I Saw A Film!

Just as Jaws ended nighttime, skinny-dipping ladies, this is the film that put to rest that popular tradition of riding vintage trains while wearing costumes and watching magic shows. It was a kind of right-of-passage for up and coming young adults of a certain social standing. Ah, most of us were born too late to enjoy these golden days of yore, but here lies the tradition killer–it does no harm to watch it now.

Jamie Lee Curtis is wonderful as frantic surviving pal finding her dead mates in the confines of a cramped passenger train. The shooting for this thing must have been tricky, and kudos must go out to the technical prowess of making us feel like we’re really on some kind of tiny moving train, rather than on a studio set with plenty of room.

These are the old slasher style films where not only do bloody horrible scenes get discovered, but they also magically get cleaned up by the time “help” is brought to see it, which is often the harder part to comprehend. The murderer doesn’t want to just kill people but also wants to drive witnesses crazy with impressive Mr. Clean skills.

Hope you like magic! Much of this film is padded with David Copperfield doing some tricks, a lot of which, sadly, are impossible and just edited.

The cigarette through the coin trick, I can tell you, works only from the front of the coin, anyone behind the coin is going to see the trick, so yeah. I mean the man is an outstanding talent in magic and just watching his version of a coin palm is fantastic, his hands are so weird! The card stuff alone is great fun! But, did you sign up for Copperfield? Or did you sign up for pretty girls screaming their heads off while getting slaughtered by some unknown killer? Huh? Go ahead and admit it, JLC is our draw here and we don’t care if she’s watching magic shows, we want her running around, eyes wide, expelling air through her windpipe as fast and hard as possible!

This is a classic whodunit style movie killer, with a Scooby-do reveal, and a goofy backstory to “explain” the motivation. If you’re like me, however, you’ve already forgotten most of the daft kids and you really don’t have a good handle on the possibilities. Honestly, I barely track them. I also thought that that “Groucho” mask was Avery Schreiber or Gene Shalit, it didn’t really strike me as Groucho. And so it goes, train chugging along, another kid killed. Another magic trick. I didn’t know Copperfield had starred in an old slasher film! Huh.

Of course JLC relaxes after offing the killer, or did she?? She always seemed like the unlikeliest star material to me, never a fan, but perhaps that family tie served her well! What can I say, tastes vary!

This one is running Free on Prime!

2 thoughts on “Terror Train (1980)

  1. It’s pretty well put together! Just a very hokey arrangement! I have to wonder if htey just happened to have use of a train! and a contract with Copperfield!


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