NIGHT TRAIN MURDERS (1975)
Label: Blue Underground
Region Code: ALL (ABC)Rating: Unrated
Duration: 94 Mins
Audio: DTS-HD Mono 1.0 with
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Video: 16:9 Widescreen 1.85:1 (16x9)
Director: Aldo Lado
Cast: Flavio Bucci, Macha Meril, Marina Berti, Irene Miracle
Tagline: You Can Tell Yourself It's Only A Movie... BUT IT WON'T HELP!
Later when the train makes a stop at a depot in Austria and searched by authorities investigating a bomb threat the girls switch trains in an attempt to distance themselves from the punks. The two settle into a compartment on an empty car and are soon unnerved by the sounds of Curly's familiar and eerie harmonica playing. Attempting to flee to a more occupied train car they are coerced to stay when Blackie, Curly and the blonde woman, now calling the shots, enter the compartment. The film thus far started off slow but by this point had already been permeated with an twisted uneasiness, here it quickly becomes much darker as the young women are humiliated, raped and worse not just at the hands of the desperate street punks but under the direction of the blonde woman who takes a perverse delight in orchestrating the fiendish acts. In yet another layer of sleaziness a middle-aged man wanders onto the train car and observes a rape in progress but does nothing to stop it, in fact taking delight in the events until he is coerced into participating in the vile crimes, and even when he slips away unnoticed he does little to report the incident to the authorities.
Flavio Bucci despite a valiant attempt can't quite muster the demented menace of David Hess's "Krug" but few can. Gianfranco De Grassi as the black tar junkie Curly is more the imminent threat, a vile and sadistic presence for sure. As the unnamed blonde woman Mecha Meril is delightfully twisted,a would-be victim turned perverse ring leader, a lot of the truly disturbing acts in the final third are at her direction, grotesque stuff. Laura D’Angelo and Irene Miracle as our doomed victims are breathtaking women but the sexualized violence perpetrated against them is too ghastly to allow us to enjoy it, they offer solid performances and our sympathies for them never waiver.
Blu-ray: Blue Underground offer a brand-new high definition transfer of the film from the original negative in it's original 16:9 enhanced aspect ratio of 1.85:1 widescreen and it's a thing of beauty. The image is phenomenal for a forty-year old film with vibrant colors and decent black levels with a fine layer of film grain quite intact, a wonderful image from a pristine print, very impressive and nicely detailed. The English-dubbed DTS-HD Master Audio Mono 1.0 comes off clean and strong if not overly dynamic, dialogue, effects and Ennio Morricone's haunting harmonica score sounds great, there's a reason he's the master of the filmscore.
Special features are sorta slim when compared to the recent Blue Underground ZOMBIE Blu-ray but we do get 2 trailers, 2 radio spots, a poster and stills gallery with the main attraction being a 15 minute on-camera interview with director Aldo Lado who openly discusses the film's origins, the genesis of the production, casting, Ennio Morricone's score, early screenings of the film and it's censorship as a Video Nasty in the UK. It's only 15 minutes but there's some tasty tidbits for fans of the film to chew on.
Special Features:- Riding the Night Train: Interview with Director Aldo Lado (15:57 ) 16:9
- U.S. Trailer (2:33) 16:9
- International Trailer (3:49) 16:9
- Radio Spot #1 (0:28)
- Radio Spot #2 (0:28)
- Poster and Still Gallery
Verdict: A dark, disturbing and effecting film, as Italian rape-revenge films go this is a top drawer title and I would put it right up there with Ruggero Deodato's HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK and throw in that it transcends it's American inspiration in dread, style and composition. It's an uneasy watch and not one soon forgotten, a squirm inducing slice of Italian exploitation presented in eye-popping 1080p, another fine presentation from Blue Underground and a high recommend. 4 outta 5