Monday, November 17, 2008

Midnight Meat Train

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I can't tell you how much joy the trailer for this movie brought way back... what, last year?... when I saw it. It looked like the closest we've come to an American Argento movie (although it turns out the director is Japanese) plus it had the most amazingly awful name ever. (I don't know if this is confirmed or not, but I read somewhere that the filmmakers wanted to change the name but Clive Barker insisted that they didn't. I guess he thinks it's scary to name a piece of fiction something that sounds like a frat boy euphemism for a cock). Although logically I knew it would probably disappoint, it seemed like it had the potential for entertaing style and violence meets profound silliness that could make it the new Demons.

And it actually fell somewhere in between my two expectations. It's not great, but it's fun and worthwhile for people who like this kind of weird crap. It slows down a bit too much in places, but there are enough oddball details to keep it going. It's about a photographer who becomes convinced that there is a serial killer roaming the subway at night. Only no bodies ever turn up, so no one believes him. The serial killer is some kind of butcher, and he kills people with some weird giant metal mallet and hangs them upsidedown like a piece of meat. Only early on we realize that something else weird is up, because in one scene the butcher is trying to kill some guy, but the guy fights him off, so the train conductor comes out of the front and finishes the guy off. Then he chastizes the butcher for not doing a better job.

So that's some pretty memorable weirdness, but that doesn't even come close to the amazingness of the end of the movie. I wasn't going to spoil it, but then I remembered that no one is going to see this movie because it was barely released in theaters and it's not out on video yet and they've only premiered it on Comcast In Demand. So here we go: the hero and his girlfriend chase the killer to some weird subterrean cavern in the subway that's filled with corpses. The hero manages to kill the butcher, but then the conductor comes out and cuts the hero's tongue out and murders the girlfriend. It turns out that the conductor works for some race of monsters who live under the subway and (I guess) are powerful gods or something like that. They feed on people, so they employ a butcher to go around the subway killing people for their dinner, and the hero was actually being groomed the whole time as the new butcher. So at the end the hero walks around the subway with a big mallet looking to kill people.

Now, this doesn't completely come out of left field, but that is some crazy ass shit, especially considering that it starts off like a routine slasher movie. That alone was worth the price of admission (which was free, actually).

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