Tuesday, March 2, 2021

All Aboard, If You Have Nothing Better to Do

Some nights, you just really want to sit back, drink some wine, and watch what I predict will be a lousy Dead Pretty Teenagers Who Might Deserve Some of Their Fates direct-to-whatever-was-not-theaters at the time of its early 2000s release horror movie.

Unfortunately, this was one of those nights. 

Quick Plot: An American college wrestling team is touring eastern Europe. Four of the students and their assistant coach decide to party their last night in Russia, leading to them missing their morning train to Odessa and pissing off their pretty awful coach. A helpful English-speaking blond directs them to a Ukraine-bound train she's boarding, and before my cat can cough up a hairball that looks like Eli Roth, it's organ reaping time.

Remember those early post-Saw years in horror? Though I genuinely enjoy and often defend that franchise, I'm also the first to admit that its success bred some terribly ill-spirited, uninspired movies that hated humanity...especially the female kind.

Train apparently began life as a remake of Terror Train, but decided along the way that it would rather be Hostel with a spoonful of Turistas.

But also, with more would-be rapists urinating on a man about to be castrated.

Did I mention the POV is from the soon-to-be castrated dude, which means yes, writer/director Gideon Raff gives us a piss shot.

I added Train to my Amazon Prime queue after seeing the description as "horror on a train from Russia to Ukraine". As someone who's made that train trip twice and knows the terror of those cramped corners and floor toilets, I welcomed a change of setting. I wasn't expecting Shakespeare or, I don't know, something perfectly average, but I don't know that it's ever fun to watch something as outright ugly as Train.

Thora Birch makes a decent final girl, but also one devoid of any sense of fun before the slaying starts. As you'd expect, every victim is an ugly American without any charm and in some cases, with plenty of obnoxious attitude. There are a lot of chains. Not, like, Chain Letter-levels of chain quantities, but still: lots of chains. The gore is gooey and admittedly well executed, but of course, it's all done under that typical 2000s style of literal and figurative darkness. 

This movie hates the world. 

High Points
I was getting incredibly frustrated with the whole idea of a movie making its cast wrestlers only to have them so easily picked off by some very unhealthy looking organ harvesters, but at least the film remembered in its final fight

Low Points

Oh I don't know, probably the fact that after I groaned about a fairly graphic attempted rape, we go a few minutes before another young female character is carried off screaming by a group of lusty soldiers and that's the last we see of her

Lessons Learned
The trick to blending in when in Ukraine? A babushka

Chekhov's Law of Nipple Rings In Torture Porn tells us that if you introduce nipple rings in the first act, you must use use them as tools of extreme pain in the fifth

Eye transplants take less than 24 hours for the subject to be fully active sighted

I didn't realize anybody needed to hear this, much less a premed college student, but don't like, just GIVE your passport to anyone who asks, especially if said anyone has been making rape eyes at you all day

Blargh. I knew what I was getting into from the opening credits, wherein we just got a lot of closeups of oozing body parts, but still: Train is mean, the perfect representation of how unpleasant early 2000s horror was. If you're seeking that reminder, head to Amazon Prime. 


  1. I never made it through the whole movie, it's not the kind of horror genre that I like. Great review, I enjoyed reading it!

    1. Thank you! And yes, not the funnest genre, but also one of the clearest example of just how awful the genre can be!

  2. I started watching it a few weeks ago and did get far. Mostly because I could see it was going to annoy me for no payoff.
    I'll have to get my Thora Birch fix elsewhere.