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The Midnight Meat Train

2008 horror film based on Clive Barker's 1984 short story

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  • Oct 30, 2010


There were two reasons for me to get this movie when it came out, well there were many but the two big ones were that it is a Clive Barker film and Ted Raimi is in it [not for long]. I have always been a fan of Barker's from his writing to his films I enjoy the man's work, same can be said for Mr. Raimi who I think is one of the most underused and underrated actors of all time. Any way the time came for this movie to be released and I could not have been happier I mean with a name like that how could you not want to see it. The end product is some what disappointing but it is not as bad as some say, I think it is good at least for a rental.

For those who don't know this film isn't so much about the train and the murders being committed on it as it is about a man's obsession to look into it more a find "the truth". The film follows a photographer who one night when looking for something to shoot he comes across a young woman that is being robbed. After doing the responsible thing of taking pictures of the event he steps in to help, nice guy I guess. After helping her out he notices a big guy lurking around on the train, the girl is never seen again. He takes his pictures and story and tries to run with it, he may be onto something. He starts to follow the man thinking that he may have had something to do with it and it turns out one night when he gets on the train he was very right. Aside from a close encounter at the meat factory he is now witnessing first hand what this man is all about. So the film follows this pattern from this point on the man after the killer and vice versa.

Director Ryûhei Kitamura who is very well known for his films like Azumi, Aragami, Versus, and Godzilla: Final Wars does a great job keeping the film moving and as usual his expertise with the camera and editing shows through out the entire film. This is actually both an advantage to the film as well as a flaw, I know it doesn't make sense as of yet. The deal is this film is very stylized and that makes the film look really good and clear with some nice effects like eyes popping out and such. But that also takes away from what could have been a really creepy film, don't get me wrong it has its moments but over all this is just a good looking Slasher flick [at least until the end, wow]. Still if you were not expecting this to be as creepy as the short story then this is an excellent film.

Vinnie Jones was cast perfectly as the killer on the train who smashes people's heads in once the train goes off track. He is tall strong and very creepy looking in that suit with that weird attitude he has got going on. Bradley Cooper did a good job as Leon the obsessive photographer who just can't leave it alone, he gets what he deserves. Leslie Bibb and Brooke Shields each turn in good performances as did the great Ted Raimi for the very limited amount of time he was on screen. The dude who played the train driver was great as well and rivaled Vinnie as creepiest character.

Screen writer Jeff Buhler did a good job adapting the short story into a feature length film, he added a lot to it. Still it feels like something is missing maybe in the dialogue department or something but something is a miss. Still Mr. Barker gave his seal of approval as they discus with each other on the excellent commentary track for the film. But this is a good enough film that most will enjoy, watch for that ending though, some may not see it coming.


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January 20, 2011
I loved this one though I've always been a Clive Barker fan of course. Sadly, his work doesn't always translate well much like Neil Gaiman's writings. I was thrilled to have seen this one in the theatres and I could hardly wait til I could watch it again on DVD a few years back. Good work!!
February 19, 2011
Yeah I enjoyed this one more so than most
October 31, 2010
lol The first time I saw this I must have a looked away for a couple of minutes because I didn't even know that Ted Raimi was in it. I had to go back and watch it again to find him. Fortunately he appears fairly early in the film. I see you managed to find a photo of Ted--that's not easy to do! Believe it or not I sort of saw the ending coming, both of them--probably because it was a Barker story. Nice work on the review.
February 19, 2011
Yeah he is there and then gone
March 08, 2011
I really like Ted. I wish he had been able to get more work outside of his brother's and Rob Tapert's stuff.
October 30, 2010
I liked this--but it seems to have the usual Barker style in plot. I wished I could've enjoyed it more than I did. Nice review!
October 30, 2010
I thought it was cool
More The Midnight Meat Train reviews
review by . April 29, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     I have a love-hate relationship with films based on the works of Clive Barker, while I also have a just plain "love" relationship with the stories that one such man tells. What can I say: I enjoy a good "scary story" from the man who has been hailed, and has proven himself to be, a landmark contributor to horror-literature. Clive Barker is a man who described himself as "a lucky guy who got to make a film". I assume he was referring to "Hellraiser"; that messy …
Quick Tip by . October 30, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Fun movie based on Barker's story, full of blood and just an over all good time.
review by . February 19, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Dvd Cover
Based on Clive Barker's short story in the "Books of Blood" series in 1984, "MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN" is directed by Japanese director Ryuhei Kitamura in his Hollywood film debut. Those who are familiar with Kitamura's works know that the man is excellent in visuals and editing tricks--the man is renowned for the terrific Jidai Geki hit "Azumi", shot an excellent film in a measly seven days with "Aragami", gave us the genre-bending cult hit "Versus" and thrilled us with the Yakuza occult short film …
review by . May 08, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
I'm writing this review with the biggest sh*t eating grin that I can possibly muster. Thank God for Clive Barker!!      For those of you who love the man & are quite familiar with his work, an introduction would be fruitless so I'll assume most of you know him from either Candyman or Hellraiser. Those of you remotely familiar will also know his work tends to be dark, gruesome, & ultra-violent. Midnight Meat Train really offers the goods here & makes …
review by . November 14, 2008
Imagine if you will, a slasher movie co-starring Brooke Shields (!)     This movie adaptation of Clive Barker's short story is an edge of your seat, suspenseful chiller, but doesn't have many of those "Psycho" pull-back-the -curtain moments, and won't scare you enough to make you lose any sleep.     Never-the-less, this is fine entertainment for fans of the genre, with copious amounts of blood and gore, slashing steel implements and body parts galore.      …
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About this movie


The Midnight Meat Train is a 2008 horror film based on Clive Barker's 1984 short story of the same name, which can be found in Volume One of Barker's collection Books of Blood. The film follows a photographer who attempts to track down a serial killer dubbed the "Subway Butcher" and discovers more than he bargained for under the city streets.

The film was directed by Japanese director Ryuhei Kitamura and stars Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb, Vinnie Jones and Brooke Shields. Its script was adapted by Jeff Buhler, the producer was Tom Rosenberg of Lakeshore Entertainment, and it was released on August 1, 2008.

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Genre: Horror
Release Date: Aug 1 2008
Runtime: 100 minutes
Studio: Lions Gate Films

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