31 Days Of Thrilling Horror: Horror Express

Take one low budget movie, add horror icons Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Throw in a crazed Telly Savalas as a gun-toting Cossack. Borrow the plot from the short story Who Goes There? (which was made into the movie The Thing) and you have an really effective horror movie called the Horror Express (1972) aka Panic in the Trans-Siberian Train.

Christopher Lee stars as a professor who has unearthed a frozen creature which Lee believes is the missing link. He runs into his rival / colleague Cushing and they board a train on the Trans-Siberian Railway. A thief tries to break into creature’s container and he turns up dead with his eyes drained freaky milky white. Soon there’s dead bodies everywhere and it’s starting to look like the creature might be more than just a man in a cheap monkey suit.

Despite it’s low budget origins (the budget was only $300,000), this is a pretty entertaining movie. Spain doubles for Russia and the train sets were reused from director Eugenio Martin’s previous movie Vendetta but there is a very claustrophobic atmosphere here as the bodies start piling up. The film has fallen unfortunately into public domain and there several crappy DVD versions out there. Severin Films has announced a DVD and Blu-Ray release next year but if you can’t wait that long, there’s always the Internet Archive.

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka has spent most of his life watching movies and reading comic books. He has decided to use this vast knowledge for evil instead of good.