Terror Train

Terror Train

terror train still

We’re a bit puzzled why this 80’s slasher has remained under the radar for so long since its release. But it stars scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis and takes place on a train. Good enough for us!

terror train poster
Expand to read episode transcript
Automatic Transcript

Terror Train (1980)

Episode 15, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw

Todd: Welcome to another edition of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd

Craig: I’m Greg.

Todd: Happy belated Christmas to everybody. I hope you had a good time. Uh, we’re have the new year approaching us. And so we decided to find a movie. It was kind of hard actually to find new years related films, right? Yeah. 

Craig: You had joked last week.

There’s gotta be a new year’s eval or something along those lines. In fact, I think there is, but it didn’t sound very promising. In fact, it’s not even set at new year’s it’s set like in the middle of the summer, but they just happened to. Stumble upon like some setup, new year’s Eve party or something. I thought, well, that’s an interesting take.


Todd: those titles are just for marketing purposes more than anything else. I mean, you know, folks, we, we do actually try to find films that are interesting. We don’t just find schlock all the time. This movie, I don’t know. I wouldn’t necessarily call it schlock. Would you 

Craig: know? I mean, I think. Really for the time period that it came out, which was, what year do you know?

It was early eighties, 1980, 

Todd: 1980. All right. The film is, um, called terror train, right. And this is one of four films. The Jamie Lee Curtis just basically did back to back, starting with 

Craig: yeah. And really kind of established her career, established herself as a scream queen. Of course. You know, her, her mother, Janet Lee, before her had kind of been a scream queen in her own.

Right. Having been in a psycho psycho. Right. Exactly. Original scream queen. Exactly. And, uh, yeah, Jamie Lee, he does her thing here. Not dissimilar from those other roles, kind of maiden in distress. Um, I saw an interview that she had done somewhere where she talks about these characters and how, you know, for these girls that she plays in these movies.

They have to have a certain vulnerability because you have to, the audience has to believe that they are an actual peril, but at the same time, they have to have enough inner strength. To be able to survive to the end and, you know, just even to hear an actress. And I think Jamie Lee Curtis is amazing.

She’s a great actress, but to hear her talk about that and really kind of, you know, she, she puts thought into these characters as, as. Simple and as a kind of cookie cutter as these movies can be, you know, 

Todd: she’s, she’s given it her up. Oh, she is. And now, so that raises an interesting question. Seeing her in this movie and seeing her in Halloween and prom night and all those other films, or I guess it was the fog she did before this, which wasn’t too great.

Did you see a difference? 

Craig: I don’t know. I mean, I guess, and I don’t know this came after Halloween, right? So she was a little bit younger in Halloween. And I think that her age, her, her youth shows a little bit more in that I’ve seen the fog once. I don’t really remember that much about it. I’ve never seen prom night.

Certainly similarities. I mean, the, you know, there’s not a whole lot of complexity or depth of character in these things, but she pulls it off. Well, she’s a good heroin. You’re rooting for she’s tough 

Todd: gal. Yeah, she does. I, you know, she doesn’t have a lot of screen time in this one. I mean, It’s not the sort of final girl that you’re seeing throughout the film that the film kind of focuses around her, right?

Yeah. It’s not like Halloween in that regard. It’s, 

Craig: it’s kind of more of an ensemble piece and really the conductor of the train kind of takes a pretty pivotal role. I mean, he’s, I would say his character is nearly as central as hers is though. She is clearly the final girl, the lead that we’re, we’re falling around, but.

The conductor gets a lot of business too. Oh yeah. 

Todd: And he gets top billing. He’s Ben Johnson, a place Carney, the conductor, I guess. And he’s a pretty seasoned actor. I know. I saw that he has a huge level of TV. He was on Gunsmoke, lots of westerns. The wild bunch, you might recognize them from angels in the outfield.

Craig: The last picture show he was in. It’s funny. I was looking through his, uh, his, his list, his filmography, and one of the things that I remembered him from was cherry 2000. You ever see that? No, man. It’s great. It’s like a Melanie Griffith mad max kind of movie from the eighties. It’s so bad. It’s amazing.

You’ll have to watch 

Todd: that. Oh my gosh. You know, he was likable from the beginning. He’s the jovial kind of guy and you’re right. He’s the thread that really pulls us all together. Right. He’s the guy we see in the beginning, who seems almost too eager. To be getting on a train full of drunk college students on new year’s Eve.

Right? Of course, before this train happens, there’s some backstory that’s very important to the plot. That pretty much spells out what you’re going to see. I mean, it’s, it leaves. You think maybe they’re going to pull a twist on you in there and they kind of do, but they kind of don’t right, 

Craig: right. Yeah. One of those things where there’s, interestingly enough, the opening scene is set.

When this group of kids it’s, it’s a fraternity Sigma Phi Omega they’re pre-med kids and it’s it’s them and their girlfriends. It’s basically, and the opening scene is supposed to take place their freshman year. And it’s at this big new year’s Eve party. I think that they call it hog night or something like that, something like that.

It was like a brush kind of thing. I guess you’re doing a hog roast or something or something, but the, uh, all of the newbies are supposed to be trying to get laid. And, uh, one of the newbies, uh, Kenny. They set him up for a prank and Jamie Lee Curtis is kind of in on it, but she doesn’t really know what’s going on.

She just kind of has a part to play the cool guys in the frat. You know, tell this kid, Kenny, go upstairs. You’re going to be with this girl, Elena. You know, she wants to be with you. She likes sensitive guys or whatever. And so he goes up to this room that’s, you know, all decked out and. Flashing red lights and like satin things hanging around.

Yeah. Actually it’s got a 

Todd: cool with all of the, uh, not with the sand sheets and things hanging, but the traffic lights throughout, I was like, Oh man, when I was in college, this would have been kind of a cool, they really went all lashing and going everywhere. 

Craig: They send this kid into this room and Jamie Lee Curtis is a, and her character’s name is Elena.

She hides. Kind of behind these curtains on this bed. And she knows that there’s somebody in the bed, you know, one of her friends has kind of ushered her in there and they, she sees something in the bed and says, who is that? And the girl’s like, Oh, don’t worry about 

Todd: it’s. One of doc’s friends is what she says.

The doc is sort of the ringleader of the group. Who’s, who’s been ushering this guy, you know, for exactly. 

Craig: Right. And, um, so she is. The kid comes in and Kenny comes in and she’s kind of luring him with her voice, you know, come over here. Don’t be shy. It’s my first time too. And he comes over to the bed and the figure and the bed is just kind of slumped over.

And Jamie Lee Curtis says, yes, Kenny,

any leans in for the kiss and he kind of pulls. The figure and the beds hair back, and a wig comes off and it’s a dismembered corpse, and it’s really pretty grotesque and discussing would be something that would definitely freak you 

Todd: out. It’s pretty great. And he totally flips out. Totally flipped. He leaps up straight up and starts twirling saying no, no, no.

Or something like that. Yeah. And he’s 

Craig: getting all tangled up in the curtains, right? And then we’re in present day, right? Exactly. And we jumped into, uh, their senior year. Um, and it’s new year’s Eve again. And so you’re right. That opening scene really kind of sets you up. You, you know, that this is probably going to be a revenge thing.

Now, whether that’s going to be. Kenny himself seeking revenge, or if it’s going to be more something like Friday the 13th, where somebody is seeking revenge on his behalf or something like that. So you don’t know exactly. Oh, spoiler alert. 

Todd: Okay. Sorry, Friday the 13th. But 

Craig: uh, you get the sense that it’s going to be that kind of movie and it is, and, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

It’s interesting that, that, um, that opening scene, they shot in post, I guess they felt like. They needed to explain it more and you can kind of tell, you know, throughout the movie, they pepper in little parts of the story throughout. So really even without that opening scene, you kind of probably could have figured out what was going on, but they just really heavy handed.

Give it to you right there in the beginning. There’s not a lot of, uh, 

Todd: Yeah, well, you know, with that knowledge and it’s kind of a shame, really, it might actually be a better film without that opening scene. It, it might’ve been better writing just because of the fact that you’re right. There’s never a moment in the film when somebody.

Steps forward and says here’s what happened four years ago. Right. They’re alluding to it early on. And somebody gets interrupted some of the earlier the people who were pledges, then, uh, come up and ask, Hey, yeah, I heard that a bunch of people got in trouble for a prank that went on. Not realizing that people in the room were involved.

Right. Doc starts explaining it. And then Atlanta, Jamie Lee, Curtis, his character kind of interrupts and doesn’t let him finish the story. And then later on a little bit of the story gets pieced out. And so, and it 

Craig: kind of seems like the people who were there and were part of it are kind of like, no, just, just don’t talk about it.

Don’t say anything about it. 

Todd: It would have been interesting movie without that, just because the character of. Kenny would have been a, more of a mystery. Yeah. And maybe we would have been a little more skeptical as to whether Kenny, you really did this because we wouldn’t have known the whole circumstance behind the situation.

Right. It just wouldn’t have been laid out for us. Like it was. And I don’t know, I find that a little 

Craig: disappointing, I guess. I don’t know. It didn’t really bother me all that much. Uh, I don’t necessarily think that it was needed to lay that out, but it was fine. You know, we, we were talking about. Right. No, you know, you get what you pay for, but we were just, uh, talking earlier about how, the way that this movie was kind of inspired was the director had a dream about a train, right.

And then woke up and turned to his wife and said, What would you think if we put Halloween on a train and she said, that’s a terrible idea. Uh, so the guy grabbed the note pad and wrote down terrible train. Uh, went back to bed, got up in the morning, changed it to terror train immediately started writing, put together a treatment, the first 20 pages or so, and then had it sold in a matter of days.

I mean, obviously, you know, these types of slasher films and were in their heyday. Really? Yeah. 

Todd: It’s crazy. It’s like you could come up with any idea. What about Halloween and space? Right? Here we go. Yeah, it’s sold by 

Craig: three o’clock and that’s pretty cool. Much what it ends up being. I mean, you’ve got kind of a masked figure.

This one takes kind of an interesting turn on that, where it’s a new year’s Eve party on a train, but everybody is in costume. So, of course, when everybody’s in costume, you never really know who anybody is and this killer, once they dispatch somebody, they take their costume. And so the killer is constantly in different costumes.

You never really know who’s who, 

Todd: yeah, it’s really clever. And it’s really the way to put Halloween on a train because otherwise there’s, you can, you can go forward so you can go backwards. There’s not a lot of room to maneuver and to hide yourself and to hide bodies. And it’s clever. Yeah, actually, how that was done, not just that, but the way that the bodies are hidden and how the killer plays with everybody on the train, it seems like this fraternity is all about practical jokes, right?

Like they’re always goofing off. They’re almost to a silly extent. Really? Yeah. It’s either a little dated or it’s just a little hokey, but one guy’s dressed up as Groucho Marx. He was one of the earlier guys involved too. I think his name was Eddie and he’s the big jokester. Yeah. And he gets immediately dispatched with a sword as the trainers.


Craig: before they even get on and, uh, you see the killer whomever that is, you know, put that mask on and board the train. So yeah, no right away. Yeah. 

Todd: You don’t see the killer, but you see them exactly. Train pulls away and we’re introduced, well, actually a little bit before that were introduced to Carney.

The fun-loving. Nice guy conductor, who just can’t hate. He was never going to be a suspect at all, but he’s doing this stuff meets with his wife beforehand at the station and sort of makes a big deal about that. 

Craig: Try and see. They don’t tear it apart with a party like that. I’m always afraid some kid’s going to hurt himself.

Maggie. I wish the hell. They’d put a radio on that train. What if one of those kids got drunk and fell off? I’ve been talking on that for two years. They’ll Napa always puts the kibosh on it. He said, wean Amtrak. We just let along scourge and train. You want to be here tonight? You’re like 

Todd: riding herd on a police circus.

Darn it. Okay. I really think we need to have radios put 

Craig: in there. I love that. I love that hokey exposition. Like we have to establish that they can’t communicate with the outside world. Uh, it 

Todd: was pretty and don’t expect Amtrak right now, but it is, it’s like an old school train where they have to like shovel coal into it.

Craig: Right. Which I didn’t even hear. Is that real, like in the eighties where they still shoveling coal? I mean, I don’t know. 

Todd: It seems strange. I got the sense though, that it was supposed to be. Maybe a historic train, like a real special kind of thing. It had 1881 written on the back of it, on it, had those elements in a train that you don’t find 

Craig: anymore.

And I feel like it must have been because it wasn’t just your standard, like commuter train, you know, these box cars. And it was really kind of a cool setup really. Um, but these box cars were just kind of big party rooms mostly. And they had in the caboose, there was like a stage where a performance could go on and there were different kind of like lounge, uh, cars.

There were sleeper cars towards the front, but now not just a series of cars with a bunch of seats in it, like 

Todd: I didn’t have a single car. Right. 

Craig: So maybe you’re right. Maybe it is one of those, like. Dinner theater kind of trains or something like that. 

Todd: I’d love to be, yeah. 

Craig: For a party. It looks fun and it was cool.

Um, the way that they did it, I mean, they shot all of the train interior stuff in actual box cars and actual train cars, which I think, you know, I’m no cinematographer. That’s your, that’s your. Shtick, but, uh, I would think that would pose a lot of challenges, 

Todd: especially this being shot on film. I mean, those cameras are large and they’re heavy.

They had to make some modifications to this train to be able to do it. Yeah. 

Craig: I read that they had to do some like interesting crane. I mean, I assume small crane, but like crane stuff to kind of keep the cameras out of the way. 

Todd: I’m just impressed that they were able to do it and then return the train to its state because they were basically renting this train and then they had to return it back to the state.

They had it in. I would have imagined they would have had to carve out the walls, you know, cut holes in it to be able to get these cameras in and around. I was very impressed 

Craig: with that. I was too, and it was cool environment because it was so claustrophobic and I mean, that kind of claustrophobia really adds tension and suspense too.

Plus this train was. Full of kids, you know, full of college kids. I mean, it was really crowded. There was a lot of business, a lot of stuff going on. It never felt distracting. I mean, it really felt like the focus was where it should be. And they were able to move around with the camera angles in a way that seemed very natural.

It didn’t seem disjointed at all. I thought that was, you know, uh, A real strength of the film? Well, 


Todd: was an impressive train. I don’t know if you were counting. I was trying to figure out how many cars are on there. And I think there were six there’s the car w with the stage, which also doubled as sort of the dance room.

Right. And they had abandoned there as well. And that was impressive, but that was a whole car. You had the car that was a bar, which seemed to be added onto that because I think you pass through that to get to the stage. I think. So that was awesome. That little bar that was lit up and then people are lounging kind of dancing in there.

You have the car that, of course at the front of the train, which was pretty empty, except for the little cage area where the conductor would do his business or whatever. 

Craig: Right. Like right behind the, behind the engine. 

Todd: It’s. Yeah. And that was where Carney and his two or three other engineer guys would all kind of sit and play cards and relax.

You had the car that seemed to be somewhere. And this is where the geography, the trunk kind of got messed with a little guys, but at first it seemed like it was at the end of the train, which was just like the fraternities room, right. That nobody was really in just maybe four or five people at the beginning.

And then. It was empty for most of the time people were walking around through, 

Craig: and it did seem like it kind of seemed like it was at the front. Like they could only come in through one way, but obviously it wasn’t in the front because the engine in that other room had to be up there too. There was also, you know, you talk about the geography it’s towards the end of the film, when all the mayhem is ensued, Elena, the main girl, Jamie Lee Curtis is kind of being ushered around and protected by the employees of the train, I guess.

And one of the guys. Takes her to this car where he’s like, Oh, I guess nobody’s been in here in a couple of years. We’ve been all over this train throughout the whole course. It’s like, it’s like a secret side cars. 

Todd: I mean, I don’t know what’s going on here. No way with all of this activity and this train and all these people that they’re not using every square inch of it.

Yeah. And then there was a car that had the old style births. Which are upper and lower deck with curtains, essentially just for privacy. And that’s it. And that was the one that seemed to have the two toilets in it. Yes. And then there was the car that had the bursts, like you’re describing where they’re private, they’re almost multi-room they have closets in there.

They’re really classic and blossom. And those are like the ones you want. And they have just a narrow hallway that goes down the side, the Harry Potter train you. Right. But then. It seemed, there was one more room that was just a lounge and chill area. Am I wrong? I don’t know. I don’t remember. 

Craig: I have no idea.

You were paying much closer 

Todd: to try to figure this out. I, you know, I ride an Amtrak a lot and I’m so fascinated by trains and how you can sort of fit so much in a small space. I was trying to figure this whole train out. 

Craig: Well, one of the. One of the things about that. And the geography of a train is, you know, there’s really only two ways to go, you know, you can go towards the front or you can go towards the back.

And I guess there are kind of little rooms and nooks and crannies that you can kind of be concealed in if people were walking by or whatever. But that was the, one of the things that I was thinking about, you know, as they’re going back and forth, moving around, you would think that they would have to run into the people that they were looking for or trying to avoid.

Right. Kind of more than they do, but 

Todd: whatever, it’s a passageway all the way through, except in those bigger rooms where people are kind of mushed together, could you possibly sneak around people or kind of do anything? Well, it was interesting. So you got David Copperfield in this movie. We see him at the beginning sort of packing, dragging his trunks.

Into an up on the train and the couple of people interact with them. I think doc makes some snotty comments. Yeah. I hate magic. Just tricks. Come on. You love tricks. I love jokes. 

Craig: You’re just pissed off. Cause you can’t figure it out.

Todd: These girls look faint. Can we do anything to revive them, or I don’t know, maybe some kind of injection you girls better come back to the consulting with us when they have to go to explore. And that’s a thread that’s going throughout is how much doc. He’s just an asshole. 

Craig: Well, that’s true. It’s just a jerk.

He’s terrible. Like you wonder why are these people friends with them? He’s not even the rich one. Like if he were the rich one, maybe I could understand that he’s not, he’s just a jerk, but he seems to be their leader and everybody that’s 

Todd: all he puts up with them, puts up with them, except he plays practical jokes on them all the time puts them down.

