Night Train to Terror (1985)

Nomination Year: 2016
SYNOPSIS:  There's this train, see. On the train is the most terrifying thing ever imagined: A really, really bad 80's band. Also, there's God, the Devil, and a creepy conductor. Before the train's destined crash at dawn, God and Satan decide to settle accounts for a trio of souls whose final fate are in doubt. This movie is actually one of those really crappy anthology films of the era—several movies crammed together, surrounded by a thin bookend plot. In the first sub-movie, a man is kidnapped and brainwashed by an evil asylum that kidnaps and brainwashes women into slavery. The second sub-movie deals with a wonton woman who draws her boyfriend into her sick world of death games. Finally, the third movie turned out to be footage from other than a former Smithee film, The Nightmare Never Ends, where the Devil (don't ask me how they justified that with the one on the train) is outed by an old Jew, a burned out cop, and a lady doctor (remember the heart in the microwave?). In between and throughout, the segments are punctuated by the singing, partying, break-dancing, leg-warmer-and-high-hair-wearing teens singing their signature (read: only) song, the refrain of which is "Everybody's got something to do, everybody but you!" Proving that, if nothing else, the filmmakers know their target audience.

Smithee Award Winner! Most Ludicrous Premise

Everybody’s Got Something To Do… (A Premise of Sorts, and a Definite Bad Song)
Perhaps a better summary of the premise. The creepy conductor states it. And right after, one of the kids says “Like, I wish our bus hadn’t broken down.” And then we’re…treated…to another round of the same friggin’ song. And break dancing. It’s nice that train has a dance studio on board, complete with vases that don’t apparently slip around… Uuugh.

Stupidest-Looking Monster

Fake Bug, Fake Hand, Fake Splody-Head
Here we are in the second of the three anthologies. A man falls in love with a porn star and seeks her out. They go together, but she’s got a taste for the edgiest pasttime: Death games at a death club where members are forced to play what amounts to incredibly elaborate games of Russian Roulette, complete with an actual Russian who points out at every opportunity that such-and-such is there “…to simulate the empty chamber in a gun, like in Russian Roulette!” In this clip, a rare, poisonous insect is set free in the room. I can imagine why it’s so rare. It turns nearby people into fake-looking props.

Worst Special Effect

They Should Have Named the Computer “Deep Fry”
Another death game our hero is forced into. His ardor for his girlfriend has cooled by this point. The club members are hooked up to a computer that will shock one of them on green, very strongly shock another on yellow, and outright electrocute a third on red. Let’s play! (This segment had a really cheesy third game, where the members are all in sleeping bags under a wrecking ball that’s circling above them as its rope is being cut by a saw…I could have clipped it but figured I had enough similar from this film.)

Crummiest Ending

A Kind of Happy-ish Ending, I Guess
It’s nearing dawn and God and Satan’s negotiations are drawing to a close. It’s time for the train to crash. When it does, I can just imagine the cheers that will go up in the room. Everbody’s got something to do. Excuse me, I have to go hook myself up to a death computer.

Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame
Ferdy Mayne The Leader in Conan the Destroyer 
Tony Giorgio Played a number of bit parts and villains on 70's and 80's TV 
John Phillip Law Played the angel "Pygar" in Barbarella, then was typecast as space villains 
Richard Moll Best known as "Bull" from Night Court; stands 6'8" 
Byron Yordan  
Merideth Haze  
Director Claim to Fame
Jay Schlossberg-Cohen Also associate producer for Bloody Wednesday 
John Carr  
Phillip Marshak  
Gregg C. Tallas wrote the 1950 Prehistoric Women, also film editor on the late Marx Brothers film A Night in Casablanca 
Tom McGowan  

Bryan Cassidy

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