Unlike Prom Night, which I eviscerated a couple of weeks ago out of nothin’ but meanness, I actually have a few nice things to say about Terror Train: it was shot by the legendary John Alcott (cinematographer of such smallish movies as A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon and The Shining); it co-stars Hart Bochner ("Ellis, what have you told them?"); and it’s the feature debut of D.D. Williams, who would later front the Vanity 6. It also tries to be more of an Agatha Christie-style whodunit than a slasher flick, and, while it fails miserably, you have to appreciate the effort.
So I’m fine with the idea of Doug Liman’s former assistant, Gideon Raff, boarding the ol’ Terror Train as a for-hire gig on his way toward becoming the most important filmmaker of his generation. Though I’m not familiar with his work, I just have a feeling about this guy. I think he’s got all the right moves. I think he can take us to state.
Raff has an unreleased film in the can called The Killing Floor (big blues fan, eh?), and while it sounds like a rip-off of Lost Highway and Cache (literary agent receives series of photographs depicting awful acts in his new apartment), I’m sure it puts Lynch and Haneke to shame. Raff’s take on Terror Train calls for a bunch of American college athletes – no sport has been specified yet, but I guarantee you they’ll be swimmers, and when I’m wrong you can so suck my dick – to board a "dangerous train" in Europe, which makes it sound like Konchalovsky’s Runaway Train crossed with Hostel. If it’s a ghost train that attacks its passengers ala Death Ship (or the Dark Castle-produced Ghost Ship), then Raff might be on to something.
Nu Image is producing. They did The Black Dahlia. They also did Mansquito. I shall not judge.