Saturday, June 1, 2013

NIGHT TRAIN MURDERS (1975) movie review

Night Train Murders (aka Last Stop on the Night Train) (1975) d. Lado, Aldo (Italy)

Transplant Wes Craven’s The Last House on the Left onto a late night European passenger train, then bump up the sexual violence (no mean feat) and the result is this trashy, but undeniably powerful sleazefest from writer/director Aldo Lado. While traveling home from school for the holidays, nubile students Irene Miracle and Marina Berti are accosted by thugs Flavio Bucci and Gianfranco Di Grassi while Macha Meril's bored, thrillseeking high society lady plays ringmaster.

As the nefarious trio puts their victims through a series of harrowing humiliations, Lado intercuts the action with scenes of Berti’s socialite parents entertaining the idle rich in their luxurious home.

Sledgehammer social commentary, to be sure, but the shocking and unrelenting viciousness of the thugs’ crimes overwhelms any sociological statement Lado might have been attempting. Grudging kudos must be given for going “there,” but you’ll probably want to take a good long shower afterwards.

Trivia: Meril also played the doomed psychic Helga in Dario Argento’s giallo classic Profondo Rosso (aka Deep Red) the same year.

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