I first encountered this marvelous little film while working at a camp literally in the middle of nowhere. Someone had picked up an entirely unpromising-looking bargain video with a lurid cover and a decidedly sensational title. I certainly didn’t expect much. But then, it wasn’t like there was anything else to do…
What a shock!
It is a delirious mix: part period horror, part Quatermass inspired SF, part intrigue and suspense. There’s the frozen body of an apeman that inconveniently comes to life, a series of mysterious deaths, and that most interesting of all settings for any mystery story – the enclosed world of a train rolling all alone through the wilderness. Throw in the great Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee (and even Telly Savalas as an ambitious Cossack officer), some elegant sets borrowed from another, far more expensive movie, and a body hopping alien and the end result is the kind of movie that Hammer films must have envied.
Okay, the images floating in the apeman’s intraocular fluid are just silly.
But who cares about mere scientific plausibility in any film this entertaining?