But they’re not even 

Craig: fun jokes, like they’re mean like he tries to. Like Jamie Lee Curtis, his friend boyfriend Mo is doc’s best friend. And over the course of the movie, he keeps trying to get Moe in trouble. Like he’ll set Moe up with some other girl in a car and then he’ll send Jamie Lee Curtis to go talk to him like, Oh, he’s really sorry.

He wants to talk to you. What a Dick move. Yeah. 

Todd: Was a total Dick. And he treats David Copperfield like a Dick. And Mo just pretty much lays it out and says, Oh, doesn’t he intimidate you because you can’t figure it out. Or something like that. Like the magician is the one guy on the whole train, which would be the dorkiest guy on the whole train who intimidates him, who pisses him off.

And, uh, David Copperfield is giving these shows. In this sort of bizarre stage at the end of the train, this was the only film David Copperfield’s ever 

Craig: been in. Well playing somebody else other than himself, right? Like, uh, like an, like as an, well, I mean, I guess when you’re playing yourself, you’re still playing a role.

Todd: All magicians are actors turning magicians, but I know what you’re saying. Yeah. Playing a character who happens to be a magician he’s in this film and he’s giving these. He’s doing some close-up magic with people. He’s giving his stage performances where he’s even doing like levitations and stuff, which is pretty impressive in the back of this train with this tiny little thing yet.

He’s still so David 

Craig: copper. Oh yeah. He’s definitely got that smarmy thing and you can totally see he’s definitely got a signature style of showmanship that I don’t really think has evolved. Excuse me. Can I borrow that corn? You have there? Yeah, watch this, your cigarette, hold it up to your quarter. It’ll seem to be sticking to it just like that.

And if we keep turning it, it looked like, see where it’s penetrating the corridor. Just like, could you, um, take this lighter here? And the later I’m going to give you cancer. It’s perfect. It’s 

Todd: okay. We saw David Copperfield back in the eighties. My family went to see him when we lived in Washington DC. And at the time I’m kind of a magician.

I’ve been doing magic since I was a kid and I don’t do so much of it anymore, but it was like my first job. And so I’ve always been dipping in and out of the magic world a ton. And. We went to see him in DC. And we were so enthralled with his performance. He did this fly. That was when he was doing the flying thing.

And we got, we were sitting actually pretty close. So super. It was sorta like, like seeing my idol at the time. And he would come out for the curtain calls and he just had this air about him that you don’t, you expect performers when they’re, especially when they’re getting a lot of compliments from the audience and people are just going nuts, standing ovation.

We gave him. You want them to bend at the waist? Yeah. You know, at least once just give a proper bow and he never did that. And that kind of bothered me as a kid. And then we went out into the meet and greet section afterwards. Where you could get a picture, you buy a picture and then you can have monograph it.

And the guy was sitting on what I can only describe as a throne, like a throne on a platform. So high up in the air that you could reach up and maybe touches me as an adult. He had an assistant on one end and assistant on another end. And the line went to the assistant. You handed the assistant, your photo, he hands, arms outstretched up to David who scribbles on it a little bit, hands it down to the next assistant who hands it to you.

And he never once made contact with anybody in the line. So. I don’t have the best impression of David Copperfield. He kind of came off. 

Craig: Yeah. I mean, and you know, I don’t, I don’t know the guy or anything. David, if you’re listening, I don’t know, but there’ve been a growing up my future there, you know, there’s, there’s been quite a bit of, of rumors about his douchebag.

Oh, my 

Todd: wife and I went to see him in Vegas, uh, probably about six years ago. And he had this sort of an intimate evening with David Copperfield on the MGM, which may still be going on. And the poor guy just looked like he was totally phoning it in again, totally not impressed. Couldn’t handle a foreign person from the audience who didn’t speak the language and you think, man, this guy for so long and he’s traveled the world and done this stuff and he just didn’t even want to try.

It was really sad. Well, that’s too bad. Well, anyway, I don’t know why we went up 

Craig: in the movie. I mean, he’s. Yeah, he looks like David, he looks like a young David Copperfield. He’s kind of this goofy looking guy. I mean, maybe you’ll argue with me and you know, more about this than I do, but E’s a talented guy, you know, he’s not one to audibly and, uh, you know, all of the illusions and things that he did that he does in this movie are legit.

I mean, yeah, he did them all, you know, there wasn’t there weren’t bill imagine. Right, right. He was really doing the illusions and, and they’re pretty impressive. I mean, Eventually, you kind of figure out why they needed him there, but for the first 40 minutes or so I was, I just kinda felt like, could they just get David Copperfield?

So they were like, okay, they’re a magician 

Todd: on the train, how to weave him in here off her bunch, because he’s our big guy, you know, it didn’t feel like they were doing an awful lot of magic and an awful lot of David Copperfield without much payoff. It wasn’t like he was speaking character in the sense that he was buddy, buddy with the people there.

He wasn’t really weaving in his intricate to the plot. He was an entertainer on the train who would pop in and out and do his shtick. And then make those sort of side long, sexy glances at Jamie Lee Curtis, every 

Craig: now and flirts with her in a couple of scenes. I don’t know. I mean, I kind of got the sense that he was supposed to be a suspicious figure.

Um, but really it more just felt like I’m a sexy vampire. Like I will creep along in the shadows and give you. Sexy eyes. Um, and then of course, you know, once it gets towards the end, I mean, we’re, it’s a slasher movie, so here’s the plot. They’re on a train, a bunch of people get slashed, you know, that’s, that’s what, you know, there’s just kind of a series.

The friends get kind of knocked off one by one and violent ways. It’s one of those things where the killer is always wearing a costume that everybody’s familiar with. So they don’t feel particularly threatened. Um, They’re friends. Right? So their guard is down. So, you know, they’re pretty easily dispatched and eventually it’s discovered that a bunch of people have been killed.

And then it’s kind of a cat and mouse thing with the, uh, the conductor kind of play in the Perry. Mason. 

Todd: Yeah. And I liked how they did that. Actually. I was really impressed because, and this might be a little hole in the plot too, but I guess we can give this killer wide berth. After the guy gets killed with the sword.

