The Curator of Schlock #384 by Jeff Shuster

Night Train Murders

Yes, revenge is a good thing. 

I was getting manhandled by a gang of hooligans in the husk of a building that was once The Museum of Schlock. Their leader was a punk with a mohawk who claimed to be the new curator of this establishment. One of the hooligans asked this usurper what was to be done with me.

“Rub him out,” the curator said. Something blunt hit the back of my head and all went dark. — To be continued.

This week’s movie is 1975’s Night Train Murders from director Aido Lado. The movie went by other titles such as Last Stop on the Night Train, Don’t Ride on Late Night Trains, and The New House on the Left. That last title is significant as it is similar to a well-known American horror exploitation movie from director Wes Craven called The Last House on the Left, a movie so notorious that an audience member once demanded that the projectionist shut off the movie. This movie made its way overseas where it must have made a huge impression on several Italian producers.

The Night Train Murders begins with two malcontents named Blackie (Flavio Bucci) and Curly (Gianfranco De Grassi) running amok in Munich, slashing a woman’s fur coat and mugging a man dressed as Santa Clause in full view of everyone. Meanwhile, two teenage girls named Margaret (Irene Miracle) and Lisa (Laura D’Angelo) are busy trying to catch a train from Germany to Italy to stay with family over the Christmas holidays.

The train is very crowded with some passengers having to stand during the journey with some passengers complaining that they paid for a seat and can’t sit down. Maybe that’s because there are some extra passengers, stowaways named Blackie and Curley.

The two malcontents bum cigarettes off the girls and get their help in evading the ticket man as he checks each passengers tickets and passports, A mysterious blonde woman (Macha Méril) has an encounter with Blackie in the train’s bathroom and they do things in that bathroom that I can’t discuss on a family blog. Oh, and Curley is a drug addict, shooting up heroin and getting into fights with the train attendants. The train is held over in Austria as the authorities investigate a bomb threat. Margaret and Lisa leave the train for another one that will take them directly to Italy. They get a train compartment all to themselves, but their peace and quiet is eventually interrupted by the sound of Curley’s harmonica.

The blonde woman and two malcontents force their way into the compartment and bad things happen to the two girls resulting in Lisa’s death. Margaret tries to escape from the train, but dies on impact when she hits the ground outside. Blackie, Curly, and the blonde get rid of Lisa’s body and any other evidence the girls were on the train. If you think that’s the end of the movie, you’d be wrong.

Let’s just say there’s going to be a run in with Lisa’s parents and some sweet revenge is coming. I was watching an interview on the Blu-ray where one of the screenwriters remarked that he drove members of the audience for this picture to drink. I’ve got three more of these movies to get through this month. Hopefully, Jim Beam won’t be my best friend by the end of it.

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeff Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131episode 284episode 441episode 442episode 443, episode 444episode 450, episode 477, episode 491, episode 492, episode 493, episode 495, and episode 496) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.