So, what if David Copperfield was actually the killer in the 1980 cult classic horror flick Terror Train? It’s a question that goes through my mind each and every time I watch this little slasher that could, along with the question of “Where can I get one of those lizard costumes for Halloween?”. I always seem to liken Terror Train (out on a new Blu-Ray/DVD combo October 16th btw) to Tobe Hooper’s The Funhouse when it comes to the enjoyment factor and overall appeal that it has for the average and above average slasher fan out there. It’s pretty paint by numbers as far as plot and character development, but I think it’s the whole Murder On The Orient Express feel that gives it that extra push. Not to mention those infamous masks (Groucho and The Old Man) and of course, Jamie Lee Curtis who gives us her patented scream, but not her patented boobs…..sigh
But let’s get on to the topic at hand, or should I say, sleight of hand. David Copperfield appears in the movie playing a role that he was made to play – a magician. He blows our mind by inserting a cigarette through a quarter and then magically makes some peanuts appear in Jamie Lee Curtis’ hands because she has peanuts envy of course. I mean seriously – a cigarette through a quarter!? This man holds nothing back!
Now as dead train-goers start piling up, everyone is a suspect – including Mr. Magic Pants. As the cheesy annoying disco music dies down, the tension mounts and it looks more and more like Copperfield is our killer! But alas, it’s not meant to be, as it turns out that the killer is some creepy androgynous man with a creepier voice who had a cruel prank played on him back in the day.
So what if David Copperfield was the killer, and even better, what if they revealed it early on so we could get some magic mayhem from him set to the tune of “Do You Believe In Magic” by The Lovin’ Spoonful (I would prefer “Abracadabra” by The Steve Miller Band, but it didn’t come out until 1982). He could levitate around each train car, stalking his prey and come up with creative ways to dispose of them. He would have you pick a card, then throw it at your head as it slices your throat. Or maybe make you guess which ball is under the cup, then magically making the ball fly up into your mouth so you choke on it. How about if he pulls a rabbit out of a hat and throws it at you and it chews your face off? The possibilities are endless!
Now with all of the horror remakes coming out, I implore the movie making industry to reboot Terror Train and give David Copperfield his moment in the bright spotlight and make him a homicidal blood thirsty maniac. If the man can make the Statue Of Liberty disappear, he sure as hell can do this! So here’s to you David Copperfield for your role as Ken The Magician – you truly brought the magic into our hearts and you deserved better than ending up in a tiny magician’s box with swords stuck in you. RIP.