Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Amok Train (a.k.a. Beyond the Door 3)

The Beyond the Door series has a long and not-very-illustrious past. The first one, which I haven’t seen, was an early 70s Exorcist rip-off that is generally considered to be notable only for being really boring (so, I guess, look for a review from me later this year). The second one, also known as Shock or Possession, came out in the late 70s, and holds the distinction of easily having been the worst film Mario Bava’s name ever appeared in connection with. This final one, from the late 80s, is a similar disaster, throwing witches, runaway trains, and Satan himself at us in such a crushingly boring manner that we want nothing more than to die to escape such tedium.

The film follows a group of stereotypical slasher teens that get to go on a trip to Europe (specifically Serbia – what a fun trip, right?) to meet up with a professor that is secretly a devil worshipper who wishes to sacrifice the virginal girl from the group. Apparently all that’s needed to bring Satan to Earth is that, and there’s tragically not a single of age virgin in all of Serbia that might have been easier to use. So not much happens for a while, and then someone dies, and they all try to flee onto a train. Sadly, the train they flee to (with the exception of the virgin girl, who is too incompetent to jump onto the train, and her man, who jumps off after her) gets possessed or something, and soon they’re all alone on the front end of the train, which disconnects from the passenger sections and slowly starts killing everyone. The key word there, of course, would be “slowly”, which one would off-handedly assume would not be the case in a movie about a runaway demonic train.

Is she going to be able to lose that pesky virginity before she dies and Satan returns to Earth? Will any of her no-personality retarded friends survive the Amok Train? Will anything of real substance happen in this movie before the end credits roll? Let me tell you, the only way for this film to be any worse would be for it to have had a child actor trying and failing to be creepy for 90 minutes like we got in Shock. This entire series of films should be buried under a gravel pit and never be spoken of again in polite company. It just got released on DVD last month as part of a big wave of Italian horror films; I think I can safely say this was the worst in the bunch.

Rating: ½ *

No comments: