Night Train To Terror!

Everybody’s got something to do…everybody but you!

NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR (1985)

This unbearably wacky anthology horror film features God (Ferdy Mayne!) & Satan (Lu Cifer) riding in a night train along with a helpful Conductor, a wisecracking Night Porter, a utterly terrible rock band, and a bunch of break dancing, lip syncing retards. The train is destined to crash at dawn, killing everyone on board. (no big loss really) God & Satan pass the time before the crash bickering with each other, arguing about the true nature of man, and reviewing the “cases” of the recently deceased before passing their final judgment on them.

The first “case” is actually a condensed version of an unfinished horror film entitled “Scream Your Head Off,” which was written by Phillip Yordan and directed by John Carr. John Phillip Law (“Diabolik”) stars as Harry Billings, your average Joe with a thirst for cars, women, and booze. Harry accidentally kills his wife in a car crash on their wedding night and winds up in a sanitarium ward, about to enter a new life of terror. The sanitarium is run by the demented doctors Fargo & Brewer and their psychotic henchman Otto. (Played by none other than Richard “Bull” Moll of “Night Court” fame!) The evil doctors run a lucrative black market business where they abduct young girls and dismember them so they can sell the freshly severed limbs to medical schools around the world. Otto lends a helping hand by murdering anyone who stumbles upon the sanitarium grounds, and is rewarded with ample time to strip and torture the helpless captives before finally hacking them to pieces.

Harry is brainwashed with hours of electroshock therapy, hypnosis, and mind altering drugs until he finally becomes an unwilling accomplice to the doctor’s horrible crimes. Under their control, Harry combs the local bars and churches (!) looking for sleazy whores to seduce and abduct. Harry also becomes the part time lover of Dr. Fargo, who eventually decides to double cross Dr. Brewer and have him lobotomized. Harry finally awakens from his drug induced stupor, chops Otto’s head off, and then leaves Fargo in the murderous hands of her former partner in crime and patients. God & Satan can’t decide where Harry ultimately belongs, so the helpful Conductor suggests 100 years in Purgatory.

The second story is an edited version of the offbeat 1983 horror flick “Carnival Of Fools,” which was also written by Phillip Yordan and directed by John Carr. This “case” begins as a playboy billionaire named George Youngmeyer picks up a popcorn selling slut named Greta at a carnival and gets her a dream career in porn. A middle aged medical student named Glen sees one of Greta’s fuck flicks and immediately falls in love with her. He quickly winds up shacking up with the slut, which rightfully pisses her sugar daddy off to no end. Glen & Greta are then forced by George to join a bizarre “death wish club” that likes to play elaborate variations of Russian roulette.

The first game features a hideous looking poisonous insect that flies around the group and takes turns landing on their hands before finally escaping through an open window and randomly killing a dude who was getting laid outside. For some unknown reason Greta suddenly gets a rad looking butch haircut, a bow tie, and a new evil personality before the second game of death. She also begins wildly overacting and mugging for the camera while an computerized electrocution machine fries a Jimi Hendrix lookalike until his eyeballs melt. (Excuse me while I smoke!) Greta then magically grows her hair back and stops being evil. Glen & Greta are then kidnapped by George’s hired thugs after an especially brutal and random bout of hotel room kung fu fighting. The third and final game climaxes with a giant construction wrecking ball that crushes an old hag trapped inside a sleeping bag. The story ends with a whimper as the Conductor informs God & Satan that Greta moved away with “a nice man” and lived happily ever after. God then sentences everyone else to Hell.

The final and most lengthy “case” is a chopped up version of the 1980 occult horror film “Cataclysm,” which was written by Yordan and directed by Phillip Marshak, Tom McGowan, & Greg Tallas. This one is a morbid tale filled with arrogant atheists (Richard Moll, making a second appearance), Satanic Nazis,“Omen” inspired bearded religious fanatics with “666” tattoos, cloven footed demons, and a baby faced Anti-Christ who is itching to rule the world. The late, great Cameron Mitchell (“Blood & Black Lace”) stars as a cop trying to solve the mystery of “Olivier,” an eternally young looking Satanist and former Nazi who has sold his soul to the true God – Satan,  in exchange for eternal life.

