Last Stop on the Night Train
|Last Stop on the Night Train|
Italian theatrical poster
|Directed by||Aldo Lado|
|Produced by||Pino Buricchi
|Written by||Roberto Infascelli
Gianfranco De Grassi
|Music by||Ennio Morricone|
|Edited by||Alberto Galliti|
Last Stop on the Night Train (Italian: L'ultimo treno della notte, released in the English-speaking countries as Night Train Murders, The New House on The Left, Second House on The Left, Don't Ride on Late Night Trains,Late Night Trains, Last House Part II and Xmas Massacre) is a 1975 Italian revenge horror film directed Aldo Lado and starring Flavio Bucci, Macha Meril and Irene Miracle.
Based on the plots of Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring (1960) and Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left (1972), the film follows two girls riding a train through Germany on Christmas Eve, who are brutalized by three criminals who eventually end up lodging in their parents' home.
It gained notoriety when it was banned in the UK as a video nasty in the 1980s.
Two young girls, Margaret and Lisa, are set to take the overnight train from Munich in Germany to stay with Lisa's parents in Italy for Christmas. On boarding they find the train is full and are forced to sit in the corridor. Meanwhile, two petty criminals, Blackie and Curly, also board the train as it is leaving Munich to escape from a pursuing policeman. The two thugs come across Margaret and Lisa who help them hide from the ticket collector. Blackie then encounters an upper-class blonde older woman who he makes to molest in the toilets only for her to aggressively seduce him. As Curly gets into a fight, the girls become increasingly wary of the two thugs' behaviour and make their way further down the train to escape them.
Arriving in Innsbruck in Austria, the train is stopped and searched following a tip-off that there was a bomb on board. The girls decide to try and call Lisa's parents to tell them of the delay but can't get through. Meanwhile, in Italy her parents are preparing for Christmas and hosting a dinner party for their friends where Lisa's father, a doctor, decries the growing violence in society. Back in Innsbruck the girls board a different train which will take them directly through to their destination. On boarding the new train however they find it is old, run down and virtually empty. Finding a compartment in the last carriage, they settle down for their trip, happy to have seats at last, and begin to eat a packed lunch by candlelight.
As the train travels into the night the girls are alarmed to discover that the two thugs and the blonde woman are on board as well and the three soon force their way into the girls' compartment. Blackie and the blonde then engage in various lewd acts while taunting the girls. Curly beats Margaret into submission, and then forces Lisa to masturbate him. The blonde woman spots another passenger, a peeping tom who is watching them through the compartment window. Grabbing the man, the two thugs force him to rape Margaret, but are distracted by Lisa vomiting, and he escapes.
The blonde encourages Curly to rape Lisa but he is unable to break her hymen. Although Blackie is now becoming concerned at the way events are heading the blonde holds down Lisa while encouraging Curly to cut her with his flick knife to help him. The blonde enthusiastically grabs the knife and forces it deeper into Lisa causing her to hemorrhage and die. Margaret manages to lock herself in the toilet while the blonde orders the two thugs to bring her back. Frantic, Margaret climbs out of the window and flings herself from the train only to be killed in the fall. The men throw Lisa's body out of the window followed by their luggage, stealing their tickets and other items.
Arriving at the station to meet the girls, Lisa's parents are alarmed when they don't arrive. The stationmaster tells them that their train had been delayed, so the doctor and his wife elect to return home. As they are leaving they come across the blonde and two thugs; Gulio agrees to take the three to his house so he can treat an injury the blonde woman sustained on her leg. Lisa's mother becomes suspicious of her houseguests when she spies Curly wearing a tie exactly like the one she was told Lisa had bought for her father as a Christmas present. The trio continue to act suspiciously and Gulio elects to take them back to town and goes to fetch the car. While in the car he hears a radio report naming his daughter as a body that had been found by the train track.
Realizing his houseguests are responsible, Gulio confronts the blonde outside, but she convinces him the two thugs had killed the girls and had threatened to do the same to her. Believing her, Gulio leaves her with his wife before heading off to find the others. He discovers Curly in his surgery room injecting heroin; he grabs Curly and forces the needle deeper into his arm, overdosing him. He then repeatedly beats Curly with various furniture and surgical instruments.
Spying Blackie trying to flee, he grabs a shotgun and pursues him through the gardens. Curly manages to crawl into the driveway and tries to grab the blonde only for her to kick him to death. Gulio wounds Blackie in the leg before shooting him at point blank range. As the police arrive, the blonde woman's fate remains uncertain.
- Flavio Bucci as Blackie
- Macha Méril as Lady on the Train
- Gianfranco De Grassi as Curly
- Enrico Maria Salerno as Professor Giulio Stradi
- Irene Miracle as Margaret Hoffenbach
- Laura D'Angelo as Lisa Stradi
- Marina Berti as Laura Stradi
- Franco Fabrizi as Perverted Train Passenger
- Dalila Di Lazzaro as Party Guest
Adam Tyner of DVD Talk wrote, "Night Train Murders has a few redeemingly uncomfortable moments that make the numerous comparisons to The Last House on the Left seem deserved. Still, it suffers from so many flaws—poor pacing, an anemic screenplay, weak overdubbed dialogue, and a tendency to flinch during the sparse brutality—that I can't recommend the movie on its own merits with any great enthusiasm."
DVD Verdict said, "If Wes Craven's train leaves Connecticut traveling east at 25 mph and Alan Lado's train leaves a station in Verona traveling west at 35 mph, then can a cheap imitation of a film actually be better than the film it's ripping off? Well, in this case yes. While The Last House on the Left's success came largely from its grittiness, Lado proves that a professional sheen can be just as effective, and puts his film on the express track to success."
The film was rejected by the BBFC when submitted for cinema classification in the UK in 1976. It was banned as a video nasty in 1983, though it was acquitted and removed from the list in 1984. It did not get a full release until 2008 when it was finally passed uncut and distributed on DVD by Shameless Screen Entertainment.