The second kill is in the bathroom on a train that only has two bathrooms, which you would think would be a used a lot more, as much as they’re drinking. Oh my God. But, okay, well, right. It’s a movie, right? So this birth area and this bathroom is totally. It were pretty empty. Most of the time he kills this guy dressed in the full-on like lizard lizard suit, right in the bathroom by smashing his head into the mirror.

And then the 

Craig: one black guy whose name was Jackson, which I thought was hilarious. 

Todd: That is true. I also thought it was. Kind of hilarious that the one black guy also his girlfriend was the only other, slightly ethnic non-white woman in the whole train. 

Craig: I was looking at the cast list and I noticed that that actress was vanity.

And I said, please, please let this be vanity of vanities six. Do you remember vanity six from the eighties? It was a girls group. I think it was like, no, it was, I think it was one of Prince’s 

Todd: was group. It was her. It was awesome. She was gorgeous. So pretty. Yeah, so he gets killed and then the killer comes back out and then has a key to be able to lock the door so that it looks like it’s occupied and it’s locked.

So you can lock it from the outside, which I thought, Oh, that’s pretty smart. Because the first thing I’m thinking, as soon as somebody gets killed on the train, it’s where in the hell do you hide this? Right. You know, That was cool. That bathroom could be occupied all night long with a hundred different people.

And every time you checked on it’d be occupied. So nobody would think anything of it. 

Craig: Right. But why did the killer have a key? 

Todd: Exactly. That was the thing where I’m saying, yeah, God, that’s why I thought maybe at that time, maybe they were playing around with a little bit with the conductor. It seemed like a red herring.

Yeah. That may be the conductor. One of his guys would be doing something 

Craig: maybe it’s really never explained it really isn’t 

Todd: because you can’t even imagine the killer would have gotten to that area where the keys would be. 

Craig: I don’t know. I, well, there’s kind of a twist at the end when it’s revealed who the killer is.

Maybe that killer had some skill where they were able to somehow procure a key somehow sneakily, I guess. True. I don’t know. I mean, I think it’s a plot hole, frankly, whatever. 

Todd: Well, it’s as much a plot holes getting pushed off a train, but actually you held on right 

Craig: after you’ve been stabbed through the.

Chest with a sword and staff through the face with a, I don’t know, it’s one of 

Todd: those movie 

Craig: invincible kind of invents. You don’t 

Todd: kill her stabbed in the face with absolutely no Mark. Yeah. 

Craig: Oh, wait. Did 

Todd: he see a Mark? I don’t know. Remember on face stab though, with 

Craig: a great big, it was one of those, like one of those spiky things that you put receipts down on, and it was probably a good six, eight inches long.

And she’s Jamie Lee stabs him right in the face with it. That’s a major if there was any well, and then after she does that, there’s all they tussle and there’s all kinds of blood. She gets blood all over her face and she gets blood all over her hands. And then. The killer gets thrown off the train on, is able to crawl back in somehow comes back and seems pretty much okay.

Todd: After also being stabbed in the back with a sword, right with that, I don’t know where that sword came from either. 

Craig: They were just sort of laying around all over the place. That’s true. They pull up, I think they were supposed to be all the music, the magicians swords, but they were just handy. Like you can just reach your left and grab one at any given in circumstances.


Todd: probably had one in that birth that hadn’t been occupied for 10 years, just because he needed later. He probably had to produce it, you know, later, just in case, uh, We’re going to get to that, right? The fi the sort of battle scene. Cause I thought that was cool too. So anyway, this guy is dead bloodied and broken mirror and everything in this bathroom.

And then the conductor comes by and people are trying to get in. They can’t finally, he comes by with his own key and he’s knocked 

Craig: anybody in there.

Pick up a beer in there. Otherwise I’m going to use this gate. All right. I’m coming to him 

Todd: and he discovers the full-on body and I’m thinking, Oh, This is pretty early in the movie for somebody to discover there’s killer on this trend. Right. 

Craig: Well, and this was interesting too. He was pretty nonchalant about it.

Like, Oh, he walks back to the back in one of the other conductors or whoever it is back there. He’s like, there’s a dead kid back there now. I think. I got the impression that he initially thought that it was some sort of accident, maybe. I mean, there was tons 

Todd: of blood on him and there was a bottle like stuffed in the mouth.

Craig: Yeah. So I think he maybe thought it was an accident, but anyway, he, you know, he takes the other conductor. He sends the other conductor back there to kind of guard the door. And I guess he goes and looks around or something. I don’t know. He comes back and he says, did you look in there? And the other guy’s like, no.

And he’s like, well, I hate to do this too. Yeah. Yeah. Um, so he opens the door and the body is still there. But all the blood is gone. And again, now, yeah, you can clean up a porcelain sink. That’s one thing. But when he initially saw the body, there was blood all over the password too. I don’t know how somebody would feasibly clean that up, but still, you know, Willing suspension, I guess, and whatever.

So, uh, and now the body, which the conductor initially had, I think felt for a pulse. I mean, he, he definitely touched the guy. Yeah. But now the body is moving as though he’s just super, super drunk, like passed out drunk. Um, and of course we figure out it’s not tough to figure out that the killer has just returned and switched out the body.

And now he’s in the different costs. Yeah. 

Todd: There are all kinds of problems with this. It’s nice that it. It introduces this idea that the conductor is doubting himself, but the conductor is not like he’s totally lucid. Yeah. He hasn’t had anything to drink. He has really no good reason to doubt himself. And so he thinks it’s kind of odd, but he doesn’t say anything, but he doesn’t remove the fricking mask from the guy’s head, which is something you would do.

Even if the guy was just drunk, you’d pull the mask off or your friend is there and she pulled up cause he hands her off. He hands, this lizard person off to Jamie Lee Curtis, who assumes it’s Jackson and she kind of walks off with them. Well, 

Craig: I think he actually hands her off to Jamie Lee Curtis, his best.

Right. And, uh, 

Todd: her name is Michie Michie. And she’s docs. 

Craig: Boyfriend, girlfriend, girlfriend. Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, she goes off of them, you know, it’s funny. It’s the eighties, I guess. Maybe pre AIDS scare, but they’re all very sexually liberated. Like they all are like in couples, but all it takes is for the other partner of the couple, to just be absent for a moment before they’re all of a sudden all over somebody 

Todd: else who they know pretty well.


