Terror Train



                     They should never have taken the train........


A college is celebrating New Year's and everybody is happy. One of the fraterneties, Sigma Phi, decide to play a prank on a shy and awkward young man, Kenny Hampson. Alana Maxwell is coerced into leading Kenny into a bedroom at the fraternity party under the pretence of having sex. However, when Kenny comes to the bed to kiss Alana, he instead finds a woman's corpse. The prank backfires horribly, and poor Kenny ends up in a mental ward

Three years later, it's graduation time, and the members of the fraternites and sororities decide to have a costume party aboard a train trip to celebrate their graduation. The jokester of the group, Ed, is found run through with a sword, everybody thinks it's a joke while Ed falls dead. The unseen killer steals Ed's Groucho Marx costume and boards the train, disguised as him.

The male who made up the cruel prank on Kenny, Doc Manley boasts about how he set the prank up. But, Alana walks in and tells him that it was a mean joke, reminding them all of poor Kenny's fate. The group decides to forget about it, and open a bottle of champers. Meanwhile, Jackson runs into the killer, who he thinks is Ed, brings him into the bathroom to get drunk, and is hurled into a mirror. Alana tries to get into the bathroom, but the door is locked, so she gets Carne, the train conductor, to unlock it. Inside is Jackson's body, with blood everywhere. Luckily, most of the other students are watching a performance by a magician named Ken, so they don't know what's happening yet. Carne gets another crew member to take a look at it, but the killer has cleaned up all the blood and is now in Jackson's alien lizard costume.

Now dressed as Jackson, the killer goes for Alana's best friend Mitchy. She wants to have a one night stand with him in a sleeping compartment, but as he fondles her breasts, she looks down to see Jack's severed hand on her. Before she can scream, the killer strangles her, and slits her throat. Alana and Carne discover her body shortly afterwards, yet the killer is still on the loose.

Next, Alana's boyfriend, Mo is stabbed in the chest while watching the magician's show. This time, everybody knows about it as he was among a crowd of people, but no one saw who stabbed him. Doc pulls the emergency brake, but when the train doesn't stop, the conductor races to the cab of the train and seeing no engine crew, slams the train into emergency. Everybody else on the train are told to get off so the crew can search for the killer and take roll call. Doc and Alana realize that Kenny is the killer and is getting revenge. Alana tries to warn everybody else, but Doc locks himself in a cabin, locking Alana out. As Alana gets off the train, Doc is confronted by the killer, now wearing Mitchy's witch costume.

As everybody gets back on the train, Alana and Carne discover Doc's body, along with his decapitated head. The killer has stolen Doc's monk costume as well. Now, Carne has herded the students on one side of the train, so he'll be able to find the killer. Alana begins to think the killer is the magician, but the magician has disappeared. Alana is to stay in one of the locked cabins. But eventually, the killer(still in Mitchy's witch costume) finds Alana, and he chases her into the conductor's car. Alana locks herself in the conductor's office (which is caged off). The killer finds her, and she stabs him in the face with a letter opener. She runs out of the office and pushes the killer off the train.

Now relieved, she decides to walk over to the magician's cabin, and she discovers his dismembered body in a cabinet, realizing that he couldn't have been the killer. Alana runs into the baggage car and she finds Carne's sitting at his desk, with his head down. But, Alana realizes it isn't Carne: dressed in a conductor's uniform, it's Kenny! He never fell out of the train, and he wasn't the magician, but, dressed in drag as the magician's female assistant. He tells Alana to kiss him - exactly what Alana told Kenny the night of the prank - and when she does, Kenny goes crazy, reliving the fateful night. Before anything else can happen, however, Carne runs in with a shovel, and finally knocks Kenny out of the train, his body falling in a river.








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Directed by Roger Spottiswoode
Produced by Harold Greenberg
Written by T. Y. Drake
Starring Ben Johnson
Jamie Lee Curtis
Hart Bochner
David Copperfield
Music by John Mills-Cockell
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) October 3, 1980
Running time 97 min.
Language English
Budget $3,500,000