A butcher’s delight

IF YOU ARE one of the faint and weak hearted who cringes at the sight of blood and gore, The Midnight Meat Train is definitely not for you.

By Vandana Sharma

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Wed 18 Mar 2009, 11:44 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:43 PM

But do watch the film if you are in slaughter mode ready to take on the brutal world.

The film is based on a short story by Clive Barker, who is also one of the film’s producers and is directed by Japan’s Ryuhei Kitamura. At an hour and forty minutes it does hold your attention, but then so do all blood and gore films that spook you out till the nail biting end. As the name suggests the film does give you a fill of gory, macabre images of human and animal carcass. There is so much emphasis on the meaty aspect that after a while all carcasses seem a blur.

The film starts with butchery on a train and ends the same way too. Leon (Bradley Cooper) is a wannabe photographer who wants to capture the true New York and make it big in the art world. Leon, who will go to any length to take realistic pictures, saves a woman from a gang that is harassing her only to discover the next day the girl has gone missing and begins to investigate newsreels about similar disappearances. In his pursuit he tracks down a “Subway Butcher”, Mahogany, who has perfected the art of killing subway passengers for over a hundred years. Maya (Brooke Shields) stops Leon from pursuing Mahogany several times but the stubborn photographer continues, intrigued by the claustrophobic train.

One night, when Leon comes home covered with blood after a close encounter with Mahogany, Maya runs to the police but they too will not listen to her.

In the final scene Leon, Mahogany and Maya fight it out between swinging human bodies, as Mahogany is finally thrown out of the train. When the train stops it enters an underground cavern filled with skulls, bones and decomposing bodies where humanoid creatures enter the train and consume the meat. The train conductor explains to Leon that the creatures have always existed below the city and that the butcher’s job was to feed them every night.

The butchery continues as Leon takes over from Mahogany to stalk the midnight train. It is horror, powerful and simple, which makes you give up steak for a while and turn vegetarian . . . but all in all that’s for the best so what the heck!

More news from