Night Train Murders aka Last Stop On The Night Train aka L’ultimo treno della notte
Directed by Aldo Lado (Short Night of Glass Dolls)
Starring: Flavio Bucci, Macha Meril, Irene Miracle and Marina Berti
Reviewer: Horrorphilia Jason
Available here from Blue Underground
The Lowdown: I think a few writers were obsessed with a little movie titled: Last House On The Left (LHOTL).
What’s It About?
Two students Lisa and Margaret, are heading from Germany to Italy on a train, to spend Christmas with Lisa’s parents. Two druggie thugs in their 20’s, end up assaulting the women, with encouragement from an upper class woman they recently hooked up with. Eventually they coerse an old man voyeur to get in on the action. After the train arrives in Italy, the women don’t get off the train, the parents coincidentally meet the villains, and the father gets his sweet revenge.
Yeah the movie’s structure is very similar to Craven’s well regarded film made just three years earlier. Even on some of the promotional material that can be viewed on the blu-ray, they even billed it as Last House On The Left 2 and other similar titles to help cash in on the notoriety of the previous film. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a complete rip off cuz I think with the setting and characters, I think it sets itself apart enough to stand on it’s own merits.
The movie does have the 70’s grindhouse vibe, but it also maintains the Italian giallo style, like using solid color lights and dubbed English voices. Before it gets to the brutal rape there is also an erotic scene when Blackie (the lead thug) first meets the lady on the train. He attacks her, then within seconds he wins her over and she’s essentially begging for it. Very Italian. Very cool.
There are a few bloody scenes but it’s not overly gory. It’s more brutal and disturbing because of the rape scenes. There are few tense scenes with the women being punched, raped by the old dude, and penetrated by a knife. The pacing of the movie is kinda slow with character development and a few scenes with intellectual type of conversation, that may turn some people off.
I’m not very big into coincidences in movies, so I had a little bit of issue when the thugs in Last House On The Left happen to meet one of the girls parents. It was semi plausible but not very likely. In this movie it’s even more far fetched in the way the trio meet one of the girls parents. The Dad eventually finds out and the final struggle and death scenes were for the most part satisfying. It wasn’t on the level of biting a dick off, like in Craven’s film but it was still fitting. Also the movie ends not quite how you were expecting that I thought was kind of cool.
Overall I enjoyed the film and in some aspects I think it’s superior to LHOTL. The acting, cinematography, and music was all top notch, with nary any of the comedic moments that hurt LHOTL. The blu-ray transfer from Blue Underground is once again fantastic. The special features are your common trailers, radio promos, artwork, etc.. with the highlight being an interview with the director/writer Aldo Lado. I think the movie is well worth watching and even adding to your collection of cool 70’s films.
Final Rating: 7/10
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