Night Train (1999) film thoughts… I have owned this DVD from Synapse Films for quite a bit and thought it actually might fit COEURS NOIRS well. After viewing, I’m wondering to myself why I barely hear anyone talking about it. Joe Butcher was once a top of the hill criminal, along with his brother. He gets sent away to prison for a stint, upon release finds out that his brother is missing, last seen in Tijuana. Determined to find him, he jumps a “night train” to that destination and his decent into hell has begun.

Wow…I don’t even know where to begin because I feel if you like film noir/neo-noir and experimental films, you will find Night Train to be highly interesting. First time director Les Bernstein rightly put his name above the film title as the insane concept he is given you is all his. Shot in B & W on old German film stock, Night Train throws everything and the kitchen sink at you. So many films try to do this type of film in a modern age but fail. Here, the old fashioned film effects and styles work. Be warned: if you are squeamish, you will not like some of the extremely graphic images with in the film. There is nothing conventional about Night Train, even the main character is against Noir type, he is oafish, crude and quite an idiot. Even though visually stunning, it is not a style over substance film, the story is solid. Low budget and taking years to complete, Les Bernstein shows if you have patience and determination, you can make a quality film.

Dark and brooding, it has moments of humor and even John Waters-like excesses. Night Train works and it’s another one of those films that will stick with me for a long time.


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