Horror Express (1972)

Rating: **
Review Date: 3/23/13
Cast: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, cameo by Telly Savalas

"We're not monsters! We're British!"

Dr. Saxton (Christopher Lee) discovers a frozen ape-man in Manchuria and prepares to send it back to England aboard the Trans-Siberian Express. Unfortunately, it's not as dead as everyone thinks, and rival scientist Dr. Wells (Peter Cushing) unwittingly sets it loose. The creature goes on a calculated killing spree aboard the train, raising questions and suspicions about its nature, until Saxton and Wells finally put an end to its reign of terror.

A good looking horror film with an interesting premise, but the execution is lacking and favors cheap thrills over tight storytelling. Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing are delightful as always, but their roles demand very little from them. A pointless cameo by Telly Savalas as a disgruntled Kosack is laughably awful, and makes you wonder why he's in the film at all. The period costumes are fabulous and the leading ladies wear them well. Apart from an impressive glowing eye effect, the visual effects are pretty poor and the miniature work is unconvincing. The film also includes one of the worst opening credits sequences I've ever seen, and is basically just a montage of lens flares and light leaks. Simply terrible.