DEATH LINE

AKA: Raw Meat

Tag Line : Beneath the streets of London, an unspeakable terror lurks.

Death LineAn obscure British horror film from the early 1970's, which you may not have heard of. But is surprisingly rather good. Starting off somewhere in London's Soho area, a young couple stumbles across a collapsed man in a deserted tube station. Unsure of whether he’s genuinely ill or just plain drunk, they decide to alert one of the station attendants. Only to find that the person has mysteriously vanished when they return with help.

As it turns out, the man in question was a senior minister working for the ministry of defence, and his bizarre disappearance catches the attention of the local police inspector, Calhoun (played by Donald Pleasance). Particularly as he’s not the first person to go missing from that station.

The mystery deepens when a maintenance crew is viciously murdered at the station one night, and one of the bodies is not recovered. Could who, or what, is behind all this be lurking in the disused sub-tunnels underneath the station? And could the old stories about survivors of a tunnel collapse from the early 1900’s resurfacing to prey on modern day tube travellers be true?

Directed by Gary Sherman, who went on to direct “Dead and Buried” and the ill-fated “Poltergeist 3”. This is an interesting film which is a kind of cross between “Chud” and “Hills Have Eyes”, though actually pre-dates both. There is an excellent cast, headed up by Donald Pleasance putting on what is arguably his most outrageous performance ever as the extremely sarcastic police inspector. Colin Swift, who turns up in the role of Inspector Richardson, and Christopher Lee, who makes a cameo appearance as an MI5 official.

Overall Marks : 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • The film was apparently based on one of the old urban legend's surrounding the London Underground about subterranean humans (similar to troglodytes) living in disused portions of the old underground system and preying on unwary passengers.

  • Gary Sherman went on to direct the cult 80's pic "Dead and Buried", as well as the less memorable "Poltergeist 3".

  • The lift operator at the tube station was played by character actor Ron Pember, who is best known for playing Alain in the 1977 TV drama series "Secret Army". He often turns up in bit parts in British films and TV shows playing dislikeable characters ("Red Dwarf" fans may remember him as the Tax Man in the episode "Better than Life").

  • Most of Inspector Calhoun's (Donald Pleasance) outbursts, which provided some of the films funnier moments, were actually ad-libbed.

  • Norman Rossington, who played Detective Rogers, was the narrator on cult kids TV show "Portland Bill".

  • Clive Swift is probably best known for his role as Richard Bucket in the BBC TV drama "Keeping up Appearances".

  • The UK theatrical release was cut by about 1m9s. This shortened the the scene where the cannibal man attacks the maintenance crew (most notably trimming the spade in the head and broom impalement), as well as the scene in his lair where he bites the head off a rat and terrorises Sharon Gurney's character. Subsequent UK video releases where similarly cut, however the 2006 DVD issue was apparently passed fully uncut. The uncut version had also been previously shown on UK satellite TV on Sky Movies.

  • The original US theatrical version was similarly cut to the original UK version in order to get an "R" rating. The US DVD by MGM, entitled "Raw Meat", is of the original uncut version.

Extra Info.

Cast & Crew.

Cover Gallery.

 


Video Clips.
MP4 format.

Theatrical trailer (5.82MB)

Buy Online.

Buy the UK DVD (uncut).

Buy it from Amazon.Com

Buy the US DVD (uncut).

Notes on affiliate sites.
 

 

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