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Horror Express

A nightmare of terror travelling aboard the Horror Express!
Horror Express
Mysterious and unearthly deaths start to occur while Professor Saxton is transporting the frozen remains of a primitive humanoid creature he found in Manchuria back to Europe.
Title Horror Express
Release Date 1972-09-30
Genres Horror
Production Companies Benmar Productions, Granada Films
Production Countries Spain, United Kingdom


John Chard
One of our links is missing! It's as nutty as a Dundee Cake is Horror Express, but a wonderful slice of horror it is. Boasting Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing as a twin elegant force that are fighting evil, pic is in safe hands. As the title suggests, story takes place on a train, a Trans-Siberian Express no less. Anthropologist Prof. Sir Alexander Saxton (Lee) has discovered a creature frozen during one of his mountain expeditions, and has it safely locked up during the train journey. Yeah, right! Pretty soon grisly deaths start occurring so Saxton and Dr. Wells (Cushing) must find out what the beast is and how to stop it - if it can be stopped that is... It's a splendid amalgamation of films like And Then There Were None and The Thing from Another World. Although it's often cheap looking, the modest budget actually makes the "B" movie roots engage rather than hinder. Telly Savalas' introduction late in the day doesn't make a lot of sense, and he hams it for all he's worth, but again there's a horror charm about it as the blood does flow and eyeballs do pop. While the revelation and modus operandi of the creature, the science aspects of it, contains good thought and doesn't insult the viewers in spite of the nuttiness of it all. Great fun, so go buy a ticket and get on board. 7.5/10
***Originally titled "Panic on the Trans-Siberian Express"*** A British anthropologist (Christopher Lee) discovers a frozen prehistoric “missing link” in 1906, Manchuria, and transports it to Europe by train. All hell breaks loose when the eerie thing escapes and preys on the passengers. Peter Cushing plays a colleague while Telly Savalas hams it up as an intimidating Cossack officer in the last act. A joint UK/Spanish production, “Horror Express” (1972) isn’t a Hammer film, but it has the aura of one, and I love Hammer films. The best way to describe it is as a meshing of "The Thing,” "Murder On The Orient Express," “Ten Little Indians,” "Trog," "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" and a few Hammer flicks with Lee & Cushing. The horrific creature obviously influenced Chris Claremont’s Proteus, aka Mutant X, in the X-Men comic seven years later. You might be curious as to why I included "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" in the list; it's because the quality score by in John Cacavas will bring to mind that popular Western composition, except that it's a more eerie and fitting for early 70’s horror. Another highlight is that it features two gorgeous redheads: Helga Line, who was 39 years-old during shooting, and 24 year-old Silvia Tortosa as a Countess. In its time "Horror Express" was cutting edge horrific entertainment. It may be dated now, but the film at least takes its subject seriously and is never campy. I’d give it a higher rating except that it loses its mojo in the last act and becomes dull. Up to that point, though, this is stellar early 70’s Gothic horror. The film runs 88 minutes and was shot in Madrid, Spain. GRADE: B

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