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Night Train (1999)

Not Rated | | Drama | July 1999 (Canada)
In this dark and dangerous Film Noir-metts-German Expressionism directorial debut from veteran visual effects man Les bernstien, paunchy ex-con Joe Butcher (John Voldstad of THE NEWHART ... See full summary »


Les Bernstien
2 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
John Voldstad ... Joe / Zack Butcher
Barry Cutler ... Sam
Nikoletta Skarlatos ... Bobby / Regina
Pedro Aldana Pedro Aldana ... Don Alameda
Donna Pieroni Donna Pieroni ... Mary-Lou
Dan Shor ... Jones
Chuck Skull Chuck Skull ... Torturer
Tony Cruz Tony Cruz ... Thug #1 (as Tony 'El Indio' Cruz)
Martin Hugo Valdiva Montes Martin Hugo Valdiva Montes ... Thug #2
Richard Head Richard Head ... Thug #3
Lucía Lapiedra Lucía Lapiedra ... Hooker #1 (as Miriam Sanchez)
Cora Campos Cora Campos ... Hooker #2
Jose Alfredi Garza Carona Jose Alfredi Garza Carona ... Bartender
Aurelio Trujillo Campos Aurelio Trujillo Campos ... Vaquero in bar
Rigoberto Gonzales Flemate Rigoberto Gonzales Flemate ... Customer


In this dark and dangerous Film Noir-metts-German Expressionism directorial debut from veteran visual effects man Les bernstien, paunchy ex-con Joe Butcher (John Voldstad of THE NEWHART SHOW) heads south of the border, tumbling head first into the boiling vat of corruption that supports Tijuana's thriving snuff film industry. Through a booze-induced haze, Butcher encounters a Mexican spitfire, a grizzled drunk, a villainous dwarf and an obese sexpot, as he frantically retraces his brother's final steps through seed and grime to unravel his mysterious death. Lavishly shot in black and white with great visual stylization, NIGHT TRAIN is "... the most boldly evoked vision imaginable of Tijuana as hell-on-earth... unique and compelling." (The Los Angeles Times) NIGHT TRAIN is a must-see for fans of gritty motion pictures like MURDER IS MY BEAT, KISS ME DEADLY and BLOOD FEAST."

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Not Rated

User Reviews

Man With A Movie Camera
1 April 2012 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

Some guy tries to find his lost brother in Tijuana, Mexico. Beyond that, I remember very little of the story. But the story is not really the point. From director and camera expert Les Bernstien, "Night Train" is a low-budget film that wows the viewer with terrific B&W cinematography.

In the opening credits sequence, noir visuals combined with a great theme song immediately grabbed my interest. It's one of the best intros to a film I can recall, and suggests a Western motif. As the plot progresses, the same high quality visuals prevail, with slanted camera angles, scenes transposed over other scenes, and other camera tricks.

Background sounds are naturalistic, with no effort to edit out ambient traffic noise or people's voices, which adds enormously to a sense of realism. If nothing else, the viewer gets a harrowing impression of downtown Tijuana, an impression the local chamber of commerce probably would just as soon squash.

None of the characters in this film are appealing, least of all Joe, the lead character, surrounded by thugs and general lowlife. Sometimes we seem to be watching Joe's reality. At other times we're watching his internal nightmares. Reality and nightmare blend together. And with a general absence of plot structure, the story can be confusing and hard to follow.

But this is a film to watch for the terrific cinematography, not the story. It's like some brilliant cameraman happens on to some random thug, and then follows that thug through his desperate, chaotic search south of the border, and in the process the man with a camera creates a surreal home movie.

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Official Sites:

Metropolis Pictures, Inc.




English | Spanish

Release Date:

July 1999 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Nyhterino treno See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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