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Night train to Mundo Fine
Night train to the end
Running hard and running fast
To meet my future and away from my past
Taking that gamble that cannot last
Night train to the end
-John Carradine, "Night Train To Mundo Fine"
Red Zone Cuba, also known as Night Train to Mundo Fine, is a movie about... well, it's hard to say really. It follows Griffin, an escaped convict and outlaw played by none other than Coleman Francis (who also wrote, produced and directed the film) and his two associates as they try to survive. They learn that the army is planning to invade Cuba (good job on the whole "secret" thing, huh?!) and decide to sign-up -- so they can desert with the signing bonus. (Unfortunately for them, the Army doesn't pay cash up front.)
After less than 24 hours in boot camp and a laughable desertion attempt, the Army "strike force" (which consists of five guys, and gets handwaved by being a preliminary raiding force or something) "shoves off" to
New Mexico Cuba to pave the way for the main Bay of Pigs invasion, only to be foiled by a guy with a badly-fitted fake beard Fidel Castro, who captures our daring trio and takes them to a POW camp. While in prison, Griffin learns that one of their fellow soldiers - on the verge of death - owns a valuable uranium/diamond/tungsten mine, and the three decide to break out and take control of the mine themselves.
Once back in the US however, the trio are distracted by a restaurant and decide to vent their frustrations by murdering the owner and raping his deafblind daughter, hopping on a freight train (driven by none other than John Carradine) and stealing each other's keepsakes for petty cash. When they finally get to
Mordor the mine, the soldier's widow happily offers to split the deeds to the mine with them, and, out of gratitude, Griffin shoots her. Then the soldier, who it turns out was not dead after all, finds his dead wife somehow and cries (she may still be alive - the actress' inability to remain still makes it unclear). Coleman Francis is shot, his partners surrender, and the film thankfully shudders to a stop.
This film contains examples of:
- Acrofatic: Griffin
- Acting for Two: Producer Tony Cordoza plays both Landis and El Presidente himself.
- Anti-Hero - Supposedly Griffin (maybe), though any audience sympathy has evaporated by the time he's raping the restaurant owner's blind and deaf daughter.
- Artistic License Military: Apparently the entire process of enlisting, completing training, and being deployed on a top secret mission only takes 24 hours.
- Moreover, the US Army is willing to enlist hobos, some of whom have criminal records
- Author Appeal: Coffee, vigilantism, light aircraft, big breasts aimed at the camera -- it must be a Coleman Francis film!
- Banana Republic: Cuba is portrayed as this
- Book Dumb: Cherokee Jack
- Book Ends - Red Zone Cuba begins and ends with the phrase "ran all the way to hell".
- California Doubling - Reasonably well for Arizona. Not nearly so well for Cuba.
- The Cameo: John Carradine, who's listed as a "guest star".
- Chronic Villainy - Griffin spends less than five minutes wanting to "go legit" before he beats up one of his friends and robs him.
- Hell, Griffin seems incapable of passing up the opportunity to commit any crime.
- Dangerous Deserter - Our three "heroes", after their escape from Cuba.
- Do-It-Yourself Theme Tune - "As John Carradine's picture fades away, we suddenly hear the voice of Satan himself. No, wait, I'm sorry, I got that wrong. Actually, what we hear is John Carradine singing [!!!! this movie's theme song.]"
- Economy Cast - Practically every actor whose character dies gets resurrected as another. In one case, a dead soldier comes back as a member of the firing squad who killed him!
- The Eeyore: The restaurant owner. Being murdered by Griffin was probably the best thing that ever happened to him.
- Fat Bastard: Griffin
- Framing Device - The whole movie is a flashback being told by the driver of a train that the trio briefly rode on. How he knew all the details of their story (or any, considering he tells a reporter that he never saw them and it was dark anyway) is left unsaid.
- Gainax Ending: "Griffin, he ran all the way to hell... with a penny and a broken cigarette."
- Groin Attack. The dog, on itself, on the barb wire fance.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Griffin
- The Hero Dies: Well, it depends on your definition of "hero"
- Hollywood Darkness: Several "night" scenes are clearly shot in the daylight
- Informed Ability: It's hard to believe Griffin could be a magnate of anything, much less "The Cotton King of the South".
- Money, Dear Boy: The only explanation for John Carradine being in this movie. A lot of people would be surprised at how much tasteless exploitation John Carradine is in because of this very reason.
- My Girl Is Not a Slut - Griffin beats someone up for reading in a newspaper a report that his wife has become a prostitute.
- Offscreen Teleportation: Chastain
- Pet the Dog: At one point while driving, Griffin sees that Cook is freezing in their convertible, so puts the top up.
- The trio also initially act nice towards Chastain's wife, but you never know - Griffin is a ticking time bomb.
- Random Events Plot
- Rape Your Disabled: Griffin forces himself on a blind and deaf woman
- Rouge Angles of Satin:
WILL FLIE [sic] YOU ANYWHERE? [sic]
RATES – PRETTIE [sic] – REASONEBLE; [sic]
- Even thought it's deliberate misspelling, director Francis even manages to screw up the joke by only allowing the viewer less than a second to read the sign.
- Scare Chord: Following "He ran all the way to hell..." (to which Servo replies "But there's always a stop in Wausau!")
- Sociopathic Hero: Griffin
- Title Theme Tune - "Night Train to Mundo Fine", except the title of the movie was later changed.
- Too Dumb to Live: The Three Hobos, for hitching a plane ride with Cherokee Jack, who is unable to spell "fly"
- Unexplained Recovery - Chastain, the dying soldier, whose fever is magically cured and somehow teleports him back to the US.
- Villain Protagonist: Griffin
- What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic - The camera zooms in on a Burma Shave "How will you spend eternity?" advert. Judging by the pacing of the movie, probably watching this scene.