Saturday, August 2, 2008

I Have Ridden The Midnight Meat Train

I can now say I have ridden "The Midnight Meat Train."Based on a short(ish) story by Clive Barker, "The Midnight Meat Train" is a movie the studio had so much confidence in that they released it during the summer ... directly to 100 dollar theaters. Which means revenue could literally be in the $1000's by the end of the weekend.

I pretty much went to the movie because I don't seem to get tired of saying the phrase "Midnight Meat Train" as often as possible. It began with me ordering my ticket by saying "I am here to ride The Midnight Meat Train." She laughed at least, rather than just roll her eyes and curse fate for making her work in a discount movie theater over the summer.

"Midnight Meat Train" is the story of a guy who, in the quest to find more emotionally stirring photography in the underbelly of 'The City' where he lives, inadvertently finds himself trailing a butcher who carves people up while they're riding the latest subway in The City. As it's a Clive Barker story, it's pretty graphic and ends up being more than just a token slasher story. That's not to say it's in any way elevated, it just has more story than, say, "Prom Night."

So is the movie so bad that the theater released it directly to dollar theaters worth the disdain? Pretty much. It's not good. I mean, if you just want some gore shots it has a couple and the director certainly works his tail off to try and throw every directorial shot in his repertoire at the screen but none of it sticks. It comes off like an overshot movie with a REALLY bad script. Bradley Cooper (who played the jerk in 'Wedding Crashers' if you're trying to remember where you've seen him before) and Leslie Bibb (Will Ferrell's wife in 'Talladega Nights' and the blonde girl on the WB show 'Popular') are the leads, he an artist trying to break through and be a hit, she his supportive girlfriend. I mean, they're fine but they've got nothing to work with here. Brooke Shields shows up for a couple minutes as an art dealer who pushes the star to delve deeper into his work, indirectly pushing him toward danger and a ride on The Midnight Meat Train.

The end of the movie's a bit of a mess as the story veers into an underworld society of some sort, complete with Free Mason-like secret rings and cover-ups. By that point, I imagine most people will be happy to just get off The Midnight Meat Train. Preferrably to go see a different movie.