293 user 192 critic

The Midnight Meat Train (2008)

2:04 | Trailer
A photographer's obsessive pursuit of dark subject matter leads him into the path of a serial killer who stalks late night commuters, ultimately butchering them in the most gruesome ways.


Ryûhei Kitamura


Jeff Buhler (screenplay), Clive Barker (short story "The Midnight Meat Train")
3,743 ( 503)
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Bradley Cooper ... Leon
Leslie Bibb ... Maya
Brooke Shields ... Susan Hoff
Vinnie Jones ... Mahogany
Roger Bart ... Jurgis
Tony Curran ... Driver
Barbara Eve Harris ... Detective Lynn Hadley
Peter Jacobson ... Otto
Stephanie Mace Stephanie Mace ... Leigh Cooper
Ted Raimi ... Randle Cooper
Nori Satô Nori Satô ... Erika Sakaki (as NorA)
Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson ... Guardian Angel
Dan Callahan ... Troy Taleveski
Donnie Smith ... Station Cop
Earl Carroll 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

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:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In the original short story, he directly meets the Eldritch Abomination the Elders work for, which drives him insane with a mixture of terror and instinctive drive to worship it. It breaks him so thoroughly that he is incapable of doing anything else. It even ends with his now loving New York when he used to despise it. See more »


When the main character is hiding from the butcher in the metro you can see as sticker warning to leave the space for the door clear. The translation in Spanish in the same sticker is word by word and completely senseless. See more »


Driver: [pointing a gun at Sac] Step away from the meat.
See more »

Alternate Versions

German version is cut by approx. 7 minutes to secure a "Not under 18" rating. See more »


Featured in Out of the Furnace (2013) See more »


Song For April
Written by Joe Diaco
Performed by Alt-Ctrl-Sleep
Courtesy of Lakeshore Records
See more »

User Reviews

Would Have Been Great If the Effects Weren't So Awful
11 August 2008 | by gavin6942See all my reviews

Photographer Leon Kauffman (Bradley Cooper) wants to break into the world of art. After a semi-rejection from an art mainstay (played by Brooke Shields), he delves deeper into the heart of New York, trying to get at its most gritty. He finds it: a butcher who he believes is kidnapping and killing people riding the last subway of the evening.

Fans of this Clive Barker short-story may be pleased. The screenwriter and director changed practically nothing from the story, simple adding and expanding certain parts to fill the time (the original story is roughly thirty pages). All the supernatural elements are there -- and more -- plus plenty of gore. Sadly, the film contains some CG gore where no CG was needed, which I not only dislike but found it even more obviously fake on the big screen. There is a notable scene with Ted Raimi (playing Randle Cooper) that could have been done with traditional effects but wasn't.

Aside from the CG concerns, I found the movie more likable than unlikable. Leon is a cool lead, his girlfriend is lovable and his friend is a good friend archetype. The butcher, Mahogany -- Vinnie Jones -- is a good choice for a killer, with a good actor. Jones showed his horror mettle in "Tooth and Nail", but I think he really comes out here with full power, looking very dapper in his suit.

Those who dislike mysteries may be left unfulfilled after this one. While it's a pretty straightforward tale, even after the supernatural elements start showing up, some aspects remain unanswered. I probably can't get into all of them now without spoiling the film, but I can speak of one: the objects in Mahogany's medicine cabinet are never explained. I have my own theory on what they are, but I could be wrong (the short story never touches on this).

I don't know if this is a film you need to see. Once it goes to video, it may be more likely to be a second or third choice. As of early August, it is the only horror film in theaters and therefore a must-see for those who crave a horror experience in the theaters. But by next week, "Mirrors" is coming and will probably overshadow this one. (I would like to scold the marketing people for keeping the publicity low, not releasing it to the main theaters, and more or less letting it die. This is not a blockbuster, but it's better than most of that straight-to-video fare. By not giving it a fair showing in theaters, you have sealed its fate.)

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

Lionsgate [United States]





Release Date:

31 October 2008 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Clive Barker's Midnight Meat Train See more »

Filming Locations:

Burbank, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,394, 3 August 2008

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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