Blood on the Tracks
|Blood on the Tracks|
|Directed by||Robert Elizabeth Zimmerman|
|Written by||R. Zimmerman, H. Lewis, T. News|
|Starring||Lily, Rosemary, and the Jack of Hearts|
|Produced by||Wes Anderson|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures Studio|
|Release date||May 16, 1976|
Blood on the Tracks is an influential 1976 horror film.
It pioneered many conventions of the genre, including the "Damsel tied up on the train tracks whilst a 4-2-4 locomotive barrels down the iron road", "Showdown with the villain under buckets of rain" and "Teens cavorting naked whilst being pursued by a murderer."
The director, Robert Elizabeth Zimmerman, is widely praised as a visionary and this film was considered a return to form after a series of unimpressive films during the late 60's and 70's.
The film deals with the terrors wrought upon a small town outside Delacroix by an errant locomotive, called The Jack of Hearts. The opening shot of the movie is an attractive young lass from the Lowlands tangled up in blue rope supine upon a railroad. A large, 19th century locomotive runs her over mercilessly. A group of policemen investigating the death are also run over whilst gathering evidence. More citizens are killed as they gawk over the dead policemen, and more after them.
This slaughter prompts the survivors, a ragtag group of citizens known as "The Traveling Wilburys", to fight against the train and ultimately defeat it. Midway through the film, it is revealed that the engine is being conducted by a dandy malefactor known as "Big Jim". Lefty Wilbury leads an attack upon the engine by piling logs, lumber, and steel girders upon the train tracks.
This plan fails when the engine barrels through the obstacle and Lefty is impaled by rebar, killing him. Even while missing a key member, the Wilburys travel on and defeat the Jack of Hearts by building a bridge over a river and deliberately not finishing it. The train careens off and dies, along with Big Jim, although he is discovered with a pen knife in his back at the crash site.
- The first Blonde on Blonde love scene in film history.
- The most expensive horror film produced at that point in history.
- Despite this, the film did not actually make any money until released on Betamax and thriving in the burgeoning rental market. Imitators quickly sprung up, replacing the train with generic masked men or vipers aboard various other conveyances.