Horror Movie Review: Amok Train (1989)

Amok Train also goes under the name Beyond the Door III. Now that might make you think you need to see the first two films but it’s a sequel in name alone. Forget Beyond the Door III as a title, Amok Train is much more fitting and far more intriguing!

Released in 1989 and directed by Jeff Kwitny, Amok Train is one of the most insane horrors we’ve seen. Utterly baffling, hilariously bad and the most perfect encapsulation of what 80s horror is. Wild and untethered imagination that is so very entertaining even if it’s a bit rubbish.

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The madness that is this story begins by introducing us to Beverley (Mary Kohnert) who is travelling to Yugoslavia with several of her classmates. It’s a school trip where the group will be meeting up with a professor to witness a scared pagan ritual as part of their studies.

Once in Yugoslavia the group are taken to a remote village by the professor that looks like the village from Resident Evil 4. It’s so out of time, it’s hilarious and if that wasn’t enough warning for the students, the villagers aren’t exactly friendly.

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That night, while sleeping the villagers nail the students inside their rooms and set them on fire. Most of the kids wake up and manage to break out but one hilariously sleeps through the noise and heat dying in flames. It’s just one of the many ‘what the?’ moments that Amok Train has.

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Running for their lives, the students manage to hop aboard a slow-moving train and think they’re safe. However, it’s out of the fire and onto the killer possessed train. This locomotive has a thirst for blood.

There’s a lot more to the story involving rituals, Satan’s bride, monks and more but to explain every detail of Amok Train would take too many words. If the idea of a possessed train killing off students in gory ways doesn’t appeal, there is no hope.

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It’s utterly stupid with horrible production that makes it unwatchable at times but it’s surprisingly entertaining. It doesn’t spend to long in the station either, picking up speed and racing out of control straight away. It’s such a frantic first third that when the film does slow down, it’s really painful to watch. We get these lengthy scenes of the Yugoslavian train controllers trying to find ways to stop the train. All spoken in their native tongue with no subtitles.

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At least with those scenes the dialogue isn’t as painful as a lot of the English-speaking moments. The cast aren’t great, not terrible just not great. However, the lines they’re expected to speak are cringe-worthy at times. Thankfully most get killed in gory and entertaining ways which is all that really matters in a movie like this!

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Have you ever seen a possessed train chase down a man as he makes his way through woodlands? You will if you watch Amok Train!




Amok Train
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