PANIC ON THE TRANS-SIBERIAN
(Panico en el Transiberiano)
The lines come tongue-in-cheek when Julio Pena asks Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, What if one of you is the monster? Cushings reply is one of aghast surprise, Monster? Were British, man. Silvia Tortosas countess threatens Telly Savalass Cossack officer, Ill have you sent to Siberia, to which the straight-face reply is Madam, we are in Siberia. Telly Savalas gives an awful campy performance as a whip-cracking Cossack officer, although one can hardly knock him for not getting into the spirit of the enterprise.
The script happily flies in defiance of its stew of absurdities a brain is said to be wiped of its memories and is shown as smooth as a silk cushion; and there is the wonderful nonsense about the creature being able to store memories in its eye when the eye-fluids are placed under a microscope they are just like miniature film slides. Some reviewers call one of Horror Expresss greatest absurdities the presence of an engineer talking of space-travel in 1906 but neglect to mention that the engineer is referring to Russian writer Konstantin Tsiolkowsky, the so-called father of rocketry, who was publishing plausible scenarios for space-travel in the 1890s which actually makes this a rather clever as opposed to silly margin note.
Horror Express has surprisingly gained much mention in science-fiction guides but in actuality the casting of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing and particularly the character of the raving priest and chalk cross-marks that are unable to be made on the sides of the crate show that Horror Expresss real intent is closer to the horror film. In particular, it seems to be trying to ride on the success of the Anglo-horror cycle of the era as created by Hammer Films, more so than it is any kind of a low-budget variation on The Thing from Another World (1951). Horror Express is not exactly a subtle film, but then it doesnt need to be and the luridly red-lit eyes of the monster and bleached eyeballs are entertaining in a cheesy sort of way. The film does a reasonable job of drumming up period atmosphere on its meagre budget.
Full film available online here:-