Horror Express (1973)

Directed by: Edgar Wright

Written by: Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright


Christopher Lee .... Professor Alexander Saxton
Peter Cushing .... Dr. Wells
Alberto de Mendoza .... Father Pujardov
Silvia Tortosa .... Countess Irina Petrovska
Julio Pena .... Inspector Mirov
Angel del Pozo .... Yevtushenko
Helga Line .... Natasha
Alice Reinhart .... Miss Jones
Jose Jaspe .... Conductor Koniev
George Rigaud .... Count Maryan Petrovski
Terry Savalas .... Captain Kazan

Release Dates: Theatrical: December 3, 1973 (UK); January 1974 (USA)


1906: In the icy caves of Northern China, Professor Alexander Saxton (Christopher Lee) makes a remarkable discovery that could change the history of mankind!
He boards the Trans-Siberian Express with his chief rival, Dr. Wells (Peter Cushing) and his new discovery -- a frozen creature believed to be the Missing link in the evolution chain -- locked safely in a large wooden crate.
Desperate for a look at the new discovery, Dr. Wells pays a clerk to drill a peephole in the locked crate.
After the clerk disappears, everyone gets a look inside the crate containing the frozen creauture, but all they find is the dead clerk!
The hunt for the deadly monster now begins as more and more dead bodies begin to pile up. Saxton and Wells race to find the creature's weakness before it's too late, but how do you kill...


The film seems to start off looking totally low budget Grindhouse like in which we spot some people digging up a creature spotted in some ice which seemed impressive and a good start off for the flick.
Also there's a good creepiness in the tale later on when some people plan to store it in a passenger train as we spot a religious nutcase Father Pujardov warning them about it as this for sure leaves a bit of a chill down your spine expecting later on in the story that something is gonna get extremely creepy along with spotting a corpse having their eyes white which hads a nice camera shot on this and giving it a total horror effect too.
What really makes things creepily mysterious is that we hear a groan coming from the box where the monster is and having some concerns with the main characters in order to check it out which makes you wonder if this thing will attack or not.
There is a cute and funny moment when the main woman Countess Irina Petrovska is talking to Professor Alexander Saxton and is holding her dog in which wants to be put down whimpering which can leave some chuckles along with a nice friendly feel to the story since these moments often work well before the terror starts.
We spot good camera shots on a hairy arm trying to break a lock from the box as this draws in some interesting old fashioned cheesy horror as well as a great shot on a conductor spotting this and then some red eyes glaring at this person making theirs white and falling down. The story starts to go really well after we see this and perfectly put in making this moment look terrifying and dark.
Then when we spot people hunting for this creature leaves a good impression on what will happen here as well as a good one liner on Pujardov telling them that it's the devil and this thing is not dead which was also nicely written in knowing the terrors will keep happening here and begging for more of this.
What was neat to watch is when Dr. Wells and Saxton takes a look at the eye of the monster and spotting histirical pictures in which the eye is a collector of what it pictured making this fun to watch but what was more interesting is a pic of the planet Earth in which draws in well when we discover that this creature wasn't from this planet when dinosaurs ruled the world since it's always fun having an alien creature in a horror flick.
Things seem to work in nicely when Inspector Mirov acts weird towards Miss Jones as we spot that his arm is growing hair leaving a perfect horror touch here and suspecting the creature possessed this person's soul as well it looked neat when he stares at her with his red eyes and then spot a closer look on her eyes growing white and getting bloodied which looked incredibly spooky here.
Things seem to roll in well but then there's a wicked man named Captain Kazan coming on board in which he shows a wicked slick attitude towards everyone on board in which this seemed to look pretty bland here. But the terror breaks loose when Mirov starts to unleash his terror making things look effective in the story. As well as Pujardov tempting Mirov to let him be a part of him as the settings here was nicely done along with what happens here.
What looks interesting is when we spot Pujardov possessed with this creature and the main cast demanding as to who he is in which he explains himself from who he is and having a tempting attitude drew in well as well as the people we thought were dead with their eyes white rising up and slowly apporaching the survivors bringing some good suspense here giving it a zombie type of feel to the story which adds some interesting flavor to the horror story. Yet most of this becomes a disappointment watching all the way through as the story starts to become pointless here.
Bottom line is that the film is from Spain in which has a very low budget feel all the way through with some creepy touches and some boring dialogues which some didn't fit into the story too well. However it was neat watching this locomotive chugging along since there's neat footage of this. If you're in the mood for an average Grindhouse horror film then this one is for you.

The acting is fairly good with a local cast from Spain as well as some UK actors.
Christopher Lee
(Professor Alexander Saxton) seems to pull through well playing the heroic type of character in the film by battling this creature and trying to discover where it came from. He draws a perfect seriousness into what he does here as well as showing off a nice charm but no nonsense behavior too. His performance I must say is quite solid and stood out quite well. A
great demanding actions on him which the energy was at a perfect intensity in a situation of the story.
The late UK celebrity Peter Cushing (Dr. Wells) shined off well as an intelligent Doctor and has an energetic performance. He has a great bubbly life like behavior and having a ton of spunk into whatever he does here. I found him to be one of the best actors in this flick making his role believeably likeable. He is a true talent and character actor.
Alberto de Mendoza
(Father Pujardov) stands out the most as an overly religious monk as he shows great crazed expressions and character to his part and does well at being intense too. There's a good insane reaction on him in a certain scene towards the main actors and great exaggerated expressions while speaking them. He shows a great icy voice with all that he does here along with having the perfect looks like some sort of a Manson wannabe. Plus he shows a perfect versatality when he becomes possessed by this creature by changing his voice and personality which was a perfect plus for this guy. A nice crazed speaking on him strongly speaking towards his fellow actor in a scene.
Silvia Tortosa
(Countess Irina Petrovska) breezed on through her part perfectly having a good smooth talking type of appeal here in which she shows off a nice friendly and chamring like behavior into her role and making what she does very believeable with her likeable attitude. I found she had great enthusiasm in her performance here and knew on how to do a character with what she did.
Julio Pena
(Inspector Mirov) really delivered too with his coldness to the film when he is posessed by the creature and is convincingly evil while doing so. He has a good gruffness to his speaking as well as being believeably stubborn to top it all off. He had a nice roughness to his looks for his role making this look perfect for what he is doing here.
There is a cold conversation towards his fellow actress when he reveals his dark and terrifying secret. All in all he studied his role pretty well and was a perfect horror character.
US character actor Terry Savalas (Captain Kazan) is also believeable in his role playing a nasty Captain and is very memorable in his part even if it is only about 15 minutes long.
He was well worth mentioning in this flick in which he seems to have a wicked charm to his personality and was terrific with his lones and speaking them too. Plus he had a perfect look to his part to top it all off.

A head of a corpse is sawed off revealed the corpses brain.
People faces become slightly bloodied after looking at the creature.

The classical music in the film by John Cacavus was extremely toned out and shaky plus sometimes it sounded a little western like. There's some interesting low clarinet playing along with hearing creepy strings twanging too. Of course there's the odd sad violin playing in certain spots with some tinkling effects here and there to top it off. Nothing too great here though but it does suit the low budget feel of the movie.