The horror movie vault: Horror express (1972)

Another Christopher Lee movie, who would have thought? Perhaps it’s for a reason?

Horror express was produced by Bernard Gordon and Gregorio Sacristan, directed by Eugenio Martín, that stars Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Alberto de Mendoza, Silvia Tortosa, and Telly Savalas.

The plot revolves inside a moving train in the year 1906 where an anthropologist called Alexander Saxton (Christopher Lee) boards the train with his new discovery, a frozen ancient creature found in the frozen wastes of Manchuria which he believes may be the missing link in human evolution. There, he meets an acquaintance of his, Dr. Wells, who becomes greatly intrigued by the crate which Saxton is carrying, which Saxton desperately tries to keep secret from everyone else. A crate which is shrouded in mystery. Even before it reaches the train, a death occurs around it. The deceased, was found with pure blank white eyes and blood coming down from them. Once aboard, Wells attempts to peek inside it, and once a few screws get unloosed, the monster gets unleashed.

This movie was definitely a sleeper. I never really hear anyone talk about it, and reading up on it I noticed that when it came out, the reviews on it were pretty mixed. However, I really liked it. Of course if a movie has an amazing cast like this it will almost always be good but the concept of this film felt really effective to me. Being trapped on a train with a monster whose concept resembles the one from “The thing” mixed with “Murder on the Orient Express”. Claustrophobia, paranoia and terror all wrapped up in one which makes for a really engaging plot. That combined with a great main and supporting cast make for a must watch movie for any horror fan. The monster itself as well was very fascinating and probably one of my favorite ones, which I won’t really go too much into since it is in heavy spoiler territory.

One of the best parts of the movie were definitely the supporting cast. I really loved the priest who somewhat looked like Rasputin, captain Kazan and the countess. And I can’t forget this scene, probably the best scene in the film.

It baffles me to see that this movie had so many mixed reviews and it’s not so well-known. I watched quite a few Lee movies from the “classic” era and this one was definitely the most well made one in terms of plot and execution. Yes it was not as extravagant as movies shot in mansions but it is a train after all. And that only amplifies the horror of the film. It’s definitely the best film I’ve seen in a while. It was honestly a better take on the “The thing” and I know a lot of people will disagree with me on that but I found it much more effective. But watch it for yourself and let me know if you liked it below.

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