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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MIND THE DOOOOOORSSS !!!!!!!
A classic horror from the '70s. Atmospheric doesn't even begin to cover this all but forgotten gem from "Dead and Buried" director Gary Sherman. Donald Pleasance is a joy to watch as the bent copper 'Calhoun' and his scenes with the much-missed Norman Rossington are a scream. Christopher Lee's cameo is also rather amusing. David Ladd and Sharon Gurney are the young couple...
Published on 1 April 2003 by Paul Watters

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mind the gaps
'Raw Meat' - aka 'Death Lines' - has what is (probably) the best plot premise ever: railway workers became trapped in collapsed tunnels during the construction of the London Underground, and a century later their inbred descendents have become cannibals that prey on commuters. SUPERB. I was really prepared to like this movie, even though I knew it couldn't possibly be as...
Published 23 months ago by Tim Wilkinson Lewis


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MIND THE DOOOOOORSSS !!!!!!!, 1 April 2003
By 
Paul Watters (Hermitage, TN) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Death Line [VHS] (VHS Tape)
A classic horror from the '70s. Atmospheric doesn't even begin to cover this all but forgotten gem from "Dead and Buried" director Gary Sherman. Donald Pleasance is a joy to watch as the bent copper 'Calhoun' and his scenes with the much-missed Norman Rossington are a scream. Christopher Lee's cameo is also rather amusing. David Ladd and Sharon Gurney are the young couple who find themselves involved in all this nasty underground-shenanigans and I think they both give adequate performances.
Unlike another reviewer on this site, I really didn't mind them all that much. After all, the viewers sympathy, in my opinion at least, should ultimately lie with the character known simply as "The Man" - the cannibal of the movie - and while he is initially seen as a monster, in reality he is nothing more than a poor soul who has realised that, against his better efforts, has now become the last of his kind.
Good photography goes a long way in helping this movie stir up some chills and the music score by Wil Malone is excellent, from the funky Soho opening to desolate underground passages...
The video presentation is acceptable. For a movie which spends most of it's time in the dark, the VHS does a reasonable job with the most of the underground scenes. There is some grain in a couple of the shadowy scenes but nothing much to worry about. Ideally though, a nice cleaned-up DVD job on "DeathLine" would go down a treat but until then, this VHS is a must-buy! The movie even has the original 'X' certificate card at the beginning....!
Much like "An American Werewolf in London", this movie will most definately have you looking over your shoulder the next time you should find yourself travelling alone, late at night on one of the quieter stretches of the London Underground.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Forgotten Gem, 25 Oct 2005
By 
J. Williams - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Raw Meat [DVD] [1973] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
I have no particular interest in 'genre' movies as a rule - and horror movies least of all. But this is different. 'Death Line/Raw Meat' is a powerful and moving film whose humane vision is heightened by its treatment of the 'monster' as a pitiful creature of circumstance. In the wake of The Wickerman's new-found popularity I'd like to put a word in for this similarly memorable British film of the 1970s. After a construction disaster in 1892 forced successive generations of 'monsters' to live the degraded existence of underground cannibals, the film follows the last surviving male cannibal who survives by abducting passengers from Russell Tube tube station and, er, eating them.
But as the film critic Nigel Floyd suggests, 'the film's great achievement is in eliciting sympathy for a creature whose residual capacity for human feeling [tending to his dying wife] is ultimately more moving than horrifying.' The sequences that take us slowly but surely through the dank and horrific underworld inhabited by our pathetic 'monster' never fail to unnerve me. I've never seen anything like it before or since.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Meal For One, 16 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Death Line [VHS] (VHS Tape)
In the fine tradition of British Horror this film mixs a bizaar plot, genre stalwarts Lee and Plesance and a liberal amount of schlock gore. However it bucks the tradition by actually being good.
The plot revolves around a turn of the century cave-in on the London Underground, a string of modern day (1973) murders and a distinct lack of corpses.
Plesance is on unusally good form as the Working class 'it doesn't matter if we don't solve the case as long as MI5 don't get it' Inspector and Lee delivers a fine cameo as his MI5 nemisis.
The film does wander in places. It could have done without the young couple, who the audience totally fail to empathise with up to, and during, the set peice ending; and the element of scandel and corruption hinted at in the opening credits is never fully expounded. But this is not the point of the film.
What really elevates the film above its genre contemporaries is an original, or atleast unexplored on film, idea and Gary A Shermans fine and explict directing. It is a shame that Sherman directed so little, and nothing remotly as good, after Death Line, because he shows real promise and flair in his debut feature.
The film that this is closest to, in terms of era and general mood, is Black Christmas. If you are a horror fan and want to get away from the endless sequel mania of modern horror films (Urban Legend 3 anyone?) then this film is definatly for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mind the gaps, 17 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Raw Meat [DVD] [1973] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
'Raw Meat' - aka 'Death Lines' - has what is (probably) the best plot premise ever: railway workers became trapped in collapsed tunnels during the construction of the London Underground, and a century later their inbred descendents have become cannibals that prey on commuters. SUPERB. I was really prepared to like this movie, even though I knew it couldn't possibly be as good as 'The Wicker Man', or even as 'The Blood on Satan's Claw'. And, yes, many of the ingredients often found in classic 70s horror films are also found here; namely:

a) Donald Pleasance,
b) a female lead whose blouse is gratuitously ripped open in the final act, thus cheapening the whole movie, and
c) Christopher Lee.

Now, ingredient (a) is very entertaining, as always. This time, he's a sarcastic working-class police inspector. But (first problem) you'll find yourself wondering why he gets so much screen time, given that by the time he works anything out, the viewer has already known it for ages. Someone seems to have had the bright idea that the story should begin as a police-mystery-thriller, and delve into horror in the second half, as the perpetrators of the bizarre killings are gradually revealed. But for some crazy reason, the concept of "degenerated Victorian tunnel-ghouls" is introduced early on; and it's info-dumped on the audience in such a way as to leave us with no doubt that it will turn out to be true, simply because it would never been shoehorned in so clumsily otherwise!

The film's other two main characters, a student and her annoying American boyfriend, are generic monster-fodder - they just get chased around. But it's hard to care much, and the movie simply isn't all that scary! There are a couple of sudden shocks - literally, there are two - and the tunnel-cannibals' crimes and their revolting underground lair occasionally disturb as the camera lingers on lovingly-gnawed human remains - but the chief ghoul just seems like an angry tramp, only becoming really grotesque very late in the film; and there's very little 'escalation' in the threat or horror.

'Raw Meat' squanders most of its running time on a redundant police investigation, a startlingly-abortive subplot about MI5 meddling in the case, and irrelevant vignettes from the characters' domestic lives. Meanwhile, the great Christopher Lee has only one scene, and the credits roll just when things were getting interesting. In summary: Pleasance's sarky cop character oughtta have his own TV show, in which he can spent half an hour crackin' wise without slowing everything else down. Then the cannibal-underground-workers story oughtta be a totally separate movie from that, with a whole other act added on the end.

Man, I wish this film was good; I really do.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "What a life", 11 July 2011
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This review is from: Raw Meat [DVD] [1973] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
This region 1 DVD has an excellent transfer in what seems to be the correct aspect ratio.

A quirky police story is suddenly a primal "horror" and fear tale. A monster lurks in the underground, and people are disappearing. What's going on? Solid direction by Gary Sherman, utilizing early 70's London location shooting adds to the feel. The dank atmospheric underworld is artfully depicted by DOP Alex Thompson, with a nice sense of dark realism. The film is deliberately paced, and is not an an action/gore fest, although it has moments of both. Donald Pleasance is both irritating and endearing as the cop, a beautifully detailed picture. Hugh Armstrong, as "the man" gives an amazing performance, evoking the same pity and fear as Karloff in "Frankenstein" or Richard Wordsworth in "The Quatermass Experiment". Not for the squeamish, this is the genuine article - a classic Horror film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A true underrated gem., 29 April 2014
This review is from: Raw Meat [DVD] [1973] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Originally released in the U.K. as Deathline, Raw Meat is the debut feