• ERIC BUTLER

A Hidden Gem...


My mom is visiting from out of town this week. When she comes, I grab a stack of classic movies and we usually watch a few each night. She was supposed to come in February - thankfully she missed it because that was when we had the big ice storm here in Texas. I had grabbed a copy of Horror Express on Blu-Ray from Arrow.


I vaguely remember seeing it when I was a child, but nothing stuck. Now while not a Hammer nor Amicus production, the movie feels like it could easily have been. Helps that both Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing are staring in the movie but the special effects, score, and film production are all top-notch.


One thing I found fascinating about the film was the way it tackled several sub-genres and horror tropes, without ever losing the feel of a fresh and fun film. From IMDB: While traveling on the Trans-Siberian Express, an anthropologist and his rival must contain the threat posed by the former's cargo: a prehistoric ape which is the host for a life-form that is absorbing the minds of the passengers and crew.


Lee, Cushing, and Spanish actress Silvia Tortosa

While they are described as rivals, the other fun thing about this movie is Lee and Cushing are more aligned than in any other picture. They are working together, and what rivalry there is falls more into professional egos than the life and death adversaries they usually play in these films. I think part of this may be that Cushing was about to step away as his wife had recently passed and he didn't think he could do the picture. Lee convinces him to stay on, and throughout the film, you can almost sense Lee providing a protective barrier around his lifelong friend.


The rest of the cast is fantastic with many international actors & actresses filling out the cast. Since the film was made in Spain, you can see they embraced the European habit of ignoring dialogue and sound, looking to recreate that in the dubbing processes. That said Lee, Cushing, and Telly Savalas all provide their voices for the English dub. Though some of the other actors do not provide the English translation, it doesn't stand out.


They say Savalas ad-libbed many of his lines - if not all. This wouldn't be too outrageous as I pointed out in Europe they dealt with all the speaking lines in post. This is right after he boards the train - it looks like the 2 English actors are upset with the free-wheeling American just making stuff up...



A fun nugget I didn't realize until we began to watch the movie - and then verified with the special features - was that it's based on the story Who goes There? by John W Campbell, Jr. That's right the story that influenced The Thing From Another World which in turn influenced one of the greatest horror science fiction films of all time, The Thing.


So now when I have a Thing marathon, I'll have to add Horror Express. It will be a welcome addition as it follows the story more closely than The Thing From Another World does...


If you want to rewatch Horror Express or catch it for the first time, you are in luck. You can stream with ads on the TUBI app.



I've done a few new quick ad pages for each of the books. I wanted to share them here and remind you that I have them on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles...

Amazon - Here

B&N - Here


Amazon - Here

B&N - Here


Amazon - Here

B&N - Here


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