Sunday, October 28, 2007

Night Train Murders

One thing about the makers of cheapo exploitation films; they know how best to wring every last drop of blood out of a stone. Case in point, this was one of about five million ripoffs of Last House on the Left that were made back in the 70s, this one keeping so close to the movie it’s stealing from that it comes dangerously close to being a predecessor of Gus Van Sant’s Psycho.

The film follows two girls on a train ride through Europe to see their family for Christmas (I fully believe this was set at Christmastime for no reason other than to try to be that extra little bit shocking), only to run afoul of two men and a woman who abuse them physically and sexually before killing them. Later, their killers happen to go to stay with the family of the murdered girls, who, upon finding out about the situation, go crazy and kill them. If I ruined any of the plot for you, I apologize, but if I didn’t, that’s because, with some superficial changes, it is the same exact plot of Last House on the Left (itself an unofficial remake of Bergman’s The Virgin Spring).

Since the film makes no effort at achieving some level of artistic merit, we have only the exploitative features to look at. They’re done more or less well enough, with the obvious goal being to out-do its creative ancestor on the shock factor (the peak here being when they find that one of the girls is a virgin, and so decide to rape her with a knife), since director Aldo Lado knows full well he isn’t going to be able to out-direct Craven. The overall effect, however, is that of a deep moral vacuum. I know it’s a bit odd for a horror junkie to start commenting on morality in movies, but when a film is as deeply and openly misogynistic as this it needs to be pointed out. I’d say this film is on the level of Straw Dogs or M*A*S*H*, but those two films at least had some amount of artistic merit going for them. This is just worthless.

Rating: Zero stars

No comments: