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The Midnight Meat Train (2008)

  Tags: Barbara Eve Harris, based on short story, blood, Bradley Cooper, Brooke Shields, Clive Barker, gore, Leslie Bibb, Midnight Meat Train, Peter Jacobson, Roger Bart, Ryuhei Kitamura, The Midnight Meat Train, Tony Curran, Vinnie Jones

Your rating: None Average: 6.3 (4 votes)
Reviewer Rating: 
7

midnightmeattrain.jpg
Rating #: 
7/10
Director: 
Ryuhei Kitamura
Runtime: 
100 minutes
Cast: 
Bradley Cooper, Brooke Shields, Vinnie Jones, Leslie Bibb, Roger Bart, Peter Jacobson, Barbara Eve Harris, Tony Curran


There have been a lot of instances where studios would give a film little promotion and essentially dump it in a limited theatrical and straight-to-DVD release, however, there hasn't been a release that I've heard of that has been as insulting as the one given to Midnight Meat Train. The release date was moved around a number of times throughout the year and eventually settled on an August theatrical debut, but like a slap in the face, Lionsgate decided to only let it run to limited dollar theaters. FEARnet eventually grabbed the rights and premiered the film in the beginning of October via their on demand service, with plans to give it a web premiere this Halloween.

FX vet Patrick Tatopoulos was originally going to make his directorial debut with this feature, but had to drop out due to his busy schedule and Japanese director Ryuhei Kitamura took over, making this his first break into American cinema. His involvement surprised me since I've been a fan of his work since I saw Versus all those years ago. The man knows his way around a small budget and makes the best out of key scenes, especially if the particular scene requires gore. Midnight Meat Train is no different, as the man delivers some really memorable gory sequences, giving this movie an edge above other recent genre entries.

Based on a short story by horror maestro Clive Barker, the film follows an amateur photographer, who goes around the city taking various snapshots of people, hoping one day for his big break. He eventually meets up with a successful art gallery owner (Brooke Shields), who tells him his work is too plain and not quite good enough for her gallery. This leads the man to become more daring and starts roaming the city at night. He eventually meets a strange, well-dressed and quiet man (Vinnie Jones) who carries a case and seems to always be around when people turn up missing in the subway. It doesn't take long before he realizes the man murders passengers during the slow, empty-hours of the night.

I liked this movie. Sure, the story isn't the smartest, but I wasn't bored and found Mahogany (Vinnie Jones) a very intriguing character, especially at how he never said a word nor expressed any sort of emotion when murdering his victims. The strongest aspect of the movie lies within its great creative gory scenes. Although some of the CGI effects ruin it at times, the fact that a lot of these deaths are so graphic and shown in slow-motion that you kind of look passed that. I've never read the original story, so I can't say much of what has changed as it made its transition onto film, but I know the story goes more in depth towards certain events that were in the film, especially towards the end.

Speaking of the end, that's probably another weak aspect of the film. The climax and explanation of everything up to that point was a little out there and half-assed. I guess I should have expected a strange ending like that given that it's from Clive Barker, but it just seemed to come out of nowhere. Regardless, I had fun watching the movie and really liked the graphic death scenes it delivered.

Although the story was a little weak, the movie more than made up for it by many of the memorable and gory death scenes. The film kept my interest and I was intrigued by the cool and collected villain played by Vinnie Jones. If you're looking for a deep story, skip this, but if you just want a nice no-brainer bloody horror flick then give this a check.

Posted on April 13, 2011 - 1:53am | FrighT MasteR

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