Written by: Michael Den Boer on December 24th, 2013
BluRay released: December 10th, 2013
Approximate running times: 93 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free / NTSC
Retail Price: $21.98
To first understand what Night Train of Terror one must take step back and observes the sum of its parts. The film is actually three films which have been trimmed and adjusted to fit around some newly created wraparounds involving a duel between God and Satan and train transporting a band and their background dancers. The three films’s from which this film draws the majority of its footage are as follows, an unfinished film titled Scream Your Head Off, The Dark Side to Love (aka Greta) and Cataclysm.
The first of these stories revolves around an asylum that is being run by doctors who abduct people and sell their body parts. The seconds story revolves around a young woman named Greta whose short relationship with a sinister much older man threatens to extinguish her new found love. The third story revolves around a detective who discovers that a wealthy playboy is not only a Nazi war criminal, but the son of Satan.
Of these three tales the middle tale which was based off the film The Dark Side to Love (aka Greta) is easily the strongest, while the craziest tale of these three is opening one which was based off of a film that was at that time not finished and has been finished under the title Marilyn Alive and Behind Bars, The weakest link is saved for the film’s finale and this tale is the one that takes footage from Cataclysm.
To say what transpires in this film is odd would be the understatement of the year. Taking from three much longer films and trying to constrict them to fit a much shorter time frame does not make any of these three tales better. If anything it makes them much more confusing than they already were in their original versions. With that being said, chaos and random moments of song and dance aside what does appear onscreen is oddly entertaining despite all of the aforementioned flaws.
Night Train to Terror comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive anamorphic widescreen. This release has been sourced from a brand new 2k restoration from 35mm elements. Colors and flesh tones look accurate. Details generally look crisp and there are non issues with compression. Black levels are at best good and there are some very minor instances of print debris.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD Mono mix in English. The audio sounds surprisingly robust, especially during the film’s catchy soundtrack. Dialog always comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.
Extras on the BluRay disc include a trailer for the film, an audio commentary with The Hysteria Continues and an audio interview that runs the length of the feature film with Producer / Director Jay Schlossberg-Cohen.
The Hysteria Continues commentary is a entertaining mix of humor and information about the film and those involved making it. While the audio commentary with Jay Schlossberg-Cohen is more insightful track it should be pointed out that the track does not specifically get too Night Train to Terror until around the fifty minute mark. This audio commentary not only offers up plenty of interesting info about Night Train to Terror, it also serves as a well rounded overview of Jay Schlossberg-Cohen’s career as a filmmaker.
Though the extras from the BluRay are also present on the DVD counterpart of this release, the DVD does come with two additional extras, a thirty minute audio interview with assistant editor Wayne Schmidt and the full length version of Greta (91 minutes 6 seconds – anamorphic widescreen). Also it should be noted that Greta has been sourced from a 1 inch master.
The audio interview with Wayne Schmidt follows the same blueprint that was laid out with the Jay Schlossberg-Cohen audio commentary track. Things start off more about other things he has worked on and who he has worked with over the years before shifting towards comments more directly related to Greta. Overall Night Train of Terror is yet another exceptional release from Vinegar Syndrome who has quickly established themselves as one of the premier companies for fans of off beat cinema.