For Reel

Horror Express (1972)
October 29, 2016, 12:11 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Eugenio Martin
3 Stars
horror-expressThis international production brought the team of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing together with director Eugenio Martin, known mainly for his giallo pictures. Shot in Madrid, Horror Express flirts with the science fiction and creature feature genres in telling the story of a prehistoric frozen corpse that thaws aboard the Transsiberian Express and begins killing the passengers. A turn halfway through the picture turns it more into material familiar of Howard Hawks’ The Thing from Another World, similarly characterized by a cramped setting and an increasing paranoia among the small cast. If Lee and Cushing give the film the feel of a typical Hammer production, the film’s greatest pleasures involve its dalliances with a tone more akin to a spaghetti western or giallo—the epic score, the scenery-chewing Terry Savalas, and a sometimes light-hearted, playful tone (in a few scenes, the monster is treated more with awe than horror, particularly one in which it is revealed that its eyeball fluid holds images of a brontosaurus). Lee and Cushing made great screen adversaries, but here play as an effective investigative pairing in the Holmes/Watson variety.

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