Sunday, April 25, 2010

Horror Movie Review: The Midnight Meat Train

The Midnight Meat Train

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb, Brooke Shields, and Vinnie Jones

Directed by: Ryûhei Kitamura

Written by: Jeff Buhler based on Clive Barker's short story

Production Companies Lakeshore Entertainment, Lions Gate Films, Midnight Picture Show, and Greenestreet Films

Release Date: July 19, 2008

Awards: Chainsaw Award for Best Supporting Actor (Vinnie Jones) at the 2009 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, Best European/North-South American Film at the 2008 Fant-Asia Film Festival, and the Audience and Sci-Fi Jury Awards at the 2009 Gerardmer Film Festival

When you sit down to watch a movie, the title gives you some expectations. When you see Friday the 13th in big letters you expect Jason, a hockey mask, and a machete. When you sit down with a movie entitled The Midnight Meat Train, you expect a low budget B-Movie. It might be good, it might be bad, but there's going to be something low quality about the film. But like the victims of the The Midnight Meat Train, the truth is unexpected.

The Midnight Meat Train follows photographer Leon (Bradley Cooper) who stumbles upon the disappearance of a model whom he saw bording a train early in the morning before she disappeared. Looking through his photos, he finds a clue which leads him to the silent Mahogany (Vinnie Jones). The police don't believe him that this man is a killer, however, and he embarks on a crusade to gather evidence to proove his theory. His obsession drags wife Maya (Leslie Bibb) into the quest.

While the movie title suggests a cheesy B-Movie, the truth is that, with a budget farily comparable to the Friday the 13th remake, The Midnight Meat Train is a nice addition to the horror libraries.

Another assumption to avoid with The Midnight Meat Train is that the killer has to be horrific looking and without that quality, the movie is less horrific. Growing up with Jason and Michael in their masks and Freddie with his scars, we expect our killers to be distinctive. Even Jigsaw, with his dibilitating illness, and Otis and Baby from House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects, with their grandiose behavior, set themselves apart from common society. Mohogany, with his jacket, tie, and good looks, prooves that our slashers are just as terrifying blending in with us common folk.

The Midnight Meat Train isn't a horror that will have you jumping in your seat, but it has the gore that we horror buffs love. And Mahogany's metal mallet is a weapon worthy to sit beside Freddie's glove and Jason's machete.

And even giving Mahogany a break for not being scary looking and the movie title for being cheesy, there's still surprises in store about which I can't tell you. Let's just say the truth behind The Midnight Meat Train will leave you wanting to see more.

Unfortunatly, the box office was unkind to The Midnight Meat Train. It had limited release and then only into the discount theaters. I'm not sure why. Maybe they figured their best chance at success was to shoot for a cult fave and figured a large release into normal theaters would be a doomed venture. I'd love to see more of Mahogany and The Midnight Meat Train, but I doubt that will happen.

So catch a ride on The Midnight Meat Train. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Related Trailers

Trick 'r Treat

Leslie Bibb also stars in Trick 'r Treat. Four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband.

Alice, Sweet Alice

Originally titles Communion, Alice, Sweet Alice stars Brooke Shields who starred in The Midnight Meat Train as Susan Hoff. After a young girl is brutally murdered during her first communion, her strange and withdrawn older sister becomes the main suspect.

Tooth & Nail

Vinnie Jones also starred in Tooth & Nail. A group of people in a post-apocalyptic world fight to survive against a band of vicious cannibals.

Godzilla - Final Wars

Ryûhei Kitamura also directed Godzilla - Final Wars. Godzilla's 50th Anniversary project, in which Gojira (Godzilla) travels around the world to fight his old foes plus a new, mysterious monster named Monster X.


Jeff Buhler also wrote and directed Insanitarium. After he's institutionalized in order to cover for his sister, a young man encounters a doctor who is turning his patients into flesh-eating psychopaths.


Clive Barker's short story "Dread" was turned into a movie for After Dark Horrorfest Vol. 4. Three college students set out to document what other people dread most.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Horror Movie Review Preview: Midnight Meat Train

Coming Soon...The Midnight Meat Train. A New York photographer hunts down a serial killer.

Starring Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb, Vinnie Jones, and Brooke Shields, The Midnight Meat Train won 2nd place Chainsaw Award for Supporting Actor (Vinnie Jones) at the 2009 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards, Best European/North-South American Film at the 2008 Fant-Asia Film Festival, and won the Audience Award and Sci-Fi Jury Award at the 2009 Gerardmer Film Festival. The Midnight Meat Train was originally released on July 19, 2008 at the Fant-Asia Film Festival.

Join us soon to see if The Midnight Meat worth the ride.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Horror Movie Review: The Landlord

The Landlord

Starring: Derek Dziak, Michelle Courvais, Rom Barkhordar, and Erin Myers

Directed by: Emil Hyde

Written by: Emil Hyde

Production Company: Massive Ego Productions

Release Date: June 1, 2009

When I received my copy of The Landlord, the first thing I noticed was that the production company has a really cool name...Massive Ego Productions. If the movie was as cool as the production company name, then it was going to be a fun evening with The Landlord.

Tyler runs a small apartment building with three flats. He has the usual trials and tribulations involved in dealing with rental property: attracting renters, upkeeping the property, paying bills, and demons. In the uppermost flat resides two resident eating demons.

Tyler's main concern with the demons is the attention they are attracting from local police when his residents turn up missing. All oxymorons aside, Tyler's acceptance of the demons is challenged by new resident Donna. Smitten by his new renter, Tyler must struggle to keep Donna safe from the demons and himself safe from the police. But things can't stay that simple for long as Donna's past comes back to haunt her and Tyler's sister, crooked cop Amy, upsets some local vampires who decide to get revenge. Tell me all those straight forward ghost movies have that much excitement.

The Landlord is a small budget indy work and it shows. There's nothing wrong with that. If you've followed Horror Movie Night Orgy for any length of time, you know I love the energy most B-Movies have, and like most good B-Movies, The Landlord is a horror/comedy.

Tyler, played by Derek Dziak, is likable and funny, but he's overshadowed by Rom Barkhordar as the demon Rabisu. Rabisu is not your typical stoic demon. If demonic power means anything, surely it means you can relax and have fun and that's what Rabisu does from succumbing to his home shopping network addiction (to the detriment of Tyler's bank account), to playing charades to try and get Tyler to say a mystic word that Rabisu is not permitted to say.

The gore is pretty well used and presented convincingly enough. Some of the special effects are bit cheesy, but they do their job, and remember, director Emil Hyde had a small budget. It's not like those many big budget productions with state-of-the-art effects and yet still boring and bad. The story is the most important part of any movie and Hyde does not let us down.

This is Horror Movie Night Orgy, so I can't finish up with out talking about sex appeal. There's no nudity here. But that doesn't mean you can't let your imagination run, especially with strong, forceful, policewoman Amy played beautifully by Michelle Courvais. She's the sexy policewoman we've all wanted to get pulled over by.

The Landlord comes out on May 25th. If you appreciate low budget indy gems, be sure to pick up a copy. You'll have fun.