Source: My Own Collection
Horror Express is one of those movies that the more times I watch it the more I enjoy it and develop a deeper appreciate for it. Its an all around terrifying movie that has held up to today`s standards very well. Its a well written and directed movie that shares many themes similar to that of the short story "Who Goes There?" by John W.Campbell. Yes the same short story John Carpenters "The Thing" is based off.
Horror Express`s story is like I said a "Who Goes There?" inspired story, but laden with British Gothic overtones. Essentially what this movies about is a anthropologist played by Christopher Lee who has found what he believes to be the missing link frozen in the Siberian wasteland, so he gets it and boards a Trans-Siberian train and heads back to London to display his finding. Unfortunately though thanks to Peter Cushing`s character the thing escapes on board the train were it begins to wreck havoc and kill passengers in this really weird and disturbing way. Now i`m not going to go into detail over how this Alien kills the people because that's something you just really have to see for yourself, basically the Alien kills its victims similar to how the alien in The Thing kills its victims were it doesn't have a true form and instead kills someone or something and takes control of its body. A cool factor added into this is it takes place on mostly on a a train, on a Trans-Siberian trip, in the middle of a snowstorm. Oh yeah couldn't get more screwed than that.
As for the for the very well assembled cast you have another classic Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing team up. Starting with Christopher Lee to me he was the star of this movie, he has the most dynamic character and performance. To me he stood out the most. Peter Cushing on the other hand even though a notch lower then Lee never the less puts on a great performance. Especially considering the fact that this was his first movie since the death of his beloved wife Helen. He almost didn't even do it because he felt it was to soon after her death, but thanks to some friendly persuasion on the part of his good friend Christopher Lee he agreed to star in it. If your a fan of The Dirty Dozen or Cape Fear your probably going to be thrilled to see Telly Savalas in this movie as a oppressive down right mean Russian captain who`s put in charge of killing the creature on board the train. His screen time is relatively short compared to Cushing and Lee but he nonetheless uses to make a very impacting and amusing performance.
To me 1974`s Horror Express is a absolute classic horror movie. Its phenomenally directed, acted,written, and not to mention a eerie and very original soundtrack that fitted perfect with the movie. I wonder if its available on CD? Anyways i`m aware that this movie has recently gotten a Blu Ray release with a kick ass Hi-Def transfer and tons of extras. Which is something i`d love to get my hands on, because currently the copy I own is cheap DVD that came with my Legends Of Horror 50 pack, so the sound especially is not top notch and the picture quality was a bit scratchy. Oh well, anyways Horror Express is a down right awesome horror movie I feel I can just about recommend to any Horror movie fan.