A penny saved is ridiculous.

A penny saved is ridiculous.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A gory film with a side of smarts

Like The Ruins, another horror film I recently enjoyed on DVD (and discussed in a recent post), The Midnight Meat Train is a horror movie that- gads!- isn't afraid to actually be horrifying. There's lots of visceral and disturbing stuff here. But it all serves a pretty good story, one that- due to its source material being a short story by the great Clive Barker- also has an energetic little "literary" vibe going on under the surface. So you get some metaphors and social commentary along with all the bloodletting by the crazed ex-butcher who hangs out in lonely subway cars. Other plusses: some naturalistic, easygoing acting by the central young couple in the early going, which gets our guard down, and a quirky supporting character or two. A small minus: some cartoony CGI among the otherwise painfully realistic gore effects.

Do yourself a favor and dip into the bonus features after taking in the movie. They include generous interview material with Clive Barker, who really is a fascinating guy. I never knew he had a passion for painting in addition to his writing career and frequent activities in film.

The Midnight Meat Train was adapted from the short story of the same name, which appeared in one of Mr. Barker's Books of Blood collections of short fiction. While none of the Books of Blood are currently on Kindle, plenty of other Barker titles are available, including The Great and Secret Show ($9.99), Imajica ($9.99), and The Hellbound Heart ($6.99).

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