This one was WILD. No CGI – not even optical trickery, as such. The film was a low-budget ’70s TVM called “Disaster On The Coastliner” starring Bill “Captain Kirk” Shatner.
The plot was something about a highjacked train. No matter – at this point, the villain(s) had been despatched, leaving a (driverless) runaway loco heading for a terminal where, unless stopped, it would make a big, train-shaped HOLE through the town.
And so a team of engineers were sent out to cut the track, so’s the loco would derail harmlessly into a disused siding.
Now back to the real World. The budget didn’t stretch to trashing a real loco – so they used a model for the train-wreck itself.
And as for the shot with the engineers; the cut rail you can see is a dummy, placed BESIDE the one the train roars past on – the one to the right looks like the far rail, but is in fact the near one.
So all the stunt team had to do was pretend to be working on the rail until the last minute – then hop out of the way of the loco (of course, given they’d already sawed through the track, they COULD have simply walked away MINUTES earlier).
But the director obviously thought it would LOOK better if the guys fiddled with the track until the very last second.
At which point, we can SEE what actually happened, even if we cannot be certain WHY it happened. Most of the guys hop off the track with plenty of time to spare. Then the second-to-last man decides it’s time to go – and can clearly be seen grabbing the last guy’s ARM.
But the guy SHAKES OFF the other man’s hand and stands his GROUND. Then, with INCREDIBLE timing, he CALMLY steps over the rail and as my slowed-down replay shows – cheats death by a 24th of a second!!
As far as the PLOT was concerned, there was NO reason for him to delay his move till the last split-second. He could have done NOTHING to CHANGE the trajectory of the loco, or the position of the rail.
But as far as the REAL World is concerned, there HAS to be a REASON he chose to do what he did.
Maybe the stunt guys had a POOL going – winner to be the guy who left the track last? Or maybe the man just needed to gain some RESPECT from someone. We’ll probably never know.
But one thing’s for SURE. That bloody train could NOT have come CLOSER to KILLING the guy!!!
The clip can be found HERE…