When is an upcoming horror remake NOT a remake? Well, when the director says it's not, I suppose. That's what filmmaker Gideon Raff told STYD.com about his upcoming re-adaptation of Roger Spottiswoode's 1980 slasher flick Terror Train. Yes, the one that starred Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Johnson, Hart Bochner and ... David Copperfield. According to Raff, it's not a remake at all, and the project is so much NOT a remake that they've jettisoned the word "terror" from the title! Currently shooting in Bulgaria, the Nu Image production is now called simply Train -- although I'd be careful not to mistake the flick for the impending Clive Barker adaptation Midnight Meat Train -- just because it's really irritating when you get two movies jumbled up in your head. Believe me, I know.

Apparently this particular remake "nothing to do with the original. I'm a big fan of that film, but this is not a remake, it's an original screenplay. It's about a group of American athletes competing in Eastern Europe and they're supposed to get on a train to continue the competition. And our group of people miss the train 'cause they went partying the night before. They get on a different train to catch up with their teammates and horror ensues." That's what Mr. Raff told Shock, anyway. Which leads me to what I consider a fairly logical question: Why is everyone calling this a remake? I'm not convinced that freakin' Terrror Train is so well-remembered that it'll bring in the fringe fans like Rob Zombie's Halloween revisit probably will.

Anyway, production on "Train Minus the Terror" is winding down -- although with Thora Birch in the lead it might take the flick a year or two to find distribution. Nothing against the lovely Ms. Birch, but her track record with horror flicks isn't exactly sterling. (Both The Hole and Dark Corners were watchable enough, but they also took forever to find a (small) audience here in the States.) Hopefully Mr. Raff's deviations from the source material can make for an enjoyable little horror movie. It's not like Terror Train is some holy relic of a horror flick, anyway. (Check out our previous reports on this project here and here.)