Advertised as “Hostel on a Train,” Train is pretty much Hostel on a train. Truth in advertising, I guess. That said, Train is a bit better than Hostel as it actually attempts to have some sense in the plot rather than just shitty people do shitty things.
The film follows a wrestling team that gets stuck on the worst train possible after a drug filled party causes them to miss the no-murder-express en route to their next wrestling match. The rag tag crew includes a coach, a crazy assistant coach, the superstar, the supporting cast, and Thora Birch as a wrestler. Yeah, I know.
A couple hundred people board this train, but nine of them get off at the wrong stop – the dead stop. I can’t believe I just typed that, but I’m keeping it.
Plenty to go round here, lots of corpses, needles, blood, etc. There is a cut out tongue, a gross nail through the foot gag, a pole to the chest, a severed spine, a removed eye, a beating, and a hook through the jaw. Someone also gets peed on, ribs are cracked open, nipple rings are torn out, a throat is slit, there are some smashings, burnings, a fall, an axe wound, and of course a train kill. There’s also an implied gang rape.
We do see some tits, there is a darkly lit sex scene, and a spare pair of boobs later on. Thora Birch is very not attractive.
Be polite to foreigners or they’ll send you on the death train.
The film wants to shock you, obviously. In doing so, they get a few things factually wrong and medically messed up. I’m going to spoil something for you that is actually pretty obvious once you start watching the movie, or if you’ve seen a similar one: the train is a front for harvesting organs to sell to the rich. First up, a body is skinned – a cool scene, except there is a proper way to skin someone to preserve the skin and this is not it. Later, a tongue is cut out to stop someone from screaming – the only problem is that the tongue has little to do with how much noise you can make, so it won’t shut anyone up.
More than 95% of the train is a dirty, dingy, disgusting mess. The bodies are stored in what looks like a sewer, yet they’re there for medical procedures. Sure, there is one clean, white medical room. But the assistant is a dirty lumbering oaf who never washes his hands and drags bodies around with an old meat hook. This business would go under in mere months when all the clients dropped dead of massive infections.
There are a couple of retarded, monkey like brothers, one fat, the other less so, that are far worse than Skidz and Mudflap of Transformers 2 fame. They’re pretty much literally mentally handicapped, yet we’re supposed to be afraid of their bullying methods. I didn’t like them, they seemed out of place. Late in the film, a lumbering ox of a man, strong enough to physically push the train car relatively easily out of the way, punches a 115lb girl in the face about a dozen times, yet at no point does the woman lose consciousness or die of what should be a massive brain hemorrhage. Another minor annoyance, early in the film our heroine is taught about a double leg take-down and, sure enough, it comes into play later. A double leg take-down is wrestling 101 and she should have already known that move and, further, it is not some magic attack.
After ranting about all of these details, overall the film is effective and tense with great gore effects. There are moments like above that momentarily take you out of the situation, and not all the little details line up for an effective business model, but it’s a ride worth taking. A decent rental if you’re in the market for a torture film that makes all the same mistakes of the genre, but adds one – casting an ugly lead. Needs more hotness. Blah blah blah, not a bad film, but nothing that will rock your socks.