The Merits of Sin: D-Railed (2018) (USA)

The fresh smell of stupidity is in the air and the only reason I’m not excusing myself from the room is because that familiar stank was not released on purpose. Nothing makes me give up on a film quicker than a purposefully bad output. It always just seems like the filmmakers are saying “we know this sucks…but that’s exactly what we wanted!” Yeah. Ok. Go fuck yourself. Trying and failing can lead to a charmingly good time, trying to fail just pisses me off. What I love about D-Railed is you can almost sense a vibe of superiority in its veins and that just makes its crappiness all the more enjoyable.

Sure, kid. Whatever

A refurbished train from the early 1900s is set up for a Halloween night murder mystery. A hand full of costumed guests climb aboard and look forward to the dinner theater fun. There’s Evelyn, who seems to be a little off and is only there because her friend in the cast got her a ticket. She also hallucinates sometimes…I’m sure we’ll find out why! Then there’s Abigail, a young girl whose rich parents couldn’t make it so they sent her with her nanny (?) Antonia. Antonia doesn’t want to be there and not because she shares the mindset of many people invited to a dinner theater production but because she’s getting some bad vibes from the train. Eugene is a cosmetics salesman and a murder mystery production addict. He’s probably the most likable person in this flick. There’s rude and boorish Mr. Jessup whose main character trait is “obvious piece of shit”. Finally we have Thomas, who looks like a budget store Will Forte and claims to be at the show because his dead brother wanted him to go. That may be one of the lamest last requests I have ever heard and now I plan on forcing it upon anyone who out lives me. There’s a few actors who will be around for a bit and other audience members but you really don’t need to worry about familiarity with those expendable dolts.

Meet the meat

After a quick speech about secrets from the host of the damn thing, the first unsettling tremors of a possible supernatural subplot begin to sneak in. At this point you’ll probably be able to predict how the whole thing is going to end. Which is fine, because everything leading up to that is like watching your favorite literature professor accidentally take angel dust and complete the Agatha Christie style novel they’ve been working on for a decade.

Legitimate theater

The lights flicker and the host drops dead with a knife in his back. There’s a mystery to be solved and the cast is going to need the audience’s help. Or they would if the whole thing were allowed to play out. It turns out Mr. Jessup and Thomas are in cahoots with one of the actresses (she goes by the name Gigi) and plan on robbing all these schmucks. Thomas immediately has regrets when he see how violent Jessup and Gigi are but he gets a gun pulled on him and has to go along. Mr. Jessup goes to tell the coal shoveling operators to stop the train but instead he gets a shovel to the throat. Unfortunately he manages to shoot and kill the men operating the train. Worse yet, the train is heading full speed to a dangerous turn. With no one to pull the breaks the train flys off the rails and into a lake.

He had it coming

A handful of folks survive but the boxcar is slowly sinking. With the water rising, folks begin to panic. That panic turns into terror when it’s discovered some rubber suited man fish creature is dwelling in the pool…ahem…I mean lake and seems to have a taste for human flesh. It picks off the rest of the expendable cast and leaves a small group alive. This small group manages to make it to a nearby piece of land. They discover the world’s largest rundown cabin (it seems to be a warehouse) and go exploring. Fishman shows up and picks ’em off one by one. There’s still a final revelation which is more so an affirmation of what you knew was coming about ten minutes into the movie. But Lance Henriksen is there to fill you in on the back story so I’m not complaining.

Gigi got a gun

Glorious stupidity would be my best two word summation of D-Railed. The dialogue slips from pure cheese to over dramatic in the blink of an eye. The acting is suitably dinner theater quality and there are some of the least impressive digital effects I’ve ever seen captured before the viewer’s eye. But it’s never giving you a wink and a nudge. It’s like a toddler proudly displaying the shit smeared artwork they left on the wall. It just seems that nobody knew any better. I can get behind that. The rubber monster suit is fun but woefully underutilized and there’s some minor bits of graphic violence. The art may be fecal matter on a stucco wall but I’ll be damned if I’m not just a little bit proud of it. 8/10

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