John's Horror Banana-nanza Episode Fourty-Nine: The Midnight Meat Train

There's a fellow who takes his job seriously.
There's a fellow who takes his job seriously.

These days, I think Brooke Shields will do anything.

Clive Barker's "Books of Blood" were bound to make the big screen eventually, and one of the first to do so was this film, and it's very well done. Bradley Cooper stars as Leon, a photographer who can't impress Susan Hoff, an editor, with his pictures. She encourages him to go get real action, which he takes as encouragement to go out late at night in grungy New York. He catches a girl almost getting attacked, but scares the attackers away, and catches it all on film.

He also notices a giant man stalking her. We find out that this man, named Mahogany, is killing people on the subway who are on the last runs of the night. Why is he doing this? Well, that's what Leon wonders, after Hoff encourages him to get more. He follows Mahogany around the city, to a butcher's shop, and eventually into the subway, where he witnesses a murder.

After some plot filler that we could really do without where Leon and his girlfriend are having trouble communicating, Leon takes to the subway with his girlfriend Maya in pursuit. What the two of them find is not only Mahogany's reason for killing, but also who's going to be taking the place of Mahogany when his reign is over.

Of the three movies from Barker's "Books of Blood", including "Dread" and "Book of Blood", this one delivers most successfully. The gore is superb, and the creature effects are kept in the dark enough to effectively creep out the audience. Of course, Bradley Cooper's performance is, as usual, bang-on. The questions and suspense is plenty to keep the viewer glued to the film, despite the pointless relationship fodder that fills in the blanks.

Definitely watch this, especially if you're a fan of Clive Barker.

A nice head lopping scene.

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