Night train to the end
Running hard and running fast
To meet my future and away from my past
Taking that gamble that cannot last
Night train to the end"
This film contains examples of:
- Acrofatic: Griffin
- Anti-Hero: Supposedly Griffin (maybe), though any audience sympathy has evaporated by the time he's raping the restaurant owner's blind daughter.
- Artistic License – Military: Apparently the entire process of enlisting, completing training, and being deployed on a top secret mission only takes 24 hours. Moreover, the US Army is willing to enlist hobos, some of whom have criminal records.
- Author Appeal: Coffee, vigilantism, death, misery, light aircraft, death, misery, the "Yucca Mountain" location (probably somewhere in San Bernardino County, California), death, misery, big breasts aimed at the camera, death, misery, coffee — it must be a Coleman Francis film!
- Banana Republic: Cuba is portrayed as this
- Been There, Shaped History: Griffin and company get involved in The Bay of Pigs invasion.
- Bittersweet Ending: Arguably a Happy Ending, depending on your opinion of Griffin, but he is shot down but Chastaine is revealed to be alive and well and reunited with his wife.
- Book Dumb: Cherokee Jack
- Bookends: Red Zone Cuba begins and ends with the phrase "ran all the way to hell."
- California Doubling: Reasonably well for Arizona - except it's Nevada. Not nearly so well for Cuba.
- The Cameo: John Carradine, who's listed as a "guest star."
- The Cast Show Off: Carradine again. His voice may be crusty, but the man can carry a tune.
- Chronic Villainy: Griffin announces his intention to "go legit" less than thirty seconds before whipping one of his friends with a belt and robbing him. He seems incapable of passing up the opportunity to commit any crime. His response to seeing a man with a blind daughter is to throw the man down a well and rape the daughter. And still he wonders why he can't go legit...
- Dangerous Deserter: Our three "heroes", after their escape from Cuba.
- Diabolical Mastermind: Griffin, supposedly.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: "As John Carradine's picture fades away, we suddenly hear the voice of Satan himself. No, wait, I'm sorry, I got that wrong. Actually, what we hear is John Carradine singing [!!!!] this movie's theme song."
- Economy Cast: Practically every actor whose character dies gets resurrected as another. In one case, a dead soldier comes back as a member of the firing squad who killed him!
- The Eeyore: The restaurant owner. Being murdered by Griffin was probably the best thing that ever happened to him.
- Fat Bastard: Griffin
- Framing Device: The whole movie is a flashback being told by the driver of a train that the trio briefly rode on. How he knew all the details of their story (or any, considering he tells a reporter that he never saw them and it was dark anyway) is left unsaid.
- Gainax Ending: "Griffin, he ran all the way to hell... with a penny and a broken cigarette."
- Groin Attack. The dog, on itself, on the barb wire fance.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Griffin
- The Hero Dies: Well, it depends on your definition of "hero"
- Hollywood Darkness: Several "night" scenes are clearly shot in the daylight.
- Informed Ability: It's hard to believe Griffin could be a magnate of anything, much less "The Cotton King of the South".
- Loveable Rogue: Griffin is supposed to be this.
- The Musical: Oh, yes.
- My Girl Is Not a Slut: Griffin beats someone up for reading in a newspaper a report that his wife has become a prostitute.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Obviously Cherokee Jack isn't supposed to be an actual Cherokee, but there's still no explanation as to why an airplane pilot in the Arizona desert has a Brooklyn accent.
- Offscreen Teleportation: Chastain
- Pet the Dog:
- At one point while driving, Griffin sees that Cook is freezing in their convertible, so puts the top up.
- The trio also initially act nice towards Chastain's wife, but you never know - Griffin is a ticking time bomb.
- Random Events Plot
- Rape Your Disabled: Griffin forces himself on a blind woman.
- Rouge Angles of Satin:"CHEROKEE~JACK"
WILL FLIE YOU ANYWHERE ?
RATES – PRETTIE – REASONEBLE;
- Cherokee Jack-
- Even though it's deliberate misspelling, director Francis even manages to screw up the joke by allowing the viewer less than two seconds to read the sign.
- Scare Chord: Following "He ran all the way to hell..." (to which Servo replies "But there's always a stop in Wausau!")
- Sociopathic Hero: Griffin. It was probably unintended — but if it was intended, then he's one of the most disturbingly realistic portrayals of a sociopath ever put to film.
- Stupid Evil: Griffin seems incapable of not committing a crime.
- Theme Park Version: The way this movie presents the US Army.
- Title Theme Tune: "Night Train to Mundo Fine", except the title of the movie was later changed.
- Unexplained Recovery: Chastain, the dying soldier, whose fever is magically cured and somehow teleports back to the US.
- Together in Death, perhaps?
- Villain Protagonist: Griffin
- Worst Aid: Sure, a cup of water is the perfect cure for gangrene.
- And don't forget to throw the gunshot victim onto a blanket in the back of your pickup truck before driving over a long series of dirt tracks in the desert.