17 October 2012

October 17th

Night Train Murders (1975) directed by Aldo Lado
The literal translation of the Italian title of the film gives you a better clue as to what it is: The Last Train of the Night.  Yes, it's a Last House on the Left rip-off, Italian-style.  Which basically means a slower pace and more misogyny.  The pacing, I don't mind.  The film takes its time to get to know the characters -- something modern films are often not allowed to do -- and we're also treated to some beautiful scenery as the train moves through the Alps.  The violence actually doesn't even start until the movie is halfway over with.

As for the misogyny: all of the women in the film are frustratingly weak, with the exception of the evil woman on the train.  Even the mother of one of the murdered girls, whose equivalent character in Last House helped kill the killers in gruesome ways, is reduced to a pile of tears and moans for the entire end of the film.  And then there's Laura, the teenage girl who is killed with a switchblade to the vagina as the rapists try to cut away her hymen.  Yeah.  I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess Lado has issues with women.

The best I could say about the movie is that does a sort of Pasolini-esque take on the Craven film.  Instead of just a group of lowlifes torturing nice girls, this film has them egged on by a perverted upper-class-looking woman.  When the father extracts his violent revenge, only the two lowlifes are killed.  The woman convinces the father of her innocence and escapes his wrath.  So, as in Salo, the upper class are allowed to get away with the rape and murder of teenagers.  Wee: look folks, this is what those evil bourgeoisie will do to your kids if we don't rise up collectively!

Most annoying bit: Margaret gives up on pulling the emergency break on the train after one try, even though it's literally only 4 inches above her head at points.  Frustrating.

Watched: DVD from Blue Underground.

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