Olivier is a playboy millionaire Anti-Christ with hooves and a taste for disco. Olivier spends his nights seducing and sacrificing sluts, and his days trying to recruit the controversial atheist author of the best selling book “God Is Dead” into his infernal army. When the arrogant author refuses to accept Satan as his true master and join Olivier’s legion, he faces his demonic wrath. In a bizarre twist of fate, Olivier winds up wounded in a hospital and at the mercy the author’s devout Catholic wife. Routine surgery turns into a Biblical battle to the death!

As the tales of terror unfold, the unsuspecting and utterly terrible rock band give their final performance on a hell bound trip into the outer limits of horror. Some call it the heavenly express. Others, Satan’s cannonball. But we guarantee to deliver every passenger to his right destination! C’mon and dance with me, dance with me! Everybody’s got something to do…everybody but you!

This is an overstuffed little turkey of an anthology horror film. Incredibly, all five of the aforementioned directors get a credit for NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR. Academy Award winner Phillip Yordan (I’m too lazy to look up what he won an Academy Award for) wrote the “night train” wrap around story with God & Satan which feebly attempts to link all of the footage together. As you can imagine, all three stories suffer a great deal from the massive amounts of editing required to splice them all together into one feature length film. “Carnival Of Fools” aka “Death Wish Club” gets it the worst. The story is so badly butchered, all continuity and characterization goes right out the window. The original version of the film explained Greta’s haircut and personality switch, and also spent a lot time building up to a proper climax. The sudden sleeping bag punchline used for “Night Train” is amusing, but doesn’t really feel like a proper ending to the Glen & Greta storyline.

“Cataclysm” aka “The Nightmare Never Ends” also loses most of its plot, but in exchange gets a couple of freshly added scenes with very cheap and silly looking claymation demons. And when I say cheap, I mean cheap! “Scream Your Head Off” in my opinion is the gem of the trio. That unfinished film clearly had the potential to be very cool, and the gory footage from it that’s used here gives “Night Train To Terror” a big boost in the splatter department. The end result is considerably more than a little…uneven. The first two stories fly by at a lightning pace, but the “Cataclysm” segment drags on for over 40 minutes. Most of the juicy splatter can be found in the first half of the film, which features a fair amount of hacked off limbs, severed heads, and rupturing facial wounds. The abundant use of gratuitous nudity and hysterically cheap looking clay animation is also appreciated.

This flick is probably best known and remembered for the incredibly annoying theme song which is maddeningly repeated throughout the movie. The toe tapping tune “Everybody But You” is guaranteed to dig a hole into your brain, make a home for itself, and never leave. This craptacular little dance number is repeated at least five times, and by the end of the flick you’ll be begging for that fucking train to crash already and end the misery. The “rock singer” is played by none other than Byron Yordan, the son of director and evil mastermind Phillip Yordan. This explains why the kid gets so much precious screen time to show off his less than impressive lip syncing and breakdancing skills.

The wrap around story is totally ridiculous (why would God & Satan ride a train that crashes?) and the production value of the newly added footage is pretty much abysmal. It would all be more than enough to spell sheer suckitude if this flick wasn’t so goddamn entertaining. There’s no reason at all why any of this should work, but it does. It doesn’t make a lick of sense, but it doesn’t matter. This flick defies all logic and common sense and demands to be appreciated for the bizarre and borderline incompetent work of art that it is! This is a brain damaged masterpiece of schlock cinema. All fans of horror flicks that are “so bad they’re good” should consider this one a must see!

NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR has either slipped into the public domain, or it has been widely bootlegged, because every cheap ass DVD company in existence has released it, either by itself or included in some generic looking “HORROR COLLECTION.” Find yourself a cheap copy, kill a few brain cells with some buds, and enjoy some Brain Hammer approved high-larity!

KEEP THE BLOOD FLOWING!!! 

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