Horror Express (1972)
Written by: DMG
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Eugenio Martín
Producer: Bernard Gordon
Screenplay: Arnaud d’Usseau, Julian Zimet
Date Released: September 30, 1972
Christopher Lee as Professor Sir Alexander Saxton
Peter Cushing as Dr. Wells
Alberto de Mendoza as Father Pujardov
Silvia Tortosa as Countess Irina Petrovski
Julio Peña as Inspector Mirov
Telly Savalas as Captain Kazan
Rating = 2.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Professor Saxton has recently found what he believes to be an specimen that is hundreds of years old in the Heart of China. While transporting the specimen in a chained wooden box, the specimen breaks free from the crate. Soon, the ape-like creature starts to terrorize the passengers one by one in this terrifying tail of the Horror Express.
When the ape-like specimen breaks free, he can kill people and make them blind through the use of his devilish eyes. These scenes are grotesque and eerie in their own right. These types of scenes happen frequently throughout the film. However, other than these scenes, there are no other scenes which incorporate blood or gore.
The Grave Review
Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing star in a horror film that takes place over the course of one evening on a train. Anyone who is familiar with these actors know that Lee and Cushing are both staples within the horror genre. This is not the first time both actors had stared in a movie together. Of all the Lee/Cushing films, they seemed to have the least chemistry in this film. With that said, the film does have some positive aspects.
From a conceptual standpoint, Horror Express does offer a nice storyline ( i.e. a prehistoric specimen comes alive and terrorizes the train). The main antagonist is able to absorb people’s brains and make use of the information obtained from that person. This specimen even has the ability to control the people who he killed similar to that of a necromancer. The creature itself is not very frightening but the red glowing eyes that the creature emanates has a nice classic horror feel. However, the film does not offer much in the way of intrigue or mystery.
In addition, Telly Savalas, who also played a role in the film, The Dirty Dozen, does make an appearance in Horror Express as the main Officer in charge. As excellent an actor as he is, he did not command a big role in this film nor made an impact which would make up for the film as a whole.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Horror Express (1972) two and a half graves out of five graves.
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