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January 30, 2012

Movie Review: Night Train Murders (1975)

I've always been a fan of Wes Craven's Last House on the Left. With that said, it's really not that great of a film, even though it's been branded a classic by numerous critics for nearly four decades. The popularity of Last House on the Left brought on the inevitable rip-offs. Aldo Lado’s Night Train Murders (aka The New House on the Left) has had this unfortunate moniker but in many ways it’s a much better more polished effort in nearly all aspects.

Buy Night Train Murders on Blu-ray or DVD

Laura (Marina Berti) and Margeret (Irene Miracle, Inferno) are heading home during the holidays by train. While on the in route the two young ladies bump into a couple scumbags, Blackie and Curly (played by Flavio Bucci and Gianfranco De Grassi) and a mysterious woman known only as “Lady on the Train”(Deep Red’s Macha Meril). After a bomb threat the train comes to a stop, everybody exits except the goons and the girls who are locked up in a dark train compartment. These guys perform all sorts a sadistic violence on these victims. The horror doesn’t stop there as both women perish at the hands of the killers following some pretty brutal abuse.

As with Last House on the Left and Ingmar Bergman’s superb The Virgin Spring’s plot device, our bad guys unknowingly to meet Laura’s daddy. It isn’t too long before he becomes aware of what Blackie and Curly did to his daughter. One of the biggest surprises in the film is Macha Meril’s performance as it’s very good. She’s seemingly harmless when she’s introduced early on in the film but once this “Lady” mixes in with Blackie and Curly she is no longer out of place as a true sadist - even in her fancy clothes.

Blue Underground has put together a few extra features for the Blu-ray release in the form of an interview with  Co-writer/Director Aldo Lado called Riding the Night Train, a couple of trailers and some radio spots. Night Train Murders looks very sharp on Blu-ray and thankfully is a damn good film to boot that may make some folks forget about that Craven film. Recommended.

(Screenncaps for Night Train Murders courtesy of Rock! Shock! Pop!

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