The Midnight Meat Train
1 hour, 25 minutes
Leon (Bradley Cooper, Wedding Crashers) is a New York photographer looking to make it into the big league, fancy-schmancy art world. His girlfriend Maya (Leslie Bibb, Iron Man), has this buddy, Jurgis (Roger Bart, The Producers), who connects Leon to art dealer Susan Hoff (Brooke Shields, Blue Lagoon). She encourages Leon to master his fear and capture the real heart of the city. On her advice, Leon begins skulking the streets in the wee hours, finally settling on stalking a rather intimidating man (Vinnie Jones, Snatch). Leon becomes obsessed with discovering whether this butcher-by-day is also a murderer by night.
The Midnight Meat Train is the kind of horror flick you can really get into if you don't scrutinize it too much. It's also the kind of horror flick that relies on smart people doing really idiotic things to put themselves in harm's way. Leon is a very put-together guy whose encounter with the towering mystery man drives him into a compulsive insanity. Personally, if a behemoth of a man like Vinnie Jones catches me following him and shoots me down with his death stare, I'd run the other way and never look back -- after I shit myself out of pure terror. Leon is either made of stronger stuff or has some other deep-rooted issues, neither of which is prefaced by his character's development. Likewise, Maya's missteps and misgivings about her boyfriend's new stalking hobby stray from her previously established characterization. Leon also experiences a few violent dream sequences that seem ill-placed during the continuity of the plot's progression.
Enough hyperanalysis of execution and character motivation! Meat Train delivers on its premise and then some. A big bad-ass dude in a dapper suit waits until he and a scant few passengers board the late train; then he pulls out a hella huge stainless steel mallet and bashes their fucking brains in. Blood, brains and body parts splatter the walls and floor of the Meat Train, and the butcher methodically preps naked bodies for Heaven knows what. The climatic encounter between Leon and the butcher is brutal and amusing all at once. The deluge of gore and violence is great sadistic fun.
The Money Shot
With its laughable title, Midnight Meat Train delivers exactly what it promises with little added frills or fluff. It's not a film for the squeamish or for those of discerning tastes, but it is one hell of a ride.
Monday, August 4, 2008
The Midnight Meat Train