DVD Review: The Midnight Meat Train

51ehsqz8jl ss500  DVD Review: The Midnight Meat Train

The Midnight Meat Train was dumped into a few cheap seat theatres by Lions Gate Studios.  It deserved a better fate.  It’s a mixed bag, but its extremely stylish and well-made.  The film is a visually stunning and gory horror flick.  The film’s real star is acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Ryuhei Kitamura, who directed the cult films Versus and Azumi.  The Midnight Meat Train marks his American debut.  It’s based on a short story from horror maestro Clive Barker.  The film looks great and is an exciting ride almost from start to finish.

The Midnight Meat Train is about a struggling photographer named Leon Kauffman (Bradley Cooper) who takes disturbing nighttime photos and is encouraged by a smarmy art gallerist (a welcome Brooke Shields) to take even grittier photos that expose the dark side of humanity.  The photographer then becomes obsessed with a psychotic and hulking killer named Mahogany (an effective and wordless Vinnie Jones) who is killing commuters on the late night subway trains.  Leon begins to (predictably) unravel and the film can’t quite sustain its full runtime.  An end twist (barely explained) also hurts the final product.

The sick and slick-looking Midnight Meat Train gets a nice widescreen transfer and the audio is excellent as well. A few notable extras were also included on the DVD. Most notably, a shockingly candid audio commentary from Clive Barker and director Ryuhei Kitamura, and they are very honest and unhappy at the film’s treatment by the indifferent studio.  There’s also a nice (if odd) featurette on Clive Barker and a very cool featurette on making a death scene come to life.  Gore fans will enjoy that feature the most.

The Midnight Meat Train is a nice change from the torture porn and retreads that litter the theatres now.  It’s entertaining and extremely watchable.  It’s only marred by an incoherent twist at the end.  Director Ryuhei Kitamura is justly a huge star overseas, and here’s hoping he gets to make more films in the US as soon as possible.

DVD Grade: B-

pixel DVD Review: The Midnight Meat Train

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