Review: Horror Express
Blu-ray: Horror Express (1972)
It’s the beginning of the 20th century and British anthropologist Professor Alexander Saxton (Christopher Lee) is returning to Europe by the Trans-Siberian Express from China to Moscow. Accompanying him is a crate containing the frozen remains of a primitive humanoid creature that he discovered in a cave in Manchuria, which, he believes, may prove to be the missing link in human evolution.
Doctor Wells (Peter Cushing), Saxton’s friendly rival and Royal Geological Society colleague, is also on board and becomes suspicious as to the contents of the crate. Wells bribes a porter to investigate what is in the crate, who unwittingly unleashes the evil that is inside.
With a train full of unsuspecting occupants, the creature is free to kill at will, with only a couple of people onboard who are capable of ending the bloodshed.
The pairing of Lee and Cushing is always a cinematic treat; both actors always committed to their roles and absolutely mesmerising onscreen. In Horror Express the verbal duelling between them is sublime; each of them respecting the others role within the narrative, yet completely hogging the screen at every opportunity.
Telly Savalas shows up at the mid-point as an egotistical cossack with a band of his soldiers and almost steals the movie from under the noses of Lee and Cushing. The 3 actors then revel in their roles as science and religion are brought to the fore in an effort to both explain the rampaging creature as well as how to stop it.
Set mostly upon the titular ‘Horror Express’, the claustrophobic setting adds to the impending sense of danger, yet at the same time director Eugenio Martín keeps a sense of scale that leads to constantly changing backdrops and atmosphere.
Genuinely chilling and with actors at the top of their game, Horror Express is a horror classic that should be in everyones collection, especially when accompanied by all the great special features that Arrow have adorned it with.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS
- Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Original Uncompressed mono audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Brand new audio commentary with Stephen Jones and Kim Newman
- Introduction to the film by film journalist and Horror Express super-fan Chris Alexander
- Murder on the Trans-Siberian Express – an interview with director Eugenio Martin
- Notes from the Blacklist – Horror Express producer Bernard Gordon on working in Hollywood during the McCarthy Era
- Telly and Me – an interview with composer John Cacavas
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Fully-illustrated collector’s booklet with new writing by Adam Scovell
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