MovieChat Forums > Mystery TrainĀ (1989) Discussion > Shouldn't this be called..

Shouldn't this be called..

..mystery hotel?

Or more like "boring, depressing hotel with a couple of faraway guests that are surprisingly listless for such exotic people"?

Ok, that'd be a tad long, but first of all, I don't see what's so "MYSTERY" about this. Except that people actually watched it.

Mystery? What mystery? A murder mystery? Nope. A mystery of a gun being fired? That's cleared up pretty quickly in a mundane way. What, then? How a supposedly japanese girl who has never been outside the country can pronounce english so perfectly in an american accent, but who still can't understand spoken english almost at all (and who can actually form way better sentences than actual japanese people I have seen on japanese TV shows)? Is that the mystery?

Why they included nudity and nipples in this movie? Well, that's no mystery - it's probably the only way they thought they could get anyone to view this depressing, snail-paced meaninglessness.

Well, how about the second part of the name.

What's so "TRAIN" about this?

The first segment begins with a train, and some characters (but not all) also leave Memphis by train in the end - but most of the movie, trains are only seen on the background, and even then, quite rarely. So, what's so "TRAIN" about this movie?

Heck, even "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory" is more "MYSTERY TRAIN" than this movie! At least most of that actually HAPPENS IN A TRAIN!

So even the title is a lie.. let me tell you a correct, descriptive name for this boring flick:




I'm from Paris... TEXAS


The title is a reference to the classic song by Junior Parker (recorded at Sun in Memphis) and later recorded by Elvis. I'm sure you knew that. But if you know the lyrics to the song, you know that there is no "mystery" in the song either. The only mystery is why it's titled Mystery Train. So, you make a valid point, but that's kind of EXACTLY what the director wanted you to think, so he gets a couple of bonus points for cleverness.

However, I agree with your frustration. The pace is deadly and none of the stories is compelling. It may have been so anti-Hollywood formula that avant-garde darlings loved it 25 years ago, but it certainly has not aged well. I like some of Jarmusch's work but this one is more of a time capsule - of Memphis and indy film.