Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Original Title: L’ultimo treno della notte
Alternate Title: Last Stop On The Night Train, Late Night Trains
Italy/West Germany/Austria, 1975. European Incorporation, Rewind Film. Story by Roberto Infascelli, Ettore Sanzò, Screenplay by Renato Izzo, Aldo Lado. Cinematography by Gabor Pogany. Produced by Pino Buricchi, Paolo Infascelli. Music by Ennio Morricone. Production Design by Franco Bottari. Costume Design by Franco Bottari. Film Editing by Alberto Gallitti.
Better than average giallo thriller that has Italian Lisa ending her visit with German friend Margaret before they get on a train to go to Lisa’s family in Verona. Boarding at the same time are two thugs who have just beaten up and robbed a Santa Claus in the town square and are now in search of more trouble. They harass an elegant woman passenger, played by the lovely Macha Méril, who is turned on by their aggression and becomes their companion, the unholy trio following the two girls when they switch trains to a direct line that will take them home overnight. The tension that director Aldo Lado has been building with an impressively firm hand finds its disturbing climax in the confrontation that follows when the three horny villains intrude in the girls’ train compartment, a scene that earned the film quite a bit of notoriety for its disturbing nature. All the while that the young women have been on this journey, Lisa’s parents have been waiting for them at home, preparing for the visit with great joy until they go to the train station and are met by a very different situation than they expected. The script is imaginative in its highly unlikely but, within the context of this film, wholly acceptable coincidences, with director Lado creating an exciting train drama before the very satisfying climax on firm ground. The characters are far more developed than you would expect from something designed for exploitation and make a marked impression within the perfectly composed and lit frames.