Friday, June 11, 2010

A Locomotive Straight From a Futurist’s Nightmare

A few weeks ago, I had a bad dream involving a train. I’ve had strange dreams about trains before — and no, never with them going through tunnels — but this one was special in that the train itself was especially disturbing. You see, this particular Bad Dream Express had human facial features coming out of the the engine car as though this thing was actually some grotesque blend of man and machine. And in the surreal sense, not the cyborg sense. A blinking eye here, a grinning mouth there — part of people literally sticking out of the metal. I will say this much: It lingered.

More recently, I was reading about old video games I enjoyed when I was a kid and I spotted this very nightmare train. It was from the background of one the stages in the third Darkstalkers game. The stages name? “Iron Horse, Iron Terror,” which is just lovely. It took some searching, but I tracked down a large enough image of the Bad Dream Express so I can share it with you all.

So this, basically, but three-dimensional, more realistic, sporting a few more facial features and maybe crossed with the general aesthetic of Freddy Krueger’s boiler room. Full disclosure: I don’t remember my dream train having the whistle shaped like a screaming human head. That notwithstanding, the similarities are pretty striking.

Isn’t that nice? Wasn’t that considerate of my brain? Seriously, I spend hours cruising down colorful Mario Kart streets lined with smiling trees and bushes, but my brain says “Nope, you’re getting this tonight.” Though I should at least compliment my brain for its ability to store something in some unknown compartment for a decade and then retrieve it in such a flashy manner. Thanks, brain!

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