Sunday, August 10, 2008

Midnight Meat Train (2008)

By now most Horror fans know that Lions Gate Films opted to release this curious hybrid of psychological thrills, vague mythology, and slasher horror into discount theaters nationwide with little to no advertising, instead of giving it a proper opening. The result? $32,000 on 102 screens in it's opening weekend. Some have speculated that if you were to account for the low ticket cost and adjust it to the nationwide average, the total would be closer to $320,000 on 102, which of course would make the per screen average $3000. That's a lot of wishful thinking, but who is to say they're wrong? We will never know.

All that stuff aside, I ventured out to the Round Rock 8 Discount to see the “Meat Train” and I can't say that I was disappointed. The movie tells the story of one starving artist's descent into paranoia and madness as he turns his photographic lens on a series of brutal murders in hopes of gathering enough evidence to put the killer away. The killer, named Mahogany (played by soccer hooligan-turned-actor Vinnie Jones), kills people with a mallet on the subway, chops them up and disposes of their bodies. I really like Vinnie Jones a lot, even though he hardly has one line in the entire movie, I still thought he was really good. After I finished watching the movie, I wondered to myself whether or not Vinnie would ever be given the opportunity to spread his acting wings a little. I don't want him to do a romantic comedy or anything, but I would like to see him in a drama where he doesn't play a maniacal murder or hitman.

At any rate, “Midnight Meat Train” is not a great movie, but it's not a bad movie either, it's just fairly solid. It is based on a short story by Clive Barker, written for the screen by Jeff Buhler, and directed by Ryuhei Kitamura, of “Versus” fame. It's got a nice non-overbearing style, a couple clever camera angles and some fun slow-motion kills. there's also plenty of gore to satisfy the average idiot teenager thirst. So the question still remains, why did Lions Gate choose to dump this film?

"Midnight Meat Train" screened at the Round Rock 8 Discount Theater on 8/7/08.

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