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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Terror Train [Blu-ray]


(Roger Spottiswoode, 1980)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Astral Bellevue Pathé

Video: Shout! Factory



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:36:50.846

Disc Size: 37,562,735,953 bytes

Feature Size: 25,576,790,016 bytes

Video Bitrate: 29.43 Mbps

Chapters: 1

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: October 16th, 2012



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 2148 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2148 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1603 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1603 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)



English (SDH), none



• Interviews With Production Executive Don Carmody (13:26 entitled Riding the Rails), Producer Daniel Grodnik (12:08 entitled Destination Death), Production Designer Glenn Bydwell (11:00 entitled All Aboard) And Composer John Mills-Cockell (8:10 - Music For Murder)
• Theatrical Trailer (2:28)
• TV Spot (:30)
• Still Gallery





Description: Take an excursion into terror with Jamie Lee Curtis in this classic shocker from director Roger Spottiswoode (Tomorrow Never Dies).

It’s New Year s Eve, and a group of college coeds have planned a masquerade bash aboard a chartered train. What they didn’t plan on was that a knife-wielding psycho would crash the party and begin slaughtering the guests one by one! Who is this brutal costumed killer? Could it be the mysterious magician (David Copperfield) with a talent for swordplay . . . a former frat pledge with an axe to grind . . . or any number of other guests, both invited and uninvited?

Also starring Academy Award-Winner Ben Johnson (1971, Supporting Actor, The Last Picture Show), Hart Bochner (Die Hard) and D.D. Winters (aka Vanity, 52 Pick-Up). Features new commentary, exclusive interviews with the creative team behind the film, trailers and more!



The Film:

Riding the coattails of the resurgent boom in horror films after the success of Halloween, Terror Train features teeth-chattering direction by Roger Spottiswoode and pristine cinematography from John Alcott. The story is the basic slasher film premise, remounted on a moving train. A college fraternity decides to hold a New Year's Eve party on a train. But an uninvited guest, a disturbed ex-fraternity member, decides to take revenge on the partying students by killing them off one by one in increasingly grisly fashion. On board the terror train is horror film perennial Jamie Lee Curtis, along with David Copperfield, and Ben Johnson as Carne the conductor, who tries to calm the women students by saying things like, "Now you young ladies stay up here --it's too dangerous down in that other car.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

This effectively exploits all the inherent violence and abandon of a riotous student party aboard a hired steam train. The horror elements are accounted for 'naturally': party masks provide grotesque images and a disguise for the killer; darkness alternating with the mottled lights of a disco give an uneasy visual feel, heightened by the swaying of the train; and the feats of a performing magician arouse expectations of a supernatural dimension. Instead, there is a psychological angle: the students, the killer's victims, are fairly callous themselves, given to gruesome medical school 'pranks' and fundamentally self-centred. Jamie Lee Curtis plays the only one of the gang with a conscience - and the only one to survive. But although the film's terror mileage is fuelled by her outwitting the killer, being a woman she must - as usual - finally be saved by the fatherly guard. Still, better than most of its kind.

Excerpt from TimeOut London located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Terror Train comes to Blu-ray from Shout! Factory.  The image quality is at the mercy of the less-effectual early 80's stock that never seems to wear-well.  I don't fault the dual-layered transfer which hold the grain - deflects the noise and does its best with the production source. There are some speckles and a couple of wayward moments but overall I'd say this high-bitrate is as solid as the film will ever look on digital. By modern standards this is fairly tame visually but as a representation of the original - I doubt much more could be done. This Blu-ray produces an accurate representation of the original - which is all we can ever ask.













Audio :

Not bad at all. We get a DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 2148 kbps or the option of a similar stereo track. John Mills-Cockell score is quite noble and adds some class to the 'slashings'. It is quite excellent via the lossless transfer as are the piercing screams vaulting to significant high-ends. There are optional English subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.


Extras :

Shout! Factory has put some effort into this with interviews with production executive Don Carmody (13:26 entitled Riding the Rails), Producer Daniel Grodnik (12:08 entitled Destination Death), Production Designer Glenn Bydwell (11:00 entitled All Aboard) And Composer John Mills-Cockell (8:10 - Music For Murder). So about 45-minutes on various aspects of production. There is also a beat-up Theatrical Trailer, a TV Spot and a stills gallery. Nice to see some relevant bonus material.



This wasn't nearly as shlocky as many might imagine. It has some production class while still maintaining the Frat-boy atmosphere. It's no masterpiece but kudos to Spottiswoode.  This Blu-ray entertained me and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Sure - recommended! 

Gary Tooze

October 17th, 2012



About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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