping Car is the type of movie that could benefit from a remake.
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Slow moving, but surprisingly engaging B horror fare
millennia-22 October 2000
''The Sleeping Car' is by no means a good film. It's slow moving, lacks any atmosphere, and gets rather tedious at times, but it still manages to deliver the goods, or at least some of them. The production values are passable, but far from bad, and the script works to a degree, but for some reason the pieces don't fall into place as they should. The body count is only four, making it too tame to be a slasher movie (though it does hint at that, especially during the overlong climax), but too juvenile to be a psychological thriller/horror film.

The acting isn't bad, but it sure isn't all that great. It seems like the actors were booked for three or four days for filming, and just wanted to get it over with, so they didn't seem to put a lot of effort into it. No one in particular stands out, and the characters don't make the movie any more interesting. On top of that, none of the characters are very well developed, with the exception of the professor, so that does little to help the cause.

Still the movie does have several things working for it, not the least of which is some pretty impressive special effects for a movie of this caliber. Another is the creative and very gruesome death scenes, which may be the best part of this 'not quite there, but close' horror flick

6/10
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very cool
callanvass21 December 2003
very cool flick is very entertaining and well made and acted although a weak finale this is still grand entertainment and good makeup effects and gore effects and overall i enjoyed it see this for sure if you can find it ***1/2 out of 5
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3/10
A Confused B-Movie With a Non-Sense Screenplay Full of Flaws
claudio_carvalho17 April 2005
Jason McCree (David Naughton) has just divorced from his wife and although being over-aged, he decides to study journalism. He rents an old sleeping car of a train for living. However, the car is possessed by the spirit of the husband of his landlady, called "The Mister", who was responsible for the collision of two trains in an horrible accident ten years ago. "The Sleeping Car" is a confused B-movie with a non-sense screenplay full of flaws and bad acting of the lead actor, David Naughton. There are some few good lines, but the story is a complete mess, without explanation for most of the situation. My vote is three.

Title (Brazil): "O Expresso Macabro" ("The Macabre Express")
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3/10
Sleeping car is indeed a snooze
movieman_kev27 July 2012
Jason (David Naughton of American Werewolf in London) buys a train car converted into an apartment not knowing that ten years previously it was involved in a bizarre accident. While going back to school he soon starts a relationship with the much younger Kim (Judie Aronson of Friday the 13th: the Final Chapter and Weird Science). However not all is wine and roses as 'the Mister' an undead ghoul is soon after him.

Through technically a '90's film this feels like an 80's movie through and through. Now that is usually a plus, but I found the film to be too slow, plodding, derivative, and disjointed to be enjoyable despite one or two fairly inventive kills. Kevin McCarthy earns this one an extra star as he's always a joy to watch, but Taxi's Jeff Conaway is worthless in this movie.

Eye Candy: Sandra Margot and Judie Aronson get topless
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5/10
what a diverse group of movies have sleep in the title
lee_eisenberg13 February 2007
Mostly, "The Sleeping Car" is just another dead-guy-comes-back-to-life story. But it gets helped - if only minimally - by the fact that the cast members probably know that they're in a B-movie and don't take it too seriously to be stupid. David Naughton (happy birthday, David!) sort of plays off of his "American Werewolf in London" role as a man on a train who awakens the ghost of his landlady's husband. From there, most of the movie consists of...well, you know what sorts of things to expect in a horror flick. A slight disappointment for hardcore horror fans is the lesser amount of gore than we usually find in horror movies.

But anyway, it's fun in a pinch. Also starring Kevin McCarthy, who pretty much channels his roles in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" and various Joe Dante movies.

All in all, we can add this movie to the pantheon of movies with "sleep" in the title: "Sleeping Beauty", "Sleeper", "Sleepaway Camp", "Brother of Sleep" and "Sleepers".
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