Saturday, 13 July 2013

Night Train Murders

L'ultimo treno della notte (also known as Night Train Murders, The New House on The Left, Second House on The Left, Don't Ride on Late Night Trains, Last Stop on the Night Train, Late Night Trains, Last House Part II and Xmas Massacre) is a 1975 Italian revenge thriller. It was directed by Aldo Lado, scored by Ennio Morricone and stars Flavio Bucci, Macha Meril and Irene Miracle. It gained notoriety when it was banned in the UK as a video nasty in the 1980s.

incredibly powerful remake of The Virgin Spring set on an Italy-bound train from Munich; director Aldo Lado delivers a far more satisfying, artful, coherent, plausible, darker, faster-paced experience than Wes Craven's inferior Last House On The Left
William Bennett

Two young girls travel by train at Christmas time, little knowing it will be a ride filled with horror.

Aldo Lado's Night Train Murders is at times very difficult to digest. As with most Italian movies of this period, the film takes a while to get started, with many fill up scenes that aren't of much interest but once it gets going the film makes a strong impact. The scene where the two girls get molested is a pretty tough viewing experience. Lado stretches the scene to almost unbearable length, displaying such inhuman and immoral tendencies you can't help but be disgusted. The final violent confrontation between the distraught father and the violators becomes not only justifiable but wholly satisfactory.

The film's intercutting between the normal goings on in the lives of the father and mother of one of the girls and what's happening to them on board the train makes a strong impact as well. Lado is purposely trying his best to make the events even more unbearable and sad and it works very well. The script is also philosophical to some extent, displaying grounded ideas about the human nature and it's incapability of letting go of some it's animal instincts and it's refusal to be controlled. An immoral and inhuman tendency cannot be distinguished easily and it's visual display here comes from the socialite who's actually the worst of the violators while the two punks are more visible just by how they look and act (not to mention the one who becomes involved but is also the most "moral" one as he contributes to the end justice).

While not an intellectual powerhouse the film does boast some very strong visuals and hugely effective scenes of the worst mankind has to offer. It makes an impact, but it's not very enjoyable to watch.
Bjorn (ODDBear) 

Night Train Murders opens on Christmas Eve in Germany, as two friends (Irene Miracle and Marina Berti) excitedly prepare for a train ride back to Italy for the holidays, while two small-time crooks (Flavio Bucci and Gianfranco De Grassi) pick pockets and shake down a drunk Santa for pocket change. The two parties meet when the crooks flee the cops, jump the train, and hide away in Miracle and Berti’s cabin as the ticket-ticker makes his rounds. The men are initially crude and coarse with the women, but their torment amplifies into sadism and rape when another passenger, a well-mannered, classy-seeming blonde played by Macha Méril, joins the action. Meanwhile, Miracle’s parents wait at home until the train comes in, and are forced into action when they discover what happened on the trip.

Some of Lado’s touches are inexplicable, like his frequent abuse of zoom lenses to focus on some unimportant detail—an extra feeding ducks, say—and others are more inspired, like repeating a phrase in Ennio Morricone’s score through a villain’s harmonica, an echo of Charles Bronson in Once Upon A Time In The West. But between the tiresome cross-cutting between the vicious (yet oddly non-explicit) torture on the train and the dead scenes of the parents waiting, waiting, waiting for the women to arrive, it’s Méril that stands out. Where Craven was content to tar the perpetrators as drug-addled counterculture wastoids, Night Train Murders lays the truly depraved acts at Méril’s feet, suggesting that she, as a member of polite society, can slip the noose while her lowlife companions take the heat. The real loser here, however, is The Last House On The Left, which faces the double indignity of being ripped off and critiqued by the same movie.
Scott Tobias,68185/

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