"Horror Express (1972/Blu-ray&DVD Combo/Severin Films)" Review

Synopsis: An English anthropologist has discovered a frozen monster in the frozen wastes of Manchuria which he believes may be the Missing Link. He brings the creature back to Europe aboard a trans-Siberian express, but during the trip the monster thaws out and starts to butcher the passengers one by one.

Review: For so long I have been wanting to see Horror Express, but for so many years this film seems to of been mistreated and thrown to the side as just another campy B horror film and it was a turn off to wanting to see it as all the copies I found looked like crap and unwatchable. Finally a company as good as Severin Films has brought forth a very watchable version of this lost fright film classic!
Now don't get me wrong if you do read the synopsis for this film you will get the impression that you are about to watch something that is campy, but I can reassure you that this film offers more than just cheap thrills. What you get is a film with an amazing cast, great writing, and some truly frightening scenes all of which work perfectly together. The cast consists of film legends Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Telly Savalas, and Alberto de Mendoza(who kinda reminds me of a younger Paul Naschy) to name a few. This of course is 1 of the 22 films that Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee had done together and to me it's one of their best collaborations to be captured on film next to my personal favorite "The Creeping Flesh". 
 As you probably already know that Peter Cushing had just lost his wife before the shooting of this film and knowing that you really can tell he is a broken man at that point and instead of that altering his performance I think it makes it that much more stronger and convincing in the more dramatic parts. Of course Christopher Lee brings on another very strong performance as he always has no matter how good or bad the role is. Now for this film the person who kinda sticks out as the odd man is Telly Savalas who even though I think he sticks out like that he still brings  something to the film that is missing which is a subtle comedic presence to break the tension for just enough time. Savalas is not like that all the time and he does play his role very seriously. 
 As much as those 3 really grabbed my attention I couldn't help but be enthralled by the character of Father Pujardov (Alberto de Mendoza) which is a priest who seems to be all about god until he is confronted with the mysterious evil presence that is aboard the train. He basically is like most humans who do try to be good but can be easily swayed by evil with the right circumstances. I also think his dirty priest look is also what captivated me to him, you can't beat a turned evil priest! The rest of the cast is great as well and they all do help out the film each in their own way.
Now I don't want to get too much into talking about the plot because there is things in it that I think are much more fun to find out as you watch the film rather than someone blabbing all of it to you one of which is a pretty cool twist. I will say that the plot is very much different and does seem a bit campy, but for it's time I'd say that plot was very unique and I think other film makers have gotten inspired from it on their own films. The monster of Horror Express is in my eyes very cool looking especially with his glowing red eye that reminds me of the Terminator's eye along with his man-ape looking body and partially skull face.
Severin did do an awesome job with bring this film to blu-ray, all the grain is intact as well as they kept the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio and did not stretch it out like other companies probably would of. Along with the film looking the best it ever has you also get a good selection of special features that include a new interview with director Eugenio Martin, 1973 audio interview w/ Perter Cushing and many other features which makes this a well rounded release that Severin Films is known for. Also on top of the special features you do get a DVD copy which has the same special features. Now the only thing that is odd about this release is the menu screens because they are kinda glitchy and don't go from one to another smoothly which is not that big of a deal because I am into this release for the film not the menus, but I figured I would mention it.
Overall this is a an excellent film that finally has a good proper release that will surely please those who are fans of the film as well as those who are going to watch it for the first time!

-Daniel "Damnation" Lee

Director: Gene Martin (Eugenio Martin)
Genre: Horror/Thriller/Sci-fi/Action
Blu-Ray/DVD Release Year: 2011
Theatrical Release Year: 1972
Time Length: 90 mins.
Company: Severin Films
Website: www.severin-films.com

0 comments: