Midnight Meat Train



Midnight Meat Train is kind of a hybrid between a very intense crime thriller and a stygian horror film with supernatural elements. While the two aspects are revealed in concert, the major thrust of the film switches from one to the other in the final act.

Leon is a budding art photographer who wants to be the first to capture the true underbelly of the city in bleak black-and-white compositions. His first meeting with an influential art dealer results in a humiliating dressing-down in which she tells Leon that his photographs are cowardly failures which always stop short of telling the full, unvarnished story. Determined to prove his worth, Leon takes to the darkest urban haunts at two in the morning with a new determination to capture the ebony soul of the city. In so doing, he accidentally photographs a murderer and his prospective victim just before they enter a subway train. Of course he doesn't know at that moment what he has photographed, but realizes it the next day when he sees the victim's picture in the newspaper. He takes his story to the police, but his photos do not show any part of the murderer except an arm, so the detective decides that the story lacks enough substance to be helpful.

From that point on, Leon is determined to solve the mystery concerning the disappearance of the woman he photographed, who seems to have just vanished from the face of the earth, like many others in recent weeks. He soon focuses his investigation on a mysterious butcher who was in the subway station on the night the girl vanished. He follows the butcher, photographs him, and ... well ...

Meanwhile, Leon's adoring girlfriend is upset by the changes in her gentle vegetarian lover. He is obsessed with the butcher, and a parallel set of disappearances which happened a century earlier. He is obviously undergoing a major psychological breakdown, which is changing him significantly. He starts to make love roughly. He starts to eat meat.

Let's pause for a moment.

Up to that point in the film, the audience has basically been watching a very gory version of a Brian de Palma movie. The photographer becomes obsessed with the murderer, and it is only a matter of time before the killer realizes that he's being followed and who is doing it. The best scenes in the film result from the dramatic tension generated by the killer's gradual awareness of the photographer's presence, the photographer's fear of discovery, and the even greater fear he must face when the killer connects the dots and starts to stalk back.

That much was a brilliantly realized psychological crime thriller. The only thing that made it a horror film was that the actual murders were pictured in far more graphic detail than de Palma would limn it.

Then the film takes a mysterious turn into the Twilight Zone.

The killer is about to be overpowered by one of his victims, a large brawny tough, when the subway operator appears, and intervenes ... on behalf of the killer. He tells the killer that he is sorely disappointed in him. The killer soon captures the photographer, the latter passes out, but he awakens in another location, none the worse for wear except for some curious runes etched into the skin on his chest.

Say what?

Since the film is quite a good one and I'm now too far into spoiler territory, I can't really tell you the rest of the story, other to say that the explanation places the film securely in the horror genre.

This film was the first American effort from Japanese hot-shot Ryuhei Kitamura, and was adapted (faithfully, by all accounts) from a short story by horror maven Clive Barker. The film was produced by Lionsgate in its drive to take over the gorehound and torture porn market, an effort which saw them reap substantial profits from such fare as the Saw and Hostel films.

That's a great pedigree for this sort of film. As this particular film was about to be released, however, Lionsgate had a change of management and a come-to-Jesus meeting with its bankers that moved it into mainstream Hollywood territory. The ultra-violent Meat Train was taken off the express line to a full-scale release and shuttled off on a local line to nowhere. Instead of the anticipated wide release, it was released into 100 theaters on August 1 with no fanfare. Clive Barker fans called for some beheadings at Lionsgate, but those genre aficionados are relatively few in number and had no support other than from a few scattered critics. The film turned in such dreadful box office numbers that the possibility of expansion was obviated.

There are some parts of the story that bother me, including a few inconsistencies in the plot. The murderer's strength and vulnerability, for example, seem to change from scene to scene, and that creates some confusion and exposes some typical horror film contrivance. And the ending, which includes an explanation of sorts, is either terrifying or silly, and I'm not sure which. In the main, however, this is a kick-ass horror story which could give your children nightmares for weeks. (Hint: don't let them watch.) It takes some time to develop the photographer's character, so the audience gets involved enough to care when he begins to disintegrate. It is filled with flashy direction, speeding the action and slowing it down, not just to show off, but to accentuate the action. The set design and lighting techniques are stylized and effective. There are some set pieces that are just dazzling in their ability to put the audience into the mind of the protagonist, highlighted by a cat-and-mouse chase among the carcasses in a slaughterhouse.

Fair warning. Meat Train is grisly, ugly, and unremittingly bleak. It makes SE7EN look like a brightly lit Sunday school picnic. You don't want to see this if you are repulsed by dismemberments, graphic butchery, and extreme brutality. I myself did not actually enjoy the film and would not watch it again, but that's just because this sort of unpleasantness is not my kind experience. Setting that aside, I was dazzled by its brilliance and its unhesitating commitment to capture the true essence of Clive Barker's writing. Given the odd ending (which, I am assured, is completely faithful to the source material), I'm not sure about the actual meat on that midnight train, but this film makes up for any lack of steak with plenty of sizzle.



Definitely not enough nudity. Only a very brief flash from Leslie Bibb and a bit of breastitude from a corpse or two.





I'm looking for good-quality stills and video of De'Anne Power from the "Beverly Hills Bordello" episode entitled "Forbidden Fruit." De'Anne is a striking, mature (mid-30s) and sophisticated blonde who plays a harried executive who poses as a employee of the bordello in an effort to get her sexual mojo back. She shows full nudity during the sex scenes, including a full light blonde bush, unusual even back in the day when women has bushes. :) If anyone out there can post this material, much appreciated.



  • * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.








The Making of the Carousel Girls Calendar


Some videotapes will never make it to digital media. The Making of the Carousel Girls Calendar should be one of them. This is, for most of its running time, a standard strip and pose - no wiggling at all - kind of tape. Gals get nekkid in two settings, once while they are posing for this calendar while riding a carousel ... you see where the title comes from ... and again out in the wild somewhere. The carousel posing is partly behind-the-scenes of the photoshoot and partly a more free-form, clothes-free romp. All that is just dandy and it takes up maybe 60% of the tape time. The other 40% is not so dandy as the folks who shot this tape turned it into a documentary about the photographer. One would not object except he is made out to be some sort of artist who sculpts and paints and only lately chose to shoot nekkid gals on film because that is just as legitimate a medium to work with.

He is a latter day Toulouse Lautrec, this guy - just as humorless

Only taller.

And no beard.

Anyway the gals look good and were this a DVD I might still be capping it. A few of them you know from real movies - Julie K. Smith, Samantha Phillips, Erin Ashley and Shelly Jones. Several others come with two names but seem to have done little more than pose for Penthouse - Robin Brown, Sasha Vinni, Shandra Rollins, Amy Morgan, Gina Passarella and Dawnya Welsh make up that group. With three women we are on a first-name basis only. Those would be the Pleasure Twins, Jennifer and Justina, and a pneumatic blonde named Heather (weren't all over-inflated blondes in the early 90's named Heather?).

Do keep in mind this was from an old videotape and so the quality is nothing to brag I won't. But as I stated at the outset, videotape is all we are likely ever to see of the Carousel Girls and their calendar.

Day 1

Here is the intro.









Howard TV

Danni Ashe visits Howard Stern and takes of her top as she defends her claim that she is the most downloaded woman on the net. She has a of "Big Uns" that are real.

Caps and a clip.










Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

High Definition

 Part 3 of 3. Tanja Reichert

Film clip here. Collages below.







Notes and collages

Along Came Polly


Jennifer Aniston







enter the Dragon Scan

One film clip today: Maruschka Detmers in The Devil in the Flesh

and three collages

Johari Azizi in Body and Soul
Anne Parillaud in Pour le peau ...
Lucy Ramos in Turistas






This section will present film clips to accompany Charlie's collages (which are found in his own site).

This presents all the latest from Defoe.

La Gueule Ouverte is a 1974 film from a highly respected director, Maurice Pialat. Today's nudity features Nathalie Baye, Corinne Derel, and Jeanne Dulac (Lancelot's girl?).

"Pas de Secrets entre Nous" is a brand new TV series, represented today by Julie Boulanger.

"Theo la Tendresse" was a short-lived TV series in the mid nineties. It hung around long enough to give us this clip of Severine Ferrer

Miss Montigny is a Belgian film which made the festival circuit. Variety describes it as "A minor-key Euro variation on Michael Ritchie's 1975 social comedy Smile, Miss Montigny falls somewhere between Ken Loach and The Full Monty in its evocation of a small-town beauty pageant in rural Belgium. Well-crafted but in the end too modest to quicken the pulse, item is a fine, if subdued, fest entry."  The film clip features Sophie Quinton

Un Amour de Fantome is another recent Belgian film about which IMDb is all but mute. The film clip features Virginie Effira.







Monica Delain in Lost Boys: The Tribe

Christina Milian upskirt which just misses the good stuff

Coco falls out of her blouse


Film Clips

Gemma Arterton in the umpteenth adaptation of Tess of the D'Urbervilles

There is no nudity in this clip of Salma Hayek on a German TV show, but you're gonna love it if you like Salma. (She provides her usual assets: gorgeous face and outrageous cleavage. Why doesn't she ever age?)