Horror Express, 1972

Horror Express, 1972

While travelling on the Trans-Siberian Express, an anthropologist and his rival must contain the threat posed by the former’s cargo: a prehistoric ape which is the host for a lifeform that is absorbing the minds of the passengers and crew.

You’ve gotta love it when Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee work together! Only Vincent Price would make this movie even better. But you’ll have to settle for Telly Savalas.

From Wikipedia:

Horror Express (Spanish: Pánico en el Transiberiano, lit. “Panic on the Trans-Siberian”)[4] is a 1972 English language Spanish science fiction horror film produced by Bernard Gordon, written by Arnaud d’Usseau and Julian Zimet (credited as Julian Halevy), and directed by Eugenio Martín and loosley based on the novella Who Goes There?. The film stars Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, with Alberto de Mendoza, Silvia Tortosa, Julio Peña, George Rigaud and Ángel del Pozo in supporting roles, and Telly Savalas in a guest appearance. 

Some random facts, rumours, errors, and trivia for Horror Express:

  • It has been said that Peter Cushing was so devastated by his wife’s recent death by the time this movie was shot that he would suffer from night panic. In order to make his nights easier, so he would not be alone when the attacks happened, Christopher Lee used to sleep in his same bed.
  •  Most of this movie was shot without audio recording; the soundtracks and dialogue were all added in post-production. Sir Christopher LeePeter Cushing, and Telly Savalas provided their own voices for this movie’s English-speaking version.
  • During production there was only one set available for the interior of the train cars. All of the scenes for each car had to be shot at once, and then the set would have to be reconstructed for the next car.
  • Released only two days after Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972), which also starred Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.
  • According to Eugenio Martín, most of Telly Savalas‘s dialogue and performance was improvised.
  • Character error: Being a Russian monk, Father Pujardov is an Orthodox Christina. Yet, he crosses himself left to right (the Catholic way)
  • When the train passes by in the shot just before the opening credits, the shadow of the camera crew is visiable on the ground.
  • In the opening credits of the English-language VHS version, Christopher Lee‘s name is misspelled as “Cristopher”.
  • In a brief panning scene of the train speeding through the night in the snow immediately following the scene where the the guards force open the crate, it can be easily observed that it is actually a small scale toy train and not an actual train.
  • When Saxton speaks with Mirov in his compartment, the view out the window is stationary and not moving as the train is in motion.
  • The human brains in the autopsy scene are obviously made of foam rubber, as evidenced by their resilience when touched by the actors.
  • Horror Express was filmed in Madrid between 1971 and 1972 and produced on a low budget of $300,000, with the luxury of having three familiar genre actors in the lead roles, and filming began in December 1971.
  • Horror Express generally received positive reviews. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 75% approval rating with an average rating of 6.85 out of 10, based on 12 reviews.

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