A little bit of Hammer styled horror cross-pollinated with 70s Spanish cinematic flair make up the body of Horror Express. The folks over at Arrow Video have come up with another great release with an impressive 2k scan and a lot of of in-depth special features that make their releases some of the best around.
Horror Express, or as I prefer “Terror on the Tran-Siberian Express,” follows an Anthropologist, Professor Alexander Saxon (Christopher Lee) who is transporting an ancient frozen creature by Trans-Siberian train. Unfortunately, for everyone aboard the creature reanimates and begins picking off passengers in a unique, ghastly fashion.
This low-budget sci-fi, horror has big things on its mind. It simultaneously plays as an Agatha Christie level whodunit, a goopy creature feature and a charming, and at times, comedic all out horror film.
The film also brings Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Telly Savalas and daringly puts them into one frame. I mean, for me seeing that trio on screen is a special kind of magic. Lee and Cushing with their classical subdued styles and Savalas with his notably big and memorable approach. And boy does he give a big and memorable scene in Horror Express.
If you haven’t yet seen the film, go ahead and skip this next paragraph. You have been warned.
Savalas is only outdone by the prehistoric creature itself. The creature’s narrative is really evolved for the time. It is revealed to be from outer space and has been around since the prehistoric era. It survives by jumping from organism to organism and soaking up its victim’s knowledge while killing its prey, making it one smart and resourceful cookie.
The Arrow disc is loaded with both old and new special features but the ‘Telly and Me’ feature is one of the best and most endearing of the bunch. In it composer, John Cacavas talks about his friendship and working relationship with Savalas, with revealing, funny and heartfelt moments.
The full features of the disc include:
- Brand new 2K restoration from original film elements
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Original Uncompressed mono audio
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- Brand new audio commentary with Stephen Jones and Kim Newman
- Introduction to the film by film journalist and Horror Express super-fan Chris Alexander
- Murder on the Trans-Siberian Express – an interview with director Eugenio Martin
- Notes from the Blacklist – Horror Express producer Bernard Gordon on working in Hollywood during the McCarthy Era
- Telly and Me – an interview with composer John Cacavas
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- Reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys
- FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Fully-illustrated collector’s booklet with new writing by Adam Scovell
Surprisingly, this Lee and Cushing team up is on a lot of horror hound’s blind spots. It deserves a watch and is must for any Lee, Cushing collectors out there.
The disc arrives Feb. 12 and can be found here.