Death Line (Raw Meat) (1972)
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Gary Sherman's Death Line is one of those little-seen, long-forgotten 1970s horror films that's still championed by its core of fans. When the film was shown as part of a horror series at Lincoln Center in 2002, director Guillermo Del Toro (The Devil's Backbone) pronounced it one of his all-time favorites. In the film, Patricia (Sharon Gurney) and her American boyfriend, Alex (David Ladd, son of actor/producer Alan Ladd), find an important government official apparently unconscious on the stairs of a London Underground station. By the time they locate a cop to investigate, the body is gone. The sarcastically cynical Inspector Calhoun (Donald Pleasence) and his right-hand man, Rogers (Norman Rossington), take on the case. The culprit turns out to be a deranged man (Hugh Armstrong), the descendent of tunnel workers who were trapped in a cave-in and abandoned by the government at the turn of the century. "The Man" lives in the abandoned tunnel with his mate, "the Woman" (June Turner), and ventures into the Underground proper only to find hapless human victims and bring them back to their decrepit lair for food. When his mate dies, the Man goes in search of another. Put-off by Alex's lack of compassion, Patricia splits up with him, venturing into a train station alone, and before long, she finds herself in the underground hellhole. Christopher Lee makes a cameo appearance as an officious, meddlesome MI5. Much to Sherman's chagrin, his film was re-edited by the producers and released to American grind houses under the title Raw Meat. It was shown in Britain in its original form, under its original title. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Death Line (Raw Meat)
This under-rated British horror has the ragged edge and grim tone of a film made two years later - The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.
The mining injustices of The Stars Look Down, transmuted into return-of-the-oppressed horror
Its images of tunnelled emptiness should send a shiver of recognition down the spine of any city dweller.
Audience Reviews for Death Line (Raw Meat)
Silly horror premise is almost entirely sold with a heavy air of portent and tons of atmosphere. Pleasence is sleepwalking through this.More
"Raw Meat" ("Death Line" in the UK) has a cult following among horror buffs, but it's hardly top sirloin. The premise is that, back in the 1890's, a cave-in trapped a dozen construction workers far beneath the London streets. The group (which luckily included four women) survived on rats and each other's corpses for generations, but has mutated into a diseased breed that barely qualifies as human. Now, innocent people are disappearing from subway platforms, and it's up to the police and a young, hip couple to discover why.
"Raw Meat" is strangely short on action, needs a few more interesting characters and has an implausible final act (wow, these people track as well as any bloodhound). The film does have at least one good jolt, a marvelous Christopher Lee cameo, a fun score of farting synthesizers and one impressive long take (a winding, seven-minute survey of the mutants' decrepit lair). Best of all is Donald Pleasance's droll performance as a cynical detective who would rather be downing some pints than worrying about dank tunnels and rotting bodies. Still, this is hardly essential viewing. Proceed at your own risk, and mind the doors.
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