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The Midnight Meat Train (2008)

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A photographer's obsessive pursuit of dark subject matter leads him into the path of a serial killer who stalks late night commuters, ultimately butchering them in the most gruesome ways imaginable.

Director:

Ryûhei Kitamura

Writers:

Jeff Buhler (screenplay), Clive Barker (short story "The Midnight Meat Train")
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2,071 ( 238)
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bradley Cooper ... Leon
Leslie Bibb ... Maya
Brooke Shields ... Susan Hoff
Vinnie Jones ... Mahogany
Roger Bart ... Jurgis
Tony Curran ... Driver
Barbara Eve Harris ... Detective Lynn Hadley
Peter Jacobson ... Otto
Stephanie Mace Stephanie Mace ... Leigh Cooper
Ted Raimi ... Randle Cooper
Nori Satô Nori Satô ... Erika Sakaki (as NorA)
Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson ... Guardian Angel
Dan Callahan ... Troy Taleveski
Donnie Smith ... Station Cop
Earl Carroll Earl Carroll ... Jack Franks
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Storyline

The photographer Leon lives with his girlfriend and waitress Maya waiting for a chance to get in the photo business. When Maya contacts their friend Jurgis, he schedules a meeting for Leon with the successful owner of arts gallery Susan Hoff; she analyzes Leon's work and asks him to improve the quality of his photos. During the night, the upset Leon decides to wander on the streets taking pictures with his camera, and he follows three punks down to the subway station; when the gang attacks a young woman, Leon defends her and the guys move on. On the next morning, Leon discovers that the woman is missing. He goes to the police station, but Detective Lynn Hadley does not give much attention to him and discredits his statement. Leon becomes obsessed to find what happened with the stranger and he watches the subway station. When he sees the elegant butcher Mahogany in the train, Leon believes he might be a murderer and stalks him everywhere, in the beginning of his journey to the darkness. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most terrifying ride you'll ever take

Genres:

Horror | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sequences of strong bloody gruesome violence, grisly images involving nudity, sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Lionsgate [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 May 2008 (Lithuania) See more »

Also Known As:

Clive Barker's Midnight Meat Train See more »

Filming Locations:

Burbank, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,394, 3 August 2008

Gross USA:

$83,361

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,533,227
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leslie Bibb and Bradley Cooper are both part of the MCU, Bibb played Christine Everheart in Iron Man (2008) and Iron Man 2 (2010), Cooper does the voice of Rocket Racoon. See more »

Goofs

When Maya is searching through Mahogany's bathroom, at one point the white t-shirt of a crew member is visible in the mirror. See more »

Quotes

[passing by Mahogany, who is sitting in the train with his bag on his knees]
Guardian Angel: Life is like a box of chocolates!
See more »

Alternate Versions

German version is cut by approx. 7 minutes to secure a "Not under 18" rating. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film 2017: Episode dated 30 January 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Big Black Sky
Written by Jason Harsin
Performed by Chaser
Courtesy of Lakeshore Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: The Midnight Meat Train
9 August 2008 | by DICK STEELSee all my reviews

Given that this month's the Lunar Seventh Month where the Chinese believe that spirits roam our world as their month long vacation from purgatory, my friend has so far kept this running joke about my unfortunate bumping into them given I spend my journey home on late night buses and trains. The Midnight Meat Train, as the title suggests, tells of the last train in the system where passengers inexplicably disappears, and I thought that Japanese director Ryuhei Kitamura managed to put a somewhat refreshing spin to the entire slasher and torture porn genre.

Based on a short story by horror Meister Clive Barker, the story in parts looked like horror thrillers with recognizable moments like those in The Terminator, Shutter, and of course, Jeepers Creepers. If I were to have to take the last train, I definitely wouldn't want to bump into Vinny's sharp dressed Mahogany, a character who is almost like any other Vinny Jones character of being the muscle-man. Here, he's a butcher with a penchant of waiting for the last train, and armed with nothing more than knives, meat hooks and his personal favourite, a meat tenderizer, he proceeds to chop up unsuspecting victims as the train seem to speed off into the unknown.

And there's where the story becomes intriguing, as it poses a lot of questions and doesn't provide you with any clear answers, until much later. You have to endure a slow buildup of Leon the photographer (Bradley Cooper) who in his quest to take the perfect picture for an exhibition, chances upon Mahogany and follows him for that Kodak moment. His girlfriend Maya (Leslie Bibb) and best friend Jurgis (Roger Bart) also get into the fray, and soon life for all three will be irrevocably changed. The payload for the movie comes at the back, and my, it's as satisfying a wrap as it can be, though again for those already familiar with some of the mentioned films, you'll more or less expect things to be done the way they did.

As mentioned earlier, what was a refreshing spin, was how direct and to the point the acts of violence got, without dragging the scenes out with needless, extended cries of mercy or lingering on gratuitous scenes of gore and blood, which torture porn flicks seem to continuous bog their movies with, that it becomes boring (Yes, I think you can sense that I'm already de-sensitized to such scenes). Rather than trying to craft creative ways to die in order to go one up against other movies that came before it, The Midnight Meat Train really went back to basics and simplicity, where killing blows are delivered swiftly, before proceeding with dismemberment.

While it is disturbing in itself, the distributors decided to shield local audiences from such violence and gore, and hence we got a censored M18 rated version, instead of full regalia under the R21 rating. The cuts were jarring enough, but in all fairness the quality of the movie cannot be judged by just how those scenes were removed with a butcher's knife. Going by detailed descriptions of the level of graphic violence contained in the movie, it seemed that we suffered from having a lot cut off.

The movie also boasted some really effective scenes of tension, and the anticipation of ill will especially with Vinny Jones looming nearby. The last time I remembered watching a major action sequence involving trains was in Batman Begins, and given that it has to live up to titular expectations, audiences were treated to some incredible all-out action scenes set in and around the train, with some really energetic camera movement and angles to complement the action on screen.

But technicalities aside, what really worked and will possibly elevate this film to cult status, will be portrayal and fleshing out the character of Mahogany as the no-nonsense and swift executioner, adding to the list of memorable villains to have graced the screen amongst the likes of the Freddies, Jasons and the Michael Myers of the cinematic world.


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