Craig: I guess they’re a really tight group of friends. I don’t know. So Michi takes a lizard guy into one of those. Curtains, uh, sleeping areas and they she’s getting frisky with him or whatever. Well, that’s 

Todd: at the same time that Moe’s decided he’s going to get frisky with the V the Val, uh, pet 

Craig: it’s the blonde there’s, there’s lots of swapping going on on this chair kind of convoluted, but Hey, you know, they’re college kids.

Todd: Yeah. We were  college. Wasn’t like that. Sounds like

it’s weird. It’s just, it’s an excuse. It’s an excuse to get people alone together and to get the killer alone with someone, which is how it always is in these movies. I 

Craig: feel like there’s really. No reason to, to go into the details of the kills because they just, they just keep, they just get, keep getting picked off.

Yeah. And it is what 

Todd: it is and the bodies kind of get discovered and then they find, they figure out, okay, there’s a killer on the train. And so they stop the train, which honestly should have been done the first time somebody was found dead, I suppose. 

Craig: But what I was thinking was what is the point of stopping now?

I guess, Purpose in stopping was to get everybody off the train and then they’re going to search the train, but I’m thinking, who are they searching for? I mean, they don’t know who the killer is. The killer could just be out. I guess, you know, the, the conductor, the main conductor, once they get off the train, he tells them all to take their masks off and they all do.

So I guess if there was a stranger among them, somebody might. Notice, but it just seemed kind of off, but they, you know, they get them off the train, they searched the train and they can’t find the killer. But meanwhile, conveniently somebody has a yearbook, uh, on the train with them and they, they kind of put two and two together.

Jamie Lee Curtis says something like, know we have in common, you and me and Mitchie. And the guys, when we heard it, what are you talking about? Kenny? Hampson. You’re stunned with the corpse. Nobody do this. God, Frank, wasn’t just a prank 

Todd: doc. He was sick and saying this to doc right 

Craig: outside. So they get back on the train and they look in the yearbook and they see like an advertisement or something for.

Todd: magic show. I think it was just a feature on him as a 

Craig: magician. Yeah. Uh, of Kenny, the guy that, uh, that they had played the prank on four years ago and he’s a magician. So they say, Oh my gosh, it’s the magician plus earlier doc had said a magician. We didn’t hire a magician. That’s 

Todd: right. There’s some of this early on.

Craig: So again, now they believe, and I think that we’re supposed to believe, and I think. Kind of did, even though I thought it was weird and kind of a stretch, we were supposed to believe that David Copperfield was this kid four years later. And I guess they just don’t recognize they didn’t recognize the plastics or something or something kind of similar and future that kid, that guy.

And he are kind of, I mean, they’re both dark haired and skinny and kind of dorky looking. But I mean, it doesn’t look like the guy, but I think they think it’s him and that’s. Where they go from then on. And so they, they get everybody else on the train. They say, we’ll keep everybody in one car. We’ll, we’ll keep looking.

The conductor goes up into the magic room, you know, the stage room. And, uh, he sees the magician’s assistant. Who’s this, you know, typical, beautiful woman assistant. He sees her and he kind of covertly cues her to come along with him so they can. Isolate the magician in, in that one car and she comes along and, uh, Then they searched the car for David Copperfield, but they can’t find him, but this shouldn’t come as any surprise because he’s a magician and he’s been disappeared, disappearing and reappearing and other places throughout, uh, the whole movie.

Todd: Yeah. I mean, there was a whole trick where he disappeared from the front of the car, under a sheet and then reappeared behind them all. You know there, which is an interesting thing to do. You establish your person as a magician who can do these, these feats, and then suddenly his ability to jump around this train car where you can only go forward or backwards and hide.

These bodies becomes. A little more explainable, you know, or at least right in the movie world. 

Craig: Well, and it would make sense if he is the killer, what an excellent emo, you know what I mean? He’s got the skills. Yeah. 

Todd: And he’s probably profile. So who would suspect the highest profile guy in the train 

Craig: property?

Right? One of the only strangers, they all know each other, so, yeah. Um, so anyway, they can’t find him. They, I, you know, they isolate Jamie Lee Curtis in this room. One of the porters is guarding her. Like you said, it reminded you of black Christmas. You know, they leave the, uh, vulnerable girl alone in a room, you know, smart thing to do.

Of course the Porter gets killed and then we finally have the confrontation. Yup. 

Todd: And the confrontation’s cool. It’s pretty good. I thought it was a great again. You’re confining it to this small space and just these two people in there. 

Craig: And I was really kind of shocked by the brutality of it. I mean, the killer is again in a mask, a different mask than we’ve seen before.

And he’s, I think kind of robe in like these black robes or whatever, and he gets a hold of Jamie Lee Curtis and day. I mean, they really struggle. He has her down on the ground. Um, he’s strangling her for a while, which is, you know, pretty violent. And then she, I think, um, is able to kind of move his hand up to her mouth and she bites him.

And at one point he. See Macs are really hard. Like it’s real, pretty explicit violence that even in these kinds of movies yeah. You see somebody get a machete to the head or whatever, but you don’t often see a man, you know, right. Striking a woman like that. It was really some kind of 

Todd: brutal. Well, considering the fact that the kills really up until then had been.

Pretty typical, pretty typical and pretty quick and pretty off camera. Yeah. Uh, you’d see. The guy start to reach out for, you see a knife res, but you’re not seeing the penetration. You’re not seeing you. Then you just see the aftermath, whereas this was full on brutal. Like the rest of the movie hadn’t been.


Craig: And, and she puts up a great fight, you know, she’s. Hitting back, kicking him at one point, they end up in that kind of behind the engine room where there’s a cage area. They fight in there. She locks herself in the cage for a while. 

Todd: Interesting. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything quite like that before where she li like literally locks herself in a literal cave.

Yeah. And he’s outside of it. And it’s just a wire cage and he’s looking for ways to get into her and he finds a way he’s got that huge pole of some hole with the thing on the end and starts knocking the lights out. And it’s clear he can jab this pole through that cage. He could do it all day long if nobody came around, 

Craig: you know, and that’s when she finds the on the desk, the like the receipt holder with the big spike on it.

