Tagline: “So horrifyingly close to the truth, it will blow your mind!”
The year is 1978, and a space probe has returned to Earth from Mars. The probe has brought back a nice sampling of some unknown germ or virus that scientists are simply baffled by. After being injected in mice and rats, the virus seems to kill them but after hours and hours of research, those men in lab coats who earn a fantastic living can’t seem to come up with a reason why. Because it is such a disturbingly confusing specimen, they decide to move it from their small facility to a much larger facility until they can figure out what to do next. The mode of transportation? Why, a train of course! A scientist is placed on board the train to make sure the cargo reaches it’s destination without incident. Well, we all know this isn’t going to end well, don’t we? The scientist, Dr. Sorensen (Stafford Morgan), is posing as a visiting train conductor….yeah. Of course he’s not fooling the ACTUAL conductor, a dirty drunkard named Hank (George “Buck” Flower)…y’know, using big fancy words like “perpetual motion”. Hank finds out what the cargo is, steals Dr. Sorensen’s keys while he’s sleeping, sneaks into the train car and accidentally breaks a vial of the substance. OH NO! (Oh, and a quick side note: I can’t even begin to count how many times Hank says the name “Mr. Sorensen” in this film. Quite annoying, but not as annoying as little Joey from the movie “Shane”. ‘SHAAAAAANE!’ Sorry, rant is over.)
At this point we meet the 3 workers of the train depot where the cargo is changing hands. The man in charge is Charlie, played by the great Ralph Meeker in his most mild role EVER! Charlie has quite a bit of screen time, but very few lines. Jenny (Carol Newell), who does the books once a week, and Jack Tiller (John Goff), the foul-mouthed womanizing handyman for the station, each have their own issues that I simply will not get into. After finding out they’ve all been infected by the touch of Hank (it is NOT an airborne virus), Dr. Sorensen phones his superiors who immediately place them under quarantine. The next 30 or so minutes of the film is spent watching these folks sit and wait for the other scientists to create an antidote. Zzzzzzzz….huh, WHA??? Don’t fall asleep yet! This next part is important! WAKE UP!!!! The superiors call with some not-so-good news. (What you read next is NOT an actual quote from the film. Dramatized with added humor for your amusement) “Umm, yeah, so guess what? We haven’t found an antidote yet, but we know how the mice died. Here’s the thing, the virus takes affect as soon as the body reaches a sleeping state. So try to stay awake out there…or you’ll die. And did I mention that if the virus kicks in, your brain will swell up until your head explodes? Good luck to ya!”
I won’t tell you how the film ends, but needless to say there are some really “eye-popping” moments before it’s all through. I’d say that this film is “adequately stupid”. Yeah, I bet you’ve never seen those two words placed next to each other before. What I mean is that it has all of the characteristics of a basic B-Movie. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this film, but I wouldn’t NOT un-recommend not seeing it. Sorry, sleep deprivation makes me not…type…good…? I’m flubbing my words. Odd, I’m usually known for my somewhat impeccable locution. My game must be off.
Check out more info for this film here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075662/
Apologies for the link not working. Still trying to make that connect. Thank goodness for ‘copy and paste’. 🙂