So Bad it's Good!

Shaun vs. Beyond the Door III aka Amok Train (1989)

amokDirected by Jeff Kwitny

Starring Bo Svenson

American students visit Yugoslavia to witness a pagan ritual but wouldn’t you know it, they’re supposed to be part of it!  They hop aboard a passing train to escape but even the train wants them dead. 


Thankfully the movie doesn’t take too long to get to the good stuff, but the basic story is that some devil-worshipping Yugoslavians have tricked a group of American university students to visit their country so they can make them a part of a ritual sacrifice to bring back Satan, and after learning one of the girls is a virgin, well they found him a bride too!  Very efficient devil worshippers.  The students realize something is up when they are almost burned alive so they book it from the village and hop aboard a passing train to escape. 


My reaction? AAAAAHHHH! WHHHYYYY? Actor’s reaction? Hey…don’t do that, honey.

With all the craziness behind them, they feel safe with the conductor and the other employees until the train itself becomes possessed and does whatever a train can do to kill everyone off except for the lovely bride to be.  Anyone that gets in the train’s way gets killed off in brutal fashion, people get decapitated, run over, impaled, ripped apart, etc.  Any attempts to stop or derail the train ends in death and failure as nothing can stop this thing from delivering the goods.  If that sounds ridiculous, well of course it is.


Yugoslavia’s official virginity checker.

The old “Americans get killed in foreign country” concept isn’t new, neither is finding a bride for Satan, but throwing in a killer train into the mix is sure different…and hilarious.  What may have been an attempt at a serious horror film is thrown out the window because of the ludicrous killer train concept but it’s also why I kind of enjoyed it, it’s so corny but entertaining all the same.  Even with all the blood and guts thrown in, my favourite part involved a couple of students who are separated from the rest of the group who got onto the train.  The film cuts back to them consistently to see how they are surviving until a scene where the train goes off the track and goes out of its way just to run them over, in a marsh no less!  This may be the best scene to play a game of “Real or Model” as you laugh at the obvious model train used in most scenes where the train is off the track. 

Yes, it’s a cornball movie but it does deliver the blood and guts I mentioned above.  Now, the movie cheats a bit with the killer train concept by having things happen to accommodate a different kill instead of repeating the same thing over because there’s only so many ways you can imagine a moving train killing people.  The track moves on its own to get the train around and even the crossing guard gate impales someone hanging off the side of the train.  It’s absurd but that’s par for the course for this film.


Beware these vile creatures!

It’s a bad flick,but the fact that the movie is made so seriously, it’s still entertaining for all the wrong reasons.  Nothing is exceptionally well done, in fact quite the opposite, but it all comes together and delivers a delightfully absurd movie that provides as much in unintentional laughter as it does buckets of blood. 


Story: 4 – Not entirely original until you factor in a possessed demonic train travelling in Yugoslavia determined to make sure it gets an American girl married to Satan.  Is that what I watched??

Blood: 7 – The film offers up pretty much every way you can kill a person with a train and then throws in more.

Nudity: 1 – There was a sex scene and I definitely saw a buttocks.

Overall: 6 – It entertained me well beyond what I was expecting by being worse than I was expecting.  Well done, Amok Train.


-The title of the film makes you think its a sequel, yet the film has absolutely nothing to do with the other films before it.  In fact, the second movie didn’t have anything to do with the original either.  The film was given the title to piggyback off the success of those movies…even though they have nothing to do with each other. 

-How different are they?  The first movie is most well known for being such a knock off of “The Exorcist” that WB sued the producers due to the similarities.

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