Night Train to Terror (1985)

It’s not often I hear about a movie made before the nineties that took three unfinished films and cobbled them together to create an anthology movie, but here we are. “Night Train to Terror” is actually a pastiche of failed productions, with its three spooky tales actually re-edited and truncated remnants of films titled “Scream Your Head Off,” “The Dark Side to Love (aka Greta),” and “Cataclysm” You might think this would end up in a failed production, and a poorly constructed end product. And you’d be right “Night Train to Terror” is one of the top five worst anthology horror films ever made. It’s a film that constantly left me baffled, confused, bored, and muttering to myself “What the fuck is happening here?”

This is a film so poorly put together that it can’t even salvage the story frame work, as it’s all so inexplicably stupid. The plot for the movie involves God and Satan sitting on a train deciding the fates of three characters by looking at their stories. And the movie begins (literally begins!) like a music video featuring a band of neon wearing teenagers hopping and jumping around to a high energy pop song, and breaking the fourth wall. This might sound like an excuse to fill time to you but—yes, it’s an excuse to fill time in an anemic horror film.

After six minutes of the stale music number, we meet God and Satan who decide to meet while riding on their train and judge the lives of three individuals stuck in heinous and evil circumstances. Among them there’s “The Case of Harry Billings,” a confusing and unevenly paced tale about a man kidnapped and taken to an insane asylum. There he’s hypnotized and forced to go out and lure women back to the house where they’re submitted to torture, and used for organ harvesting. “The Case of Greta Connors” is a goofy and silly tale of a cult of people fascinated with death who engage in sick games where they confront doom.

Finally “The Case of Claire Hansen” is a silly fantasy about the devil’s apprentice, and a group of immortals out to stop him. And there’s that fucking rock band that appears at least four times in the movie. It’s amazing how anyone thought that would be a fun distraction. It’s like watching “Creepshow” and between segments an opera singer comes out to perform for us. Bad acting, bad editing, horrible plot holes, and a nonsensical story frame, this brings it in full. Why are God and Satan meeting on a train? Are they like celestial gamblers? What makes these three people so special? Even with morbid curiosity at play, “Night Train to Terror” is wholly unsalvageable and irredeemable, and never quite rises to the occasion to at least be taken as awful camp in the vein of “Troll 2.” It’s just god awful nonsense that barely stacks up against even the most mediocre eighties horror.