Given its superiority to countless modern horror trifles thrust into multiplexes, it would be difficult to fathom the straight-to-DVD route taken by The Midnight Meat Train (a token theatrical release in a few random markets doesn’t count) save for one considerable detail: its gore. Ryuhei Kitamura’s adaptation of Clive Barker’s short story is so thoroughly coated in over-the-top blood and guts that even veteran genre fans will likely be astounded, the director delivering more gutted corpses, ripped flesh, removed eyeballs and torrents of blood – some of it achieved via CG, some of it done the ol’ fashioned way – than any film in recent memory. Written by Jeff Buhler, Kitamura’s tale trades in Barker’s usual brand of psycho-sexualized carnage, with everything from the titular silver-steel subway train to the plethora of penetrating blades and hooks laced with a demented eroticized charge. The story concerns photographer Leon’s (Bradley Cooper) quest to document the soul of his fetid metropolitan home, which leads him to nocturnal train slaughters performed by a silent, suit-attired butcher (Vinnie Jones). Beginning with a shot of Leon pointing and clicking his camera at the audience, The Midnight Meat Train hints at being a horror rendition of Blowup in which Leon’s act of watching and recording the fiend’s dirty deeds (which slowly infects his mind and soul) is equated with our own voyeurism. Any such thread, however, is never fully developed, of which the same can be said about the script itself. Though Kitamura’s eerily patient cinematography creates otherworldly dread, the proceedings frequently feel wobbly thanks to a raft of illogical compositions and plot holes one could drive a semi through. Still, those with a taste for the grotesque will no doubt appreciate the insanely excessive nastiness with which the film culminates.