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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Ultimo treno della notte" or "X-Mas Massacre" or "Last Stop on the Night Train" or "New House on the Left" )

 

directed by Aldo Lado
Italy 1975

 

German student Margaret (Irene Miracle) is going to her friend Lisa's (Laura D'Angelo) parents house in Italy for the holidays. They catch a train also boarded by a seemingly respectable "Lady on the Train" - as she is credited in the opening titles - (Macha Meril) and two thugs Curly (Gianfranco De Grassi) and Blackie (Flavio Bucci) who join forces and put the two girls through a hellish ordeal in the deserted rear coaches of the late night train after a bomb scare delays the girls' trip.

"It's the night before Christmas. Margaret and Lisa are going home for the holidays. But don't bother to wish them Merry Christmas. Their future isn't going that far." So says the narrator of the trailer for the US theatrical release of NIGHT TRAIN MURDERS under the title LAST STOP ON THE NIGHT TRAIN, a direct translation of the original Italian title that reveals the film's inspiration from the success of Wes Craven's LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972). The film was also reissued as DON'T RIDE ON LATE NIGHT TRAINS possibly to tie in with the series of horror titles staring with DON'T in the late seventies and early eighties (DON'T OPEN THE WINDOW, DON'T GO IN THE HOUSE, DON'T GO IN THE WOODS, DON'T GO NEAR THE PARK, DON'T OPEN THE DOOR, DON'T GO IN THE BASEMENT).

Despite these associations, NIGHT TRAIN MURDERS is a stylish cash-in which has its share of brutality but also a superior sense of dread and anticipation over its American counterpart due to the typically professional direction of Aldo Lado (SHORT NIGHT OF THE GLASS DOLLS). The film also has some retrospective association with the work of Dario Argento due to the presence of past and future Argento stars Miracle (INFERNO's doomed poetess), Bucci (SUSPIRIA's blind pianist), Dalila Di Lazzaro (PHENOMENA's stern headmistress), as well as standout performances by the more seasoned Enrico Maria Salerno (BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE's chief inspector), and a superbly icy and disturbing performance by Meril (DEEP RED's doomed medium).

After some rather ordinary German location shots, seasoned Italian cinematographer Gabor Pogany makes masterful use of Christmas lights, candles, and less convincing but effective saturated blue moonlight in the comforting home of Lisa's parents as they host a dinner party with guests musing on the causes of the world's ills and the claustrophobic train compartment. Ennio Morricone's score is dominated by Curly's harmonica in a way that recalls its use in ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST, this time as a harbinger of encroaching fear. In contrast, Demis Roussos' lilting, cloying "A Flower's All You Need" when used over the opening titles makes them seem to go on forever and gets rather annoying though its strangely affecting when it appears again over the end credits freeze frame.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 8 April 1975

Reviews                                                                            More Reviews                                                                DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL vs. Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray vs. 88 Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - SECOND

3) Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) 88 Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray - RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Also available in Blue Underground's Killer Thrillers Blu-ray Collection - July 2016

   

Distribution

Blue Underground

Region 0 - NTSC

Shameless Screen Entertainment
Region 0 - PAL
Blue Underground
Region FREE - Blu-ray
88 Films
Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:33:54 1:30:09 (4% PAL speedup) 1:34:00.301 1:34:01.344
Video

1.83:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 8.43 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.27 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,496,588,241 bytes

Feature: 20,182,622,208 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,739,737,063 bytes

Feature: 19,746,668,544 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.97 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Blue Underground

 

Bitrate:

 

Shameless Screen Entertainment

 

Bitrate:

 

Blue Underground Blu-ray

 

Bitrate:

 

88 Films Blu-ray

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

DTS-HD Master Audio English 2036 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2036 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit

Subtitles none none English SDH, French, Spanish, none English (For Italian language version)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Blue Underground

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.83:1

Edition Details:
• Riding the Night Train: interview with co-writer/director Aldo Lado (16:9; 14:46)
• LAST STOP ON THE NIGHT TRAIN U.S. Trailer (16:9; 2:33)
• International Trailer (16:9; 3:49)
• 2x NEW HOUSE ON THE LEFT 30-second Radio Spots
• Poster Gallery
• Lobby Card Gallery
• Publicity Stills Gallery
• Pressbook Gallery
• Ad Mats Gallery
• Soundtrack Gallery
• Video Cover Gallery
• Disc Credits