And she. As he’s close, trying to get her with the pole. She stabs him in the face, like right in the cheap with it. Um, he falls over in pain. She kicks the door open and gets out 

Todd: as, as well as she’s locked this door and that he can’t get in. She’s able to miraculously kick those 

Craig: chains. Right. And then she runs to the door that leads to the next car.

That door had been locked and chained previously, right? Yes, you’re right. And then she’s able to just really quickly get out and then they struggle in between the cars. Uh, so they’re, you know, they’re exposed to the open air and they struggle in between the cars and she’s fighting him and she pushes him off.

And of course having seen a million horror movies, we know, you know, he’s holding on there. And of course he is, 

Todd: and this is where the, the. The geography of the train kind of got messed up. Well, really got messed up because after he kicks her off the train, we have that moment where they leave her alone and then we see him come down outside the window.

Yeah. Right. And we see, Oh, he’s not dead. And he’s going 

Craig: to. W that moment too is, is really spooky. Cause he’s mast and kind of bloody, but it’s also like all of a sudden he’s like the amazing 

Todd: spice because was like he’s upside down and stuff. He turns right side up outside the window and then she ends up wandering through the train because a couple of people come in and say, Hey.

They have coffee and there’s stuff. Why don’t you come join the rest of the group? That’s all huddled apparently at the other end of the tree. So we see her leave and the next scene is the cheese backstage. Now we know that this stage is supposed to be at the end of the train because when the conductor comes through to check things out, looking for David, God, looking for David Copperfield or not finding him, then when they think he’s the killer.

He goes to the, behind the stage to that back door. And it’s the end of the train. Right. He looks out and he sees the backtracks. Right. So how did she transport? I have, no, you can do the back end. It made no sense. There were 

Craig: other, the weird plot holes too. There was one guy, her boyfriend Mo how the hell did Moe die?

Like he was just sitting there

people. I have 

Todd: no idea that made no sense. Well, she finds that David Copperfield in fact is also dead because. She looks through some papers that he has and sees, I guess, clippings and pictures of him to realize, okay, well maybe this isn’t the guy at the same time, the door of the magic cabinet behind him with the sword cabinet opens up and I knew this was happening.

Yeah. I knew somebody who’s going to find a body in the sword chair with sword stab through it. I thought they were going to over it earlier, but, 

Craig: and I, and I figured it would be him. I figured it would be David Copperfield. I thought that it was too obvious. Oh. Plus ever since they had thought that it was him, he just totally disappeared.

Like he wasn’t popping up anywhere. Ominously. He was just gone. So I figured it was going to be him. And it was. And so she runs to try to find the conductor and say, Oh, it’s not him. It’s not him. And she finds the conductor in that cage room again. And she sits down across from him and, um, he kind of takes her hands, but then he clutches her hands kind of violently and she looks up and it’s a masked figure.

And this is the real killer and reveal that I really wasn’t 

Todd: expecting. I wasn’t either. It was, it was quite good. The reveal was, was good. Again, the geography is totally messed up because somehow she jumps from the very end of the train again, to the back to the very front, without passing through anybody.

But yeah, it was a good reveal and it turns out that the guy was the magician’s assistant the whole time, which is a possibility that briefly 

Craig: flashed through my head. It didn’t mind. I didn’t think about it for a second 

Todd: after the kill, I believe it was the one in the bathroom. The next shot is backstage with David Copperfield playing with the swords and the sword cabinet and sheets walks in.

And it was just an interesting entrance. Gotcha. Which came right after a kill, which briefly made me think, Oh, maybe that’s it. Which of course I completely dismissed because. How could it be her? 

Craig: Right. And it, it just turned out that Kenny, the guy that they had played the prank on was in drag as the magician’s assistant this whole time.

Yeah. Pretty convincing drag. Now I will say at one point, at one point there was a time when David Copperfield was like, I made my decision. Assistant disappeared before, but now I need to bring her back. And so he like pulls this sheet up above his head and he lowers it again. And it’s her. And as her head, neck and shoulders appeared, I thought she’s kind of 

Todd: manly.

It’s kind of a managed super, but you kind of think, well, it’s a model thing or whatever, and, and super skinny. It was 

Craig: just a fleeting thought. I did not 

Todd: see the twist coming. Yeah. It was a good twist. Uh, and they, you know, surprisingly they’ve really already had their final battle essentially. So this one goes pretty quickly.

He, and I thought it was pretty 

Craig: creepy. Yeah, it was. And they kind of, he kind of, you know, she says, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. Um, you know, for this prank or whatever. And, but he seemingly was kind of wanting to relive it.

Kiss me kiss me, kiss me,

kiss me.

And you see the flashbacks connecting the two, which you totally don’t need, but you know, they put the pieces together. And so she does kiss him. And just like before, when he had almost kissed the corpse in the beginning, He flips out in the same way that he had before starts flailing his arms, spinning around screaming 

Todd: and conveniently.

There are some. Something hanging there that he could take off 

Craig: his Cape. I think he like threw his Cape up and he’s kind of like tangled in that next. I thought it was me too. I was like, where did this come from? 

Todd: I’m pretty sure. Yeah. It was a total flashback, which was kind of cool. Right. And, uh, at the moment that connector comes in at just the right times to shuffle and put those, those great almost cartoon has shovel.

Clanging noises hits them a couple of times, knocks him out of the train and they happened to be going over a bridge. And he falls down into what I can imagine is the cold freezing waters of the Canadian North. I don’t know about you, but it was a little sad. 

Craig: It, it surprised me because I thought with that ending, what would have been so easy to do would have just been to have him splash in the water.

Um, and then, you know, he could have come back into. SQL. Um, but he doesn’t land in the water. He, you know, it’s a huge, you know, train bridges are really tall and he falls onto the ice and you see a big thud and you know, his limbs kind of go all akimbo. Uh, and then he floats down the river. And that’s it, right?

That’s the end of the 

Todd: movie. And it’s, it’s an interesting, and almost, I don’t know, maybe you didn’t feel that way, but for me, the amount of time that they spent dwelling on his lifeless body sliding through the snowy icy river, out into nothingness made kind of a statement, it was sad. It brought you back to this damaged guy instead of the murderer, you know, he brought you back to his motives.

Wow. It is kind of a whole tragic story of this horrible point, gone awry on a mentally ill unstable person. 

Craig: Well, and I, you know, that’s not terribly uncommon. I mean, a lot of these villains are kind of tragic in their way. And, and this is, you know, he was Jamie Lee. Curtis says something along the lines of, I tried to go visit him after the prank and they wouldn’t let me see him because they said he was.

Stable. He had killed somebody before, maybe it was an accident, but they didn’t know. So he was already troubled. And then, you know, he’s a geeky kid and they play this traumatic prank on him. Um, so in a sense, I mean, they’re, it’s extreme, but they’re kind of getting there, come up and it’s a little bit, um, you know, it’s, it’s like, uh, Again, if you haven’t seen Friday the 13th, which I can’t imagine you’ve seen it, but you know, it’s, it’s the same thing in the original.

The mom is seeking revenge for the counselors, letting her child die in, in the sequel and all the sequels. Really. It’s kind of Jason returning to avenge his mother in a sense, and they are kind of tragic figure. So in that way, it’s kind of sad. In the fact that it’s an eighties horror movie, I’m not going to lose any sleep.

Todd: He didn’t touch your heart like a touch. Well, things I really liked about this movie. I love the bit of business at the beginning that we had mentioned between Carney and his, his wife in a wheelchair. I couldn’t tell her so 

Craig: I can tell if, if it was his wife or if it was just. Somebody that he works with, who they share an affectionate relationship, she’s in a wheelchair and they kind of dance together for a little bit.

It’s a sweet moment. And then he asks, are you sure you’re not going to come with us? And he leans down and I thought that he was going to give her a kiss, but he didn’t. And that’s kind of what made me think. Well, maybe they’re just tight. You know, maybe they’re just good friends, but it was a nice you’re right.

It was a nice little scene. 

Todd: It was unnecessary, but it was a nice touch. And to have her in a wheelchair, it’s just not something that you see that often in these films doing, especially in that era. Right. 

Craig: And who knows maybe the actress was in a wheelchair. Maybe it was a character choice. I don’t know.

But the interaction between the two of them was sweet and it kind of established his character as kind of this genteel fatherly on, uh, grandfatherly, even, 

Todd: maybe. And that’s another thing I really like. I like this sort of folksiness that happened, you know, there’s a lot of business early on between him and the conduct.

Well, he’s the conductor, I guess Kim and the engine operator and the coal shovelers. Their faces are dirty. Like cool would be, I guess it’s kind of funny, but there’s a lot of folksy dialogue between them where for a while, it almost seems to be like, they’re apologizing for the fact that this movie features a train.

Almost seems like the writer is thinking. Who the hell writes trains anymore. Right. And they’ve got, it was sort of explain it. 

Craig: Nope. Pull down the grade. She’s really beautiful that old engine, they don’t make them like that anymore. Thank God for a little favors. 

Todd: You’re going to see a train on the 

Craig: cover of time 

Todd: magazine.

Craig: One of these days, I’m going to be in that cab and a picture I’ll be up in the Concord and you’ll be on welfare. You’re digging your own grave, but that shallow career-wise, what’s the price of gas right now. Pretty soon. The only way we’ll get that bear can some places you load on a flat car. Yes. Will be driving the train.

You can cook, you can take a shower, you can watch TV and buy a gun, kick your bang, a left. If you feel like it,

Todd: to the point where Southern twang starts to kind of come out in their voices and they’re dropping the GS at the end of their words. The most odd and charming and strange bits of business for them to be talking about the train so much. There was an interesting moment too, between Moe and doc. That was so weird.

You know, what exactly what you’re talking about, right? It was so weird. Moe’s complaining about his girlfriend. Who’s Jamie Lee, Curtis, Jamie Lee Curtis. She kind of goes out. I don’t remember what happened, but he gives them this really nice, sincere look in his eye and says, she’ll get over it. 

Craig: You know, dark.

I’m not so sure this time. Well, if she does, she always 

Todd: got me, you know 

Craig: what

Todd: I mean? Right. And 

Craig: it’s, it’s totally like, I keep expecting it to be the ha punch you in the shoulder kind of thing. They just that’s. They just leave it at that, like, It was weird. 

Todd: It 

Craig: was very good. You know, I guess they’re a really tight group of 

Todd: friends and you kind of mentioned it earlier, but it seems like all the men on this planet on this train or in this fraternity are just creepy predators.

Yeah. You know, they’re all 

Craig: well, and the girls are all kind of total slots. Yeah. Except for Jamie Lee Curtis. Right. Which, and maybe, uh, vanity the black girl, she was kind of nice. The rest of them were just, well, she’s the one who didn’t have 

Todd: on your wish that moment. It was great. I don’t know what, what was your final impression of this film?

But I 

Craig: think that it is a perfectly fine slasher movie. And I think that if you like eighties slashers, you’ll like this movie, if you like the original, uh, Friday the 13th, if you like Halloween, it’s, it’s fairly typical. It has some unique twists that you don’t see in all of them. I’m a little bit surprised that I hadn’t seen it before and that I don’t see, you mentioned more often.


Todd: it’s not that well and the big names in it. Yeah. Honestly, it’s a, I think it’s a cut above. It’s not a cut above Halloween by any means. I don’t think it’s as good as Halloween, but it’s the fog and prom night. Absolutely. Yeah. It’s way better than either of those. I thought I enjoyed it. Well, happy new year, everybody happy new year.

Craig: Oh yeah, it said at new year’s 

Todd: I see new year, we worked at it. We hope that you’ve enjoyed the podcast. This year. We have many more episodes planned for 2016. Please. If you enjoyed this, share it with a friend, check us out on Facebook and on our website. It also we’re on iTunes. Now we got iTunes and Stitcher out there.

If you want to download the stuff, your device and listen to our sweet, sweet voices in your ear, you can do that. We will see you next year. And until then I’m Todd and I’m Craig with Two Guys and a Chainsaw.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *