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Every week in /Answers, we attempt to answer a new pop culture-related question. Tying in with the release of mother! (which is apparently even nuttier than the trailers suggest), this week’s edition asks “What is the craziest movie you’ve ever seen in a theater?”

Jacob Hall: Night Train to Terror

How do you even begin to talk about Night Train to Terror, one of the most baffling movies I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing on the big screen? This 1985 horror anthology is something you have to see to believe, preferably when it’s late enough that you start to doubt your senses.

The framing device finds God and Satan riding the (night) train (to terror), discussing the fate of various souls and using their magical window to transport us into a trilogy of terrifying tales. Okay, so terrifying isn’t the right word. Batshit and incomprehensible and dizzying are better words. It’s all the more baffling because each segment of the anthology is edited down from an entire feature – I realized this while watching the movie for the first time because I had actually seen one of the features they had cut down and it was like watching the original (already bad) movie on fast-forward. Oh, and with added claymation sequences.

Yes. Night Train to Terror is a horror anthology built entire out of pieces of other movies but with newly shot claymation scenes to add more sequences of horror and gore. It’s a trip. Did I mention the band? No? Well, the (night) train (to terror) that God and Satan are riding is also transporting a rock band with a seemingly infinite number of members, who dance and sing and rock out and act like they’re in an early MTV music video at all times.

Yes. Night Train to Terror is a horror anthology built entire out of pieces of other movies but with newly shot claymation scenes to add more sequences of horror and gore as well as extended musical numbers where a rock band on the titular train perform to an audience of no one. Holy shit. Holy fucking shit, you guys. This movie exists.

Night Train to Terror is available on Blu-ray (!) and streaming on Shudder and I dare you to ingest the mind-altering substance of your choice and watch the hell out of it. Unless you’re lucky to find a repertory screening of it like I did. And in that case: you must drop everything you’re doing and see it.

Hoai-Tran Bui: Swiss Army Man

I frequent one of my favorite Landmark theaters because it serves — somewhat pricey — drinks that I can take into my screenings. There are just some movies that call for a glass of wine in hand, or a shot of whiskey before you watch it: trashy rom-coms, pulpy B-movies, midnight screenings of The Room. But I was completely sober when I walked into Swiss Army Man, and I left feeling like I just had the most surreal trip of my life.

Swiss Army Man is the directorial debut of Daniels, the duo responsible for DJ Snake’s infamous “Turn Down For What” music video in which partygoers wreak havoc with their object-breaking penises. So it’s not a huge surprise that they went on to direct a feature film about Daniel Radcliffe’s farting corpse.

The thing about Swiss Army Man is I went in expecting it to be completely absurd. The premise was ridiculous enough, with a shipwrecked Hank (Paul Dano) using Manny the corpse’s farts to help him jet off the island, and the corpse providing a various set of tools  — the penis becomes a compass, Daniel Radcliffe vomits out drinking water, you get the gist — that aid in Hank’s survival. But as the movie progressed, it somehow started to make sense. There was a deeper meaning behind this journey with the farting corpse, something about separating yourself from the clutter and burdens of society to understand what’s truly important. The amazing thing about Swiss Army Man is that it got so close to a point — before descending into one last fart joke. The movie can be encapsulated in one scene: the ending, in which Hank takes the fall for all the damage that he and Manny have done, before Manny makes one last grasp at life and jets off to freedom as witnesses stare in wonder and Hank’s father inexplicably gives a proud nod of approval. And Mary Elizabeth Winstead says what we were all thinking at that moment, “What the fuck?”

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