DVD Release Date: 26 October 2004
Amaray

Chapters 18
 

Release Information:
Studio: Shameless Screen Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• International Trailer (16:9; 3:33)
• Trailers for THE FRIGHTENED WOMAN, MY DEAR KILLER, RATMAN, BABA YAGA, THE BLACK CAT, and PHANTOM OF
• DEATH

 

DVD Release Date: 25 February 2008
Amaray

Chapters 12

Release Information:
Studio: Blue Underground

 

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 22,496,588,241 bytes

Feature: 20,182,622,208 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Riding the Night Train - Interview with Co-Writer/Director Aldo Lado (14:57 in 480i)
• LAST STOP ON THE NIGHT TRAIN U.S. Trailer (2:33 in 480i)
• International Trailer (3:49 in 1080P)
• 2x NEW HOUSE ON THE LEFT 30-second Radio Spots
• Poster and Still Gallery

 

Blu-ray Release Date: January 31st, 2012
Standard Blu-ray case

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio:
88 Films

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,739,737,063 bytes

Feature: 19,746,668,544 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.97 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Strangers on a [Late Night] Train - An Interview with Irene Miracle (21:38)
• Further Adventures in Italy (3:49)
• Trailer (English) (3:46)
• 
Trailer (Italian) (3:48)
 

Blu-ray Release Date: March 30th, 2015
Transparent Blu-ray case

Chapters 8

 

 

 

Comments

NOTE: These Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: 88 Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray (March 15'): Appears to be the exact same transfer - or the exact same source rendered at the same bitrate. The differences here are that 88 Films include the Italian language version (in a separate but identical transfer? - making the disc dual-layered) with English subtitles. What this means is that you can't change on the fly between versions, which is okay, but you don't get subtitles on the English-language version.

 

Although linear PCM - the audio sounds the same as the Blue Underground's DTS-HD Master English audio track and it is similarly robust. Extras add a 21-minute interview with Irene Miracle and a second 4-minute piece with her. Plus there are two trailers. Also a very good Blu-rays with some slight differences to the US counterpart. Both are region FREE Blu-ray  if the slight variation in content is important to you. Recommended! 

 

***

 

ADDITION: Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray (January 12'): Another splendid job by Blue Underground - talk about bringing a film back into focus. Detail rises dramatically in the new single-layered 1080P Blu-ray transfer. Colors (flesh tones notably) and contrast also upgrade to impressive proportions. This is another strong example of a flat, hazy SD digital rendering being mocked by a sterling HD transfer. Blue Underground continue to impress.

 

Audio offers a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel track at 2036 kbps. The DUBs are sometimes obvious but the infrequent effects have some punch with surprising depth. There are optional subtitles (see sample below) and the disc is advertised as being region FREE!

Extras duplicate the 2004 DVD - as discussed below by Eric - losing some of the galleries (but retaining 'Poster' and 'Stills'). The 15-minute 'Riding the Night Train - Interview with Co-Writer/Director Aldo Lado' is still here (still in 480i) with subs. A long International Trailer is present in 1080P.

Fans should know what to expect - I enjoyed it - although it can be kind of disturbing - which is probably the intent. This is a solid upgrade and those loyal to the genre should definitely consider indulging to the most film-like rendition of Night Train Murders. Perfect late night Home Theater fodder...

Gary W. Tooze 

***

ON THE DVDs: The dual-layer Blue Underground disc and the single-layer Shameless discs utilize the same master. Both feature a degree of edge-enhancement, but the Blue Underground is a bit more detailed. The Blue Underground disc definitely has the edge in extras, with a fifteen minute interview with co-writer/director Aldo Lado, the US trailer and reissue radio spots (retitled to cash in on LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT), and a wealth of stills and advertising material. The Shameless release features a garish new cover design with the inappropriate tagline "WHORE ABOARD", but the reverse features a more tasteful cover.

The Shameless version is also available in the 3-disc set SHAMELESS SLASHER NASTIES paired with TORSO and KILLER NUN.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


Menus
(Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)


 

 

Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

88 Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


 CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Blu-ray Subtitle Sample

 

1) Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray - TOP

2) 88 Films (Italian audio) - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - SECOND

3) Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) 88 Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - SECOND

3) Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) 88 Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - SECOND

3) Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray - THIRD

4) 88 Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Blue Underground - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Shameless Screen Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Blue Underground - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-rays

Sound:

Blu-rays


 
Box Covers

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Also available in Blue Underground's Killer Thrillers Blu-ray Collection - July 2016

   

Distribution

Blue Underground

Region 0 - NTSC

Shameless Screen Entertainment
Region 0 - PAL
Blue Underground
Region FREE - Blu-ray
88 Films
Region FREE - Blu-ray

 




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Gary Tooze

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