Horror Express (1972)
In 1906, in China, Professor Alexander Saxton discovers an ancient frozen fossil in the remote Province of Szechuan. He brings the remains of the being in a box to Shanghai and boards a trans-Siberian train, where he meets his acquaintance Dr. Wells. During the trip, a life force trapped in the frozen creature is released, killing and stealing the memories of the passengers.
Horror Express can be looked at as one of those “kitchen sink” horror films. In the span of a 90-minute movie, we have: an Edwardian setting, a speeding train, a neolithic monster, a creature from beyond this world, zombies, blood, gore, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, a pretty countess, a Rasputin-like mad monk, an incredibly eerie musical score, and Telly Savalas. I’ll give you a second to let that all sink in. Ready to continue? Good. Despite the combination of eclectic plot points, the film succeeds in making everything work. Never do any of the sub-plots or characters feel superfluous – they all add greatly to the overall story. In fact, Horror Express’ greatest asset is its very original script, written by Arnaud d’Usseau and Julian Halevy. While the film begins in the usual monster-on-the-loose vein, by the mid-way point, an interesting twist has been introduced and the whole film is truly turned on its head. – The Consulting Detective
Director: Eugenio Martín
Starring: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Telly Savalas