“You think evil can be killed with bullets?”
Professor Alexander Saxton (Christopher Lee) is an anthropologist who is returning to Europe with the find of a lifetime. In a cave in Manchuria he found a pre-historic humanoid that he believes could be the missing link. He crates his frozen discovery and boards the Trans-Siberian Express from China to Moscow. On board the train is Saxton’s frienemy and Royal Geological Society colleague Doctor Wells (Peter Cushing).
While still on the platform a thief is found dead, his pupils white. He had been trying to get into the crate that contained the frozen missing link thinking that it might contain something he could easily sell. A monk named Father Pujardov (Alberto de Mendoza) says that the crate contains evil. Later the baggage clerk on the train is also found dead inside the crate and the missing link is, well, missing. On board is Inspector Mirov (Julio Pena). Now that there is a murderer on board he and his men are on the train trying to find out who the killer is. One of the inspector’s men is found dead the same as the others. Then another passenger is found dead in the baggage area. She was a spy trying to break into the safe looking for a secret formula.
By now it is known that whatever was in the crate has come back to life and is killing. Dr. Wells does an autopsy on the baggage handler and finds that his brain is smooth. The doctor surmises that whatever the creature is, it sucks out a person’s knowledge through their eyes and kills them. Now the monster is not only alive but is getting smarter with all the knowledge it is acquiring from the people it targets.
When Inspector Mirov shoots the creature and kills it. Everyone thinks that the crisis has past. But then it is discovered that there is something else happening. Wells and Saxton discover that the missing link was inhabited by en extraterrestrial element. And when the killings continue, they realize that the alien element has passed to someone else.
“Horror Express” was released in 1972 and was directed by Eugenio Martin. It is a Spanish science fiction/horror film. The movie was based on the novel “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell Jr. This is the same novel that “The Thing From Another World” was based on.
The movie was mostly filmed without sound. The voices were dubbed in later. Lee, Cushing and Savalas dubbed their own voices.
The film starts out as your basic horror film complete with monster and dead people littered all around. Towards the end it morphs into a science fiction thriller with a nasty alien and then back to horror with a decent crew of zombies. It’s a rather cool little double twist.
There are a few little leaps of faith but the movie takes place in 1906 so it’s cool. All together it’s a pretty good movie. Besides all the horror and science fiction aspects you have some good actors and a claustrophobic gothic style setting. All good elements for a spooky movie.
This was the first film that Cushing did after the death of his wife. At first he didn’t want to do the film, but was convinced by his friend Lee to stay.
The film is believed to be in the public domain.