Sunday, March 1, 2009
Midnight Meat Train
Cast: Vinnie Jones, Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb
Synopsis: A freelance photographer who's career is going nowhere (Probably because the camera he owns is a piece of shit) discovers that the subway holds more secrets than just great tasting subs and low-cal flatbreads - they are also home to a grizzly underground world in which Vinnie Jones butchers victims of late night trains and unloads them at an unknown destination...
Review: The film starts out pretty well, setting the scene for a good horror flick by entering us straight into the action rather than trying to build up to it. Trailers to the film made promises of a lot of gore and it becomes apparent in the first few scenes that the film is going to deliver that at least. Some of the gore is far too obviously CGI effects but for the kind of visuals the film seemed to be going for, "real" gore might not have worked - a bit of a let down but it isn't overly done so it doesn't take away from the film too much.
The film has some pretty stunning visuals, nice camera angles and camera effects and they're all pretty well placed and used but at times it seems very forced, as if the director and editing crew wanted to practice a bunch of techniques they learned about while watching the DVD Extras to some Eli Roth movie so sometimes you find yourself sort of thinking "Yeah, very nice but can I see what's actually going on here?" but overall the film meets its goals.
The acting is reasonable, perhaps even above par for a movie of this caliber, and Vinnie Jones once again proves he can play a lumbering speechless barbarian very well. So, overall an above-par horror film... pretty much until the last 20 minutes or so when things start to go a little weird... Spoilers do follow, major ones that might make you not want to see the film, so I've put them in black so they're disguised - just click and hold to reveal my awesome secrets:
So the film is progressing along and, much like many horror films - especially small time ones, you find yourself wondering how will this end! Smaller horror films (and some big ones) still occasionally end with miserable endings which is great because then you don't know who's going to live and who's going to die or what's going to happen at all! So it gets to the final scenes - wimpy photographer is following the Butcher into the subway and brandishing all sorts of ridiculous weaponry in order to make the final scenes as cheesye as possible and I find myself thinking that - given the cheese-factor already apparent - the filmmakers are having a hard time coming up with a good and reasonable way to end this film and given that the film is based on a book it might be that the book has a pretty silly ending and they don't know how to deal with it, so what's going to happen? These are pretty much the options I had in my mind...
Wimpy Photographer kills Butcher. Butcher is forced under train thus no remains are found. Police find Photographer guilty of all crimes. Girlfriend cries a lot. The End!
Turns out the Photographer is the Butcher and has been all along and he invented this other world to escape from his life. In the end, confronted with his girlfriend knowing the truth he ends up shot by her. Girlfriend cries a lot. The End!
Turns out the girlfriend is the Butcher and has been all along. In the end, she kills him and moves on with her underground slaughtering life. Photographer dies a lot. The End!
Photographer kills butcher only to have train pull up underneath the slaughterhouse and be confronted with about a hundred other butchers all with the same idea. Butchers kill the photographer. Girlfriend cires a lot. Butchers kill her too. The End!
Turns out there's an underground network of weird demonic vampiric space monkeys living underneath New York City unbeknownst to everyone who Vinnie Jones, instead of feeding them left over meat from his butchering job, feeds them skinny white people (mostly). None of the Demonic Space Monkey plot would be hinted at at all during the movie though of course, so that it's a "surprise". Girlfriend stands there with a "What the fuck kind of fuckery is this?" look on her face a lot. The End!
At some point in the filmmaking process someone thought "Hey, let's not do any of those regular endings! Let's go for the Space Monkey ending!"
Seriously! That's how this movie ended!
80 minutes of tension packed thriller ("packed" might be exaggerating a little) with blood, cool visuals and a little mystique to it followed by 20 minutes of Demonic Space Monkeys turning the audience retarded.
In Short: I should have known! Why didn't I think about who made this story?
Biggest Positive: Vinnie Jones beating people about the head constantly.
Biggest Negative: Yeah... I already went over that I think...
Film Website: Midnight Meat Train The Movie
Trivia: Vinnie Jones was actually supposed to speak through the whole film but after reading the script he refused.