Saturday, February 21, 2009

The midnight meat train


I'm a huge fan of the Books of Blood collection(s) by Clive Barker, and I'd note The Midnight Meat Train high among them.

I was not a huge fan of Versus by Ryuhei Kitamura, to say the least.

That's what I came into The Midnight Meat Train with.

Well, that and the controversial decision by Lion's Gate to pull the movie from a wide distribution in May to a very small release in August... a small bizarre release, since it wasn't given an arthouse release or a release into the kind of urban centers in which the story takes place but a very small number of suburban theaters and discount house. Frankly, it rather reeked of purposeful insult over simply lack of confidence, although I hate to speculate that far. Clive Barker Blasts Lionsgate Chief Over Midnight Meat Train by Tera Heater has some further details.

So, what did I think of the movie?

I liked it a whole lot.

I'll say that if Lion's Gate's decision had smacked of lack of confidence, say a September or October arthouse release or even a standard straight-to-DVD release, I'd understand why. Finding an audience for this, beyond those of us who were already waiting for, was going to be a challenge. A worthy challenge perhaps, but a challenge. It's a very gory horror movie designed to specifically to appeal to an older urban audience. The David Cronenberg audience in movie terms, although that is, of course, Clive Barker's traditional base as well.

Personally, it worked for me. Does it push specific buttons for me that others might miss? Possibly.

Interestingly, Kitamura discusses that the movie confesses his previous fear of committing to art/career. That probably does speak to some essential dark place inside me. I'd imagine that's hardly a unique place, though.


2 comments:

Keith said...

I want to see this. I've talked to several people who have seen it and they all liked it.

Neil Sarver said...

It's definitely worth checking out. I think it's one that's worth seeing even if one doesn't appreciate it, just because it's an interesting attempt to create something of its own and not repeating a formula.

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