Friday, August 28, 2009
Midnight Meat Train ***1/2
Clive Barker has had a tough time in Hollywood. His first movie Hellraiser was a hit, but never found the success that Hellraiser found. His second and third movies, Nightbreed and Lord of Illusions, never really found an audience in theaters. The same goes for Midnight Meat Train.
Barker only produced Midnight Meat Train, but he had to go through the same problems that he did on his other movies. Lionsgate, the studio that released Midnight Meat Train, decided to dump the movie in about 1,000 theaters across the country, mostly dollar shows, with no promotion whatsoever. This pissed Barker and fans off big time.
So, is the movie any good? Yes it is. The movie is very good. Not just because Barker is involved with the movie, but also because the movie was directed by Ryuhei Kitamura, the man who gave us Versus and Godzilla: Final Wars. Kitamura has an eye for the weird and unusual, so he compliments Barker very well.
The movie is about a photographer (Bradley Cooper) who is always looking for the dark side of life. While out looking for said dark life he witnesses a brutal murder at the hands of Mahogany (Vinnie Jones). Cooper becomes obsessed with Mahogany, following him to work (Mahogany works at a meat processing plant) and then to the subway where Mahogany kills people who take the subway really late at night.
Obsession plays a big part in Barker's work. In the Hellraiser movies everyone was obsessed with a box that hold unspeakable horrors. In Nightbreed, Boone is obsessed with fitting in so much so that he goes to a place called Midian. And in this movie, obsession leads to the break-up of a relationship so that Cooper can get the dark material he so badly desires.
Midnight Meat Train is not a movie for everyone. Some people will find the pacing of the movie to be slow as the first murder doesn't happen until the 20 min mark. But if audiences stick around they will find themselves seeing things that we have never seen before. I liked Midnight Meat Train for what was there on the surface and what was below the surface. This is a real made movie.