Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Barker's new ride

Recently I watched a new Clive Barker adaptation, The Midnight Meat Train.

This is just a dark film. Naturally, with Clive Barker writing and producing, you know it's gonna be nasty.
At first, I wasn't sure just what the hell was going on except that there was a serial killer choosing victims on a midnight subway train. Simple concept. Not such a simple flick.

Story goes like this: Leon (Bradley Cooper, in a really odd career choice) is a struggling photographer trying to impress a big wig (Brooke Shields) in the photography world with his unique visions of New York City.
She asks for more - something dark, something real.
He stalks the streets of NYC at night, soon running into a young woman being accosted by a few gang-like thugs. He stops the attack by pointing out the security cameras to them.

The next morning, when having brunch with his supportive girlfriend (Leslie Bibb), he notices a picture of the girl he saved the previous night. She is missing and presumed dead.

Soon he is on the trail of a serial killer who, like I mentioned, selects victims by riding the subway late at night and waiting for most people to get off.. then he gets his trusty - yet thick and scary- meat hammer and brutally slams it into the victims. Over and over, and over again.

The visuals are quite disturbing, and tap into the same kind of visceral sensations that Barker's Hellraiser once did as well. There is a considerable of flying blood.

When Leon tracks the killer down, he risks life and limb by actually taking pictures of the crimes as they occur.

To say more would be saying too much. You have to see this, if nothing else but for the cinematography. It is really stylish and unique in a world of lame remakes and unoriginal films.
I mean, who doesn't like meat hooks, creepy meat packing plants, and slow motion flying blood, right?

But it's not all good. It suffers from some plot holes and isn't particularly scary.
There are changes from the source material (Books of Blood by Barker himself) that are inexplicable.
And the villian, though seemingly menacing and hard-core, comes off always looking like he has a bowel impaction.. or that he might burst into laughter. Ok, maybe that's just me.

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