I was expecting a surprise moment of genius here, a spark of creative magic, a pure hidden gem, but it’s not to be. I’ve heard things about this one for years and years. Good and bad and even though, branded as Last House 2, this one really doesn’t come near. At a first glance, the film looks good. It’s got a fine giallo look and feel, although none of the intelligence, mystery or fantasticalness which you’d expect.
The film follows two crazy bad guys who kill a Santa Claus in a German Christmas market, then rip a woman’s coat open. They get chased by some cops through a train station, making their escape on a train to Italy. At this point, the film shows some good signs of a classic film in the making. The train is full of some odd characters who offer a bit of intrigue, a great springboard for the plot to flow, but sadly, we get taken down an obvious route which allows the two thugs to meet up with two young girls who are heading home for Christmas. An original, although somewhat odd turn in the plot includes an older upper class lady who becomes significant in the thugs actions on the train, encouraging and promoting rape and violence. It’s a strange combination allowing the interaction of class and education, obscene actions in a confined environment.
The film has a great look, and a good pace, which is slower than you’d expect for this type of film. The problem we have here though, is there is nothing to cling to within any of the characters, the bad guys or the victims. Unlike Last House and House on the Edge of the Park which both offer solid realistic characters, which show off the good and bad side of all, Late Night Trains has stale roles. The acting is not to blame here with good performances all round. The violence is all pretty nasty and some moments are impressive. The girl getting g thrown from the train is shocking and realistic and hits all the right points.
This one does not live up to the others in its class, saying that, it’s well worth a look. It was released in the UK in it’s fullest form for the first time a few years ago after sitting on the DPP list for years, but it still surprises me that this can be picked up in HMV.