NIGHT TRAIN TO TERROR (1985)
Actually saw this awful anthology in a theater back in 1985 when it was first released. It finds God (Ferdy Mayne) and The Devil (Tony Giorgio) on a train fated to crash at dawn, competing for the souls of three individuals. This sets up three stories that determines who gets their souls. The first is The Case of Harry Billings which finds Harry (John Phillip Law) taken to a sinister insane asylum where he is made to lure beautiful women there for nefarious purposes. The second is The Case of Greta Connors which tells the tale of a wannabe actress, Greta (Meredith Haze), who is rescued from life as a porn star by a young man (J. Martin Sellers), only to find herself and her lover in a death cult. Final tale is The Case of Claire Hansen, which finds devout Catholic Claire (Faith Clift) getting mixed up in apocalyptic evil doings along with her atheist, author husband (Richard Moll). Framing segments also feature a band performing the same song over and over on the ill-fated train, for whatever reason.
Flick is culled together from three separate full length movies, and with the framing segments, has five directors credited to it…,Jay Schlossberg-Cohen, John Carr, Phillip Marshak, Tom McGowan and Gregg C. Tallas. Ironically, all three films were written by Philip Yordan and he receives sole writing credit for this one, too. While it might not be fair to speak for the films this is edited down from, unless you’ve seen them, but what we do see of them isn’t good. As for Night Train, it is a terrible movie from the acting to the FX and sometimes hilariously so, though not enough to make it fun. It can also be tedious at only 98 minutes, the stories barely follow a narrative structure and even some veteran actors, like Cameron Mitchell and John Philip Law deliver terrible performances. When surrounded by friends, it was a hoot to watch it in it’s awfulness back in the day, but revisiting it from the couch streaming on Tubi, not so much. It’s simply a bad movie in every way and most likely someone’s attempt to get back money spent on the three turkeys it’s edited down from. It has gained some cult status, over the years, but not sure it deserves it. It’s really just that bad.
In conclusion, Night Train To Terror might have some 80s nostalgia and some personal nostalgia, too, but it is simply an awful anthology cut together from what appears to be three equally terrible movies. The FX, dialogue, sets and acting are almost all bargain basement and only Ferdy Mayne and Tony Giorgio as God and The Devil, respectively, offer anything noteworthy to the audience, as the two actors do play their parts effectively well. At least the dialogue between them was interesting and fairly well written. A simply dreadful anthology and not in a good way.
Rated 1 and 1/2 (out of 4) train signals!