Tuesday 31 December 2019

Happy Horror-day! Terror Train (1980)

Here we are, rapidly approaching the end of the year and the end of the challenge with our final movie, Terror Train from 1980. Three years after traumatizing a fellow student with a prank involving a corpse a college fraternity organise a New Year's Eve costume party aboard a train and as people start to go missing they wonder could their class prank victim be back for revenge aboard the Terror Train? Yes, it’s another movie about a group of students doomed to die, yes it was filmed in Canada and yes it’s based around a holiday- loosely... I say loosely because although it informs us that it is New Year’s Eve as a basis for the victims to be together, Terror Train could have taken place any time of the year as it doesn’t fixate on the countdown to twelve o’clock as New Year’s Evil did. But this is not a criticism mind, as the film directed by Roger Spottiswoode (in his directorial debut) is rather good and serves as a slasher with a dash of ‘who done it’ and ‘how did he do that?’ using the claustrophobic and restricted space of a moving train very effectively. Executive producer and friend of Halloween's John Carpenter and Debra Hill, Daniel Grodnik’s idea to make "Halloween on a train" stars Jamie Lee Curtis as Alana Maxwell, staring alongside Hart Bochner along with Sandee Currie, Anthony Sherwood, David Copperfield and Ben Johnson as Carne, the train conductor. An independently produced film, Terror Train made a return of $8 million on an estimated budget of $5 million during its theatrical run, and is worth checking out. 
The more of these movies you watch the more patterns that start to emerge but anyone else notice how this film, which takes place on New Year’s Eve, released in 1980 features a killer dressed as Groucho Marx while New Year’s Evil also from 1980 which also takes place on New Year’s Eve features a killer dressed as Stan Laurel?

There we go, the Happy Horror Day challenge is over, 17 movies over a 12 month period with one reoccurring theme the ‘holidays’ admitably one’s Birthday isn’t a holiday but “meh” I wouldn’t usually celebrate Memorial Day, Independence Day or Thanksgiving either... Come to think about it, nobody really ‘celebrates’ April Fool’s Day or Friday the 13th  (twice!) either... But anyway it allowed me to opportunity to enjoy (in some cases) this sub-genre of horror movies. Thank you for following my challenge, I hope it inspired you to do the same in 2020. Either way, I enclose a list of the movies that featured in the Happy Horror-day challenge and wish you a very Happy New Year!

Father's Day (2011)

Uncle Sam (1996)

Halloween (1978)

Terror Train (1980)

© Arfon Jones 2019. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

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