Horror legends as Krueger, Voorhees, and Myers, Vinnie Jones knew that with this role

Following in the footsteps of such horror legends as Krueger, Voorhees, and Myers, Vinnie Jones knew that with this role, he had the opportunity to create an equally iconic character in Mahogany. “I knew that if you can make the right movie, the right serial killer, you can become a legend,” says the former UK soccer star turned actor. “And like some of those characters, Mahogany has the interesting and challenging trait of not uttering a word during the film. “If the role has any downfall, it’s that I haven’t got any dialogue,” Jones adds. “But I’m trying to express it in different ways. Instead of remembering dialogue, you’re remembering mannerisms.”

The chiseled, physically intimidating star of films such as LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS and SNATCH, Vinnie Jones says that what also appealed to him about the film was that it presented characters and story that were a cut above the recent spate of horror films -- “torture porn” as it’s often called -- that have become so prevalent in today’s horror movies. “It’s not one of those movies that’s just snapping fingers off and cutting toes off,” Jones explains. “It’s about the story and the characters and what happens along the way. I think people that love horror will be attracted to that side of it, but there is also a compelling story that you can follow. And we bring it all together along with some great twists and mystery as well.”

The third wheel of THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN is Maya, Leon’s girlfriend, who serves not only as an integral part of the story, but is also in essence the objective viewer who gives the closest approximation of the audience’s viewpoint to the horror that is unveiled.

Maya is played by Leslie Bibb, who was most recently seen in the first blockbuster of Summer 2008 IRON MAN, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow; starred opposite Will Ferrell in the hit comedy TALLADEGA NIGHTS: THE BALLAD OF RICKY BOBBY, and in the horror film TRICK ‘R TREAT. Though not generally a fan of horror movies, Bibb instantly fell in love with the character of Maya and how she fit into the story. “I've never really technically seen a horror movie in entirety because I'm such a pansy,” she laughs. “So when I read it I was, like, ‘Uh oh, I'm in a little bit of trouble,’ because I just loved Maya. I loved her journey through this story. And the love story in this movie is not the usual thing you see in this sort of film. If you're just doing a horror movie with blood and guts, that's scary. But there's got to be something else too. It's almost like a Greek tragedy because of what happens. To watch this couple and to watch Leon's journey as he essentially dies, I mean, not literally but figuratively dies inside. I thought it was really exciting.”

“Maya is the heart of THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN,” notes Lucchesi. “She’s the heart of where this movie starts and when we get to the descent, we measure that tragedy by how Maya's reacting to watching this guy who she loves slip away from her. And I think that's what's so compelling. She and Bradley have such a wonderful chemistry together, which is really exciting to watch.”

For Leslie Bibb, the opportunity to work with such visual stylists as director Ryuhei Kitamura and his director of photography Jonathan Sela was extremely alluring. “They're a force to be reckoned with because their vision is amazing,” Bibb enthuses. “It almost feels a little noir, due to some of the shots they created and the choices they made with placement of the camera. It feels like so much more than just a horror movie. And I think it's going to really scare the crap out of you, which is always good. That’s what you want with a horror movie.”
“What Ryuhei has done with his interpretation is really capture the heart and the essence of the story between Leon and Maya, which is the entry point into this world,” says Lakeshore’s Tom Rosenberg. “He's done it with such tenderness that we all can connect with these characters. Once we're there, he completely spins it in a different direction and takes us down into this descent of decay and discovery. The world into which we enter is a world into which we don't want to go, yet we can't help but go. It's so dark we can't help but be intrigued. Ryuhei masterfully pulls us into that world and completely entraps you into that moment.”

Building believable, empathetic characters was a key for Ryuhei Kitamura in crafting a classic horror film. “If you don’t care about the character, then you don’t care if they get tortured or killed or get their heads chopped off. With most horror movies, we don’t care about the characters. You see lots of horrible things all over the world every day but you don’t care because it’s somebody you don’t know. It becomes scary when someone you care about is in danger. That’s why I want the audience to care about Leon and Maya.”

“What I love about Maya is that initially she is Leon’s biggest fan and biggest supporter, but then she really starts to doubt him and starts to lose him,” Bibb explains. “And the fire she gains to just save him, you know, she really tries to save the person that she loves most in the world because she's watching him disappear. She goes from sitting on the sidelines to being part of the game.”

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