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Terror Train

3.9 out of 5 stars 129 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A slasher boards a conductor's train for a fraternity costume party featuring a magic act.

Special Features

  • Includes widescreen anamorphic and full-screen versions

Product Details

  • Actors: Ben Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Hart Bochner, David Copperfield, Derek McKinnon
  • Directors: Roger Spottiswoode
  • Writers: Daniel Grodnik, T.Y. Drake
  • Producers: Daniel Grodnik, Don Carmody, Harold Greenberg, Lamar Card
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: September 7, 2004
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002IQLH6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,628 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Terror Train" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Nyland on November 3, 2002
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Lets just start off with a blanket statement that is unequivocal; I typically DESPISE "slasher" films. Oh, I worship every frame of Halloween (1978, which is classic cinema period) and had fun seeing Friday the 13th (1980) for the first time and going BOO! But I don't go to see "dead teenager" movies, don't rent them, and don't care. I didn't even like Red Dragon with Ralph Fiennes as a very worthy screen monster; I don't want to get to know mad killers, I want to see them smacked over the head with a coal shovel and done away with.

I first saw Terror Train quite by chance -- sleepover party at a friends in 1981 at the age of 14 where a bottle got passed around. Everyone else zonked out; I snuck upstairs to watch HBO on his parent's big screen TV set, and what did they happen to show, but Terror Train.

I had never seen a movie like it before. We had whispered to each other in the hallways of our middle school about Jason Vorhees and his mad mother, but I had never seen a film where some maniac runs around with an ax chasing comely college girls before. It was something new and sensational, and as usual my memory of the film proved to be more lurid than what actually turned up in my mailbox after buying the now out of print film from an Amazon.com reseller.

Terror Train follows the proven formula of building up a descent into madness and violence: A young fraternity pledge is subjected to a horrifying initiation stunt and goes bonkers. Cut to three years later and his now graduating pre-med classmates are staging an elaborate New Year's Eve costume party on a chartered excursion train, The completely psychotic former pledge gets on board via an elaborate ruse to murder his way through the principal cast members who set him up.
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Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween, Halloween 2, The Fog) plays a college gal who is tricked into playing a sick joke (involving a cadaver) on a freshman frat pledge. Three years later, all is forgotten, as the fraternity brothers and their girlfriends hop aboard a rented steam train for a big New Year's Eve costume bash. Little do they know, someone has killed one of their pals and taken his place! So, one by one, he fools his victims into getting close enough to kill. Then, he puts on their costume and assumes their identity (It's a neat trick, and is similar in effect to the scene in Halloween where P.J. Soles mistakes Michael for her boyfriend)! Jamie Lee is convincing enough to make up for some of the shabby acting around her. Ben Johnson (Sugarland Express) is solid as the concerned conductor. David Copperfield is only mildly annoying as the magician (what else?). TERROR TRAIN chugs along at an enjoyable pace, never stopping long enough to become tedious. I recommend it to all Jamie Lee Curtis fanatics out there (like me). Well worth owning...
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I'll always be a Jamie Lee Curtis fan. She's the Scream Queen of Horror and no actress has yet to take the crown away from her. This movie shows how amazing she is. Loved it! Very classic horror story. Very great movie overall.
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Good horror movie! I like this movie very much. Jamie Lee Curtis is a terrific actress and I pretty much like all the horror movies she's starred in, especially, The Fog. I would recommend this movie to anyone I know who like horror movies.
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By Tala on September 3, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I really loved this movie about the guy who went crazy because of a pratical joke and got his revenge by killing all the people who were involved, and the very beautiful vanity played in it before she started her singing career.
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BACK IN THE 80'S, HORROR MOVIES WERE MADE ON EVERY SUBJECT YOU COULD THINK OF. SOME SEEM LAME NOW, BUT THEY WERE GREAT AT THE TIME, AS THIS ONE STILL IS. A YOUNG JAMIE LEE CURTIS AND DAVID COPPERFIELD MAKE THIS A GREAT GEM. RECOMMEND TO ALL 80'S HARD CORE FANS.
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As with most slasher flicks, the formula is closely adhered to: trap some kids on a moving train then start picking them off one by one. The body count was not impressive but there was some method to the madness of the killer (dispose of everyone who humiliated him three years prior). As far as practical jokes go, convincing someone that they are about to bed a girl of marginal beauty, only to find themselves with a medical corpse instead, goes well beyond rudimentary spite. I’m almost certain carting around cadavers is some type of crime, if not a health code violation! At any rate, it unduly disturbed the victim to the point that death seemed equitable. For good measure, he also took down some innocent bystanders who got in his way. Jamie Lee Curtis plays Alana, the bait who lured poor Kenny (Derek MacKinnon) to his humiliation. Without her complicity, the joke wouldn’t have worked, which makes her as monstrous as the dope (Hart Bochner as Doc) who cooked up the gag.

Not as good as some slasher flicks but better than most, Terror Train has its moments, making this a good addition to any collection. If I had to pick one sour note, it would be David Copperfield playing a magician, doing stupefying banal tricks.........three times too many.
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Format: DVD
For a full description of the plot, etc., read other reviews. Just some quick thoughts on this '80s slasher movie...

Terror Train (1980) stars Jamie Lee Curtis. This movie is a slasher movie that takes place on a moving train, so there is a claustrophobic feel to it. Passengers are dressed in costumes for a New Year's Eve costume party, then all hell breaks loose when a killer is stalking around. That's all I want to say. Watch to see how everything unfolds. This movie also stars a young David Copperfield, who performs magic tricks to entertain the passengers on the train. This movie is very predictable, but is also suspenseful. There are many scenes that remind me of scenes from previous slasher movies, such as Halloween (1978), particularly when Jamie Lee Curtis is being followed around by the madman. The movie has pretty good atmosphere, especially the outdoor scenes showing the train riding down the tracks many times throughout the movie. Overall, a pretty good slasher from the early 1980s that I recommend seeing at least once.

I give this movie 3 1/2 stars, rounded up to 4.
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