Clive on The Midnight Meat Train

The Midnight Picture Show planned The Midnight Meat Train as the first of their 'Films of Blood' in 2005, backed by finance from Lakeshore Entertainment and distribution by Lionsgate. Jeff Buhler adapted the story and filming, in New York and Montreal, was originally scheduled to begin on the 17th October 2005.
A revised start date of the summer of 2006 was then disrupted, with Ryuhei Kitamura finally taking the reins from Patrick Tatopoulos as director.
Further problems became apparent once the movie was made as Lionsgate tried to change the title and pushed the release date back. Changes in personnel at Lionsgate saw the movie finally released on 1 August 2008 but in just a contractual 100 screens - and at dollar theatres at that... See Clive's appeal against that here....

The world première of Midnight Meat Train was at the Fantasia film festival in Montreal at midnight on 19 July 2008. The next opportunity to catch the Train was at midnight on Friday 25 July at the Gaslamp Stadium in San Diego as part of ComicCon - a screening that sold out wiithin 24 hours of tickets being made available - and at which Clive again encouraged fans to register their disapproval at Lionsgate's handling of the movie (see footage here).Further screenings have been arranged and FearNet are running the movie as video on demand online.
UK fans saw the movie screened at the Film4 Frightfest on 23 August and again at the GoreZone Weekend of Horror on 18 October, ahead of the UK release date of 31 October (putting it up against Quantum Of Solace)...
The DVD / Blu-ray was released in the US on 17 February 2009 and includes two and a half minutes of additional footage as well as three featurettes - see the news page here.
See our exclusive production photo, more production photos and the movie synopsis here on our Midnight Meat Train news page

Ryuhei Kitamura works on designs with Clive Barker, 30 January 2007.

"Dread we have a draft, and again I hope that's a movie we can get going next year. The same with an extraordinary draft of The Midnight Meat Train, which we have just turned in. These will all be independent movies. When I say independent, I mean they won't go through a major studio most likely. That will give us a certain latitude in the making of them, which I think is useful. Particularly useful for The Midnight Meat Train, because the subject matter is so intense. It's a story readers really like. I still get a lot letters about that story. I want to make sure that if we do it, or rather when we do it, we do it justice. That really means doing it as a hard R, none of this PG-13. Not that I necessarily have anything against PG-13 horror movies. The Ring was PG-13 wasn't it? It was pretty intense, but I think it's just easier if you can just go the whole distance. I think there is a taste coming back in the audience for the really intense experience, which is great."


By Craig Fohr, Lost Souls, 1 August 2003 (note - full text online at Lost Souls - see links page)

"[The Midnight Meat Train]'s the first movie we're going to do and it's scary as shit. And the reason it's the first movie we're going to do is to sort of put our mark in the sand. It was always - from its title onwards - it was always, 'OK - here we go - I'm not here to make you laugh, I'm not here to reassure you...' I always thought that was a strong horror title - you know, like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: there are two words in that title, 'chainsaw' and 'massacre', and the two words 'midnight ' and 'meat' - they are words that signify you're going to see some no-holds-barred horror. No-holds-barred horror - and I wanted to do that."

In Anticipation Of The Deluge: A Moment At The River's Edge

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 1 and 12 July 2004 (note - full text here)

"We have two 'go' films right now: Midnight Meat Train and Plague... and if things stay on schedule, Midnight Meat Train will go into pre-production next month."

The Hellbound Art : Memory, Fantasy And Filigree

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 10 February 2005 (note - full text here)

"The Midnight Meat Train, the first long story in the Books of Blood, is going to be shot in New York probably in this summer. We have a script and we have an idea about the directive but I can't share because we haven't done the final contract stuff - but it's something the people will know."

Clive Barker On The Phone

By [Thomas Hemmerich], That's Clive!, 29 March 2005 (note - full text online at

"[Midnight Meat Train] isn't special effects driven, but there are a lot of effects in the final reel - physical effects, not CGI effects. When they come up, they've got to be great, and Patrick [Tatopoulous] has a handle on all that...
"I'm seeing a lot of what I'll call 'soft horror' around and not a lot of 'hard horror' - certainly not from American [filmmakers]. There's a lot of PG-13s and ghost/apparition kind of stuff. I've always liked my horror harder and I thought this was a good time to say, 'Hey, we've got this body of stories, let's bring a different sensibility to horror audiences.' "

Barker's Midnight Meat Train On Track

By Dave Alexander, Rue Morgue, No 47, July 2005

"We're making a movie called The Midnight Meat Train and we're making that it Montreal and in New York and it's being directed by Patrick Tatopoulous who was the special effects guy who did Independence Day and he's a really cool guy."

Jump Tribe Panel

San Diego Comic Con, 14 July 2005

"Midnight Meat Train will be shot this year and will be directed by Patrick Tatopoulous. He's obviously doing the effects. I did a pass on the script and it's a very cool movie."

Visions In Paint And Celluloid

By Carnell, Fangoria, No.247, October 2005

"I do know that Midnight Meat Train... [is] scheduled to go in the next few months. We have a lead actor for Midnight Meat Train on board so we are waiting til next week when the guys get back from Cannes, having made the foreign sales, to see just how much money we're going to actually have to play with."

You Called, He Came...

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 2 and 3 June 2006 (note: full text here)

"Midnight Meat Train... is being shot now. We're actually in the second week. The stuff I've seen so far looks wonderful, though I've been in the game far too long to trust dailies - you know, you have to see the movie - but the performances are lovely and I think things are looking very, very good."

A Spiritual Retreat

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 26 March 2007 (note - full text here)

"It's finished. The score is being prepped. We have a March opening date. It's incredibly intense. It's very tough stuff. I've been very happy with it. It's very scary. Ryuhei Kitamura did a hell of a job with the movie. Is it the short story? No. It's his own take on the short story, which I like."

Pushing The Boundaries Of Horror And Fantasy

By Larry Nichols, Detour, Philadelphia Gay News, 16 November 2007 (note - full text available online at

"In terms of just the common-sense of not being up against Narnia and then Indiana Jones, I'm not disappointed at all [by the push-back of the release date] - I'm relieved. I wish they'd never announced that first date - we always knew when Indiana Jones was and I never knew why they would do this suicidal thing in the first place. Now I'm just glad it's gone back. There are a lot of politics right now going on and I'm very much just staying away from it and burying my head in Abarat and painting and, actually photographing and there's not much I can do when the people who are responsible for release dates and the marketing of pictures get together in a room, they have no interest in me, they have no interest in my opinion."

Pivotal Voices: Was, Is And Will Be

By Phil and Sarah Stokes, 11 April 2008 (note - full text here)

"The first sign that there might be something not right in the state of Denmark was when Lionsgate tried to take the word 'Meat' out of the title, which would have made it Midnight Train, which would be like taking 'Massacre' out of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I went apeshit..!
"What most disappoints me [about Lionsgate's treatment of Midnight Meat Train] is that the audience might not get to see this movie on the big screen, with all the subtleties you get in a theatre, including the awesome sound mix. The whole idea was that this movie would literally take you on a ride into darker places - and it does."

The Cannibal Express

By James Grainger, Rue Morgue, No 81, August 2008

"I have plots for two more [Midnight Meat Train] movies which would have extended the narrative and allowed the mythology to breathe a little bit, but I think the DVD will have to do really fucking well for that to happen.
"[The DVD will have] a lot of good interview stuff. It's the first time Kitamura has been interviewed outside Japan. But to me the most important thing is there's so much more of the movie itself. There'll be two and a half minutes more on the DVD which isn't in the theatrical... Violence! Lots of violence!"

Midnight Meat Train

By [ ], DVD And Blu-Ray Review, No 122, November 2008

"It frustrates me because we would have had a trilogy out of this. I set to work to develop, in note form from way back, the back story of the city fathers. The other movies were not just taking place in this city but in other parts of America. They were connecting up the story of underground activity which is America-wide. It would have climaxed with a meeting of all the stations, all of the lines. I had this massive plan in my head. The absence of a theatrical release was... not only were we losing the chance to exhibit the picture the way it should have been shown, but also we were killing the chance of getting a real horror trilogy that would be constructed picture by picture."

The Midnight Meat Train Trilogy

By Ryan Rotten, Shock Till You Drop, 13 February 2009

...other comments

Jeff Buhler : "I started working with Clive on the screenplay way back in 2004 and we did at least four drafts before Clive formed the Midnight Picture Company with partner Jorge Saralegui... In the short [story] we're inside Leon's head, so we know what he's thinking and feeling as he observes the city around him. Film wouldn't have easily allowed us that luxury, so I decided to reinvent the protagonist as a photographer, whose observations could be visually communicated to the audience through his work. I felt that it would also give us the visual tool to observe Mahogany, and what he does."

The Crazy Train

By Sean Decker, Fangoria, No 275, August 2008

Ryuhei Kitamura : "From day one I've told Clive we have to create a new icon of horror heroes and I think this Mahogany will be the new classic horror icon...
"I changed the script and somehow Clive read an in-process draft and was very angry... I went to his house and acted out the scene and explained everything and after ten minutes he said, 'I like it, you solved all the problems.' I'm a fan so I know I'd be upset if someone messed up his great book, but I'm trying to make something better otherwise I wouldn't have come all the way from Japan to do this."

Production Report: "Midnight Meat Train"

By Jason Guerrasio, indieWIRE, 1 May 2007 (note - full text online at

Vinnie Jones :"It's one hell of a movie... It's just in your face, raw as they come. There is [a twist] at the end, yeah, there certainly is at the end. The reason why I'm doing it."

Jones Rides The Meat Train

By Patrick Lee, Sci-Fi Wire, 20 March 2007 (Note: full text online at

Vinnie Jones :"Saw? Hostel? Halloween? Midnight Meat Train, [is] so ridiculous it's the king of all horror movies...
"Look, you see me, right, and I get two passengers on the train, I hook them up and I skin them, you actually see me skinning them - pulling the skins off of human beings. You ever seen that?...
"I just got fitted for these contact lenses which will drain blood out, so, you know, it really is going to look like my eyes are pouring blood."

Movie File

By Shawn Adler and Larry Carroll,, 28 March 2007 (Note: full text online at

Vinnie Jones :"I've never seen so much blood [on a film]... Literally, big gallons of blood. We're on the train and I have to keep throwing it in there. That's the part of acting I don't like. I change [into costume] and I'm like 'Don't get too much blood on me!' Ryuhei has been great, the man's speaks good English - it's harder to understand Bradley Cooper."

Jones Spills Mucho Blood in Meat Train

By Ryan Rotten, Shock Till You, 20 April 2007 (Note: full text online at

Ryuhei Kitamura : "I had been looking for the right project for a couple of years...
"Twenty years ago I read Midnight Meat Train and it left a real impression on me. I love the original story and admire Clive Barker and I said to them, 'I would love to do this, but I cannot believe the script is going to be any good. I know that this is too good to be true.' But they sent me the script and it was excellent."

Night Train To Terror

By [ ], SFX, No 158, July 2007

Vinnie Jones : "This is a strange guy I'm playing. We don't know if he is 200 or 300 years old. This guy, to me, he could be like a robot - it wouldn't surprise me if you tore his skin off and he was made of metal."

Night Train To Terror

By [ ], SFX, No 158, July 2007

Ryuhei Kitamura : "From day one I met Clive, and I'd been telling him, 'We have to create another new horror hero.' 'Cause there is none right? I'm a big figure collector myself but I've been buying the same thing you know? Freddie Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Pinhead, and that's it! That's it! No other movie in the past twenty years reached that level of an icon right? That's why I ended up buying twenty Pinheads [collector's items]. I told the producer and I told Clive, that we're going to have to create something. That's why I had a discussion with my costume designer Chris Lawrence, and with Vinnie [Jones] himself. We ended up with this '50s kind of cool suit and super-cool bag. He has this iconic hammer. We designed it. They showed me a bunch of hammers and none of them were... it has to be... A weapon is, you know it should be very iconic right? Like Freddie's claw, Jason's machete, whatever. So we kind of designed a super cool hammer and he kills with that. Very scary, oh so cool. So this Mahogany is... of course he's very creepy, very weird, very scary but at the same time he's very super cool. It's a very thin line because if he goes too cool, it doesn't work. But so far he's fucking scary, yeah, and visually he's great...
"He only says one word in this movie, that's it. So I'm very happy that Vinnie chose this project to do that. He's just a pure killing machine and he says only one word and still Vinnie says yes, so we are really lucky to have him...
"That's the one thing I've been telling my producers from day one is you know this film has to have this '80s feel. The '80s was the golden age of the horror movies and you know we're kind of losing that. So what I wanted to bring it back to, that kind of energy."

Clive Barker's Midnight Meat Train - Exclusive From The Set

By Staci Layne Wilson,, 5 September 2007 (note - full text online at

Ryuhei Kitamura : "This is very special; they've been making those stupid Hellraiser sequels for too long. I asked Clive, 'Why are you doing them? He said, 'No, that's not me.' I was always so disappointed when a new Hellraiser came along. I read Midnight Meat Train exactly 20 years ago when they first published [the Japanese edition of Books of Blood] and I got it the day it came out. I still have the first edition. It's a great opportunity to reset everything and reintroduce what kind of genius Clive Barker, this motherfucker means to the world...
"This is not only a horror film, it's a love story - a tragic love story. Even Mahogany; he doesn't say anything, but he has many stories we can see from his face, his every movement. With Train I want to go back to the '80s - the Friday the 13th days, the Halloween days, My Bloody Valentine, Maniac, The Prowler - that was the golden age, and I want to bring that feeling back to my movie. From day one, I've been telling everyone we're making a classic."

Horror In Training

By Ryan Turek, Fangoria, No 268, November 2007

Jonathan Sela (DP) : "You want to refresh peoples eyes and make them eager to see different things. I think that's as much has a lot of following I think we're trying to do a lot of different things with the way we're lighting it and the camera, you know, minimizing the coverage and just finding interesting angles that tell a story we're not necessarily doing the typical things which we do a lot, I can't be specific 'cause there's so many different situations but I think that's what me and him tried really hard to do is just try to avoid 'Oh, there's somebody coming around the corner and it's scary so like you'd set up the typical chase.'

Clive Barker's Midnight Meat Train - Exclusive From The Set

By Staci Layne Wilson,, 5 September 2007 (note - full text online at

Vinnie Jones : [Re working with Rampage Jackson] "That was a tough scene. In fact, he has to be one of my toughest opponents of all time - on and off the screen. He is one of the strongest men I have ever encountered. He really grabbed hold of me during our fight scene. I can tell you that this will be a very real-looking battle - and he is a great fella."

Vinnie Jones Talks Midnight Meat Train

By Callum Wadell,, 10 January 2008 (Note: full text online at

Vinnie Jones : "Midnight Meat Train is going to be really edge of your seat stuff. I play a character called Mahogany and my job is to feed these mysterious beings with human flesh, but now I'm coming to the end. I have been doing this for a long time - I mean, you don't even know how old Mahogany is - he could be 200 or 300 years old, we never know. He's a strange guy. He has no expression and I only say one word in this movie, but he's frightening. There's this journalist tracking me down, played by Bradley Cooper, but what he doesn't realise is that I'm also following his every move - and that leads to a great little twist..."

Vinnie Jones

By Callum Wadell, SFX, No 168, April 2008

Anthony DiBlasi : "We really wanted to make Clive's movies Clive's way - hardcore, close to the mythology. We spent a lot of time [getting Midnight Meat Train off the ground] independently and through other means. Lionsgate was set up to distribute, but our original plan to make the film fell apart - so they turned us to Lakeshore."

Gore Aboard The Midnight Meat Train

By Ryan Turek, Fangoria, No 273, May 2008

Joe Daley : "We were told to make a list of Japanese directors to work with because that was the direction [Lakeshore] wanted to go. Ryuhei then came recommended."

Gore Aboard The Midnight Meat Train

By Ryan Turek, Fangoria, No 273, May 2008

Jeff Buhler : "Ryuhei, the first time I met him, I knew we were kind of like-minded people. He wanted to do what I wanted to do, which was to respect Clive Barker's original material. I'm a huge Clive Barker fan. I read the Books of Blood in high school and I've always loved the story of Midnight Meat Train, so it was an honor for me to be able to give it a shot. Working with Clive, he was a great mentor for me. It was the first time I had adapted someone else's material and he was very gracious in letting me take some liberties with the characters, as long as I remained true to the spirit and the tone of the original short story. Ryuhei came in and did exactly the same thing. He's a fanstastic visual director. If you've ever seen Versus or any of his other Japanese-language films, he's just an unbelievable director. It was just a good combination."

Jeff Buhler Gets Crazy With Insanitarium

By Brian Gallagher, Movieweb, 16 July 2008 (Note: full text online at

Jeff Buhler : "There's no thrill-killing or sensationalised torture going on here, just nature running its course. Nature in and of itself is brutal, and this film reflects that. Of course, this is a different kind of nature than we would like to believe exists - it's a Clive Barker kind of nature, and therefore beautiful in its exquisite brutality... [I'm interested in] the exploration of humans as cattle, and the turning of the tables within the food chain. There's also this idea of our society as a hive or colony, where some of us are drones or part of the herd, and that there are higher beings who control the overall function and decide when it is necessary to sacrifice members for the good of the group. Much of the story's horror comes from that realisation, and how the characters try to assimilate into this system."

The Crazy Train

By Sean Decker, Fangoria, No 275, August 2008

Bradley Cooper : "[Vinnie Jones] is amazing. I loved him. I was a fan of his from Lock Stock. When they said he was going to be the villian, I was very excited. I love physical stuff. I knew we had a huge fight scene at the end. It was going to last twenty minutes. I knew it would be with Vinnie Jones, so I knew it was going to be amazing. We fight the hell out of each other. We have the same birthday. We became very good friends."

JoBlo Visits The Set Of The Hangover

By Johnny Moreno,, 1 May 2009 (Note: full text online at

Bradley Cooper : "I was like a kid in a candy store any time we filmed the scary bits. The one thing that did make me cringe was the pierced Achilles tendons, having severed my own five years ago playing basketball...
"Ryuhei is a true auteur. His vision is unique as well as his story telling technique. And he does all this without ever raising his voice. He also seems to love what actors bring on their own to the roles. He guides you when you need it while always enlisting his confidence in your own ideas."

Bradley Cooper Talks About His Role In Midnight Meat Train

By Rizal Johan, The Star, 5 August 2008 (Note: full text online at

Justin Lassen : "I met the VP of Lakeshore Records at GDC 2004 (Game Development Conference) through a mutual friend... At first I thought he just wanted one remix... I was in for a big surprise when I got to his office and he wanted me to produce the entire soundtrack album. One thing leads to another and now thankfully, there is an album to listen to.
"I grew up on things like Hellraiser, so to get even this kind of opportunity to work on a Clive Barker project in this isolated way, is wicked cool to me. I knew I could bring Clive's vibe to the record, it was within me, and each song/remix that I put on the soundtrack, which I hope has done MMT justice. It was a cool risk for all of us, the label was taking a chance on me, and I was taking a chance on them; the label was really cool and supportive, so it was awesome to get to work with them on this unique project... It is certainly a cool collection of tracks that while supporting the film and book, also stand apart from it as its own wicked listening 'experience'. You'll feel right at home in deep tunnels and claustrophobic paranoid corner turning holes... "

Interview: Justin Lassen

By The Arrow,, 8 August 2008 (Note: full text online at

Ryuhei Kitamura : "The film will speak for itself when it comes out no matter where you see it. It is my best film to date and I am proud of myself, my crew, my cast and my producers."

The Cannibal Express

By James Grainger, Rue Morgue, No 81, August 2008

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