Monday, January 2, 2017

When A Killer Crashes Your New Year’s Eve Party, or Thoughts on Terror Train

1980 was the year Jamie Lee Curtis happily typecast herself as the essential the 80’s teen scream queen with the release of John Carpenter’s The Fog (1980), Prom Night (1980) and Terror Train (1980), where a killer in a Groucho mask keeps knocking everybody off one by one like an updated Agatha Christie novel.  It’s a New Year’s Eve costume party on a train (because college kids in the 80’s knew how to party I guess) and the killer keeps switching costumes to keep the audience and the partygoers guessing.
Jamie Lee Curtis, wearing a non-ironic pirate shirt, stars as Alana, one of a group of med students (which means they have access to body parts) who participated in a cruel hazing prank that went absurdly wrong, as these things often do.  Besides Jamie, Terror Train is a showcase for a very young David Copperfield, also in his first movie and billed as “The Magician”.  He has a lot of lines, does some close up magic with Jamie Lee Curtis and most of his actual act is scattered throughout the film.
Director Roger Spottiswoode would go on to make Tomorrow Never Dies (1997, the one with Madonna) and employed a lot of Hitchcock tricks including screams drowned out by train whistles and vanishing corpses.  Additionally, Terror Train may have come out in 1980 but the wardrobe, hairstyles and music are classic 70’s disco, so if you’re a fan of that decade (and psycho killers on a train), you’re in for a treat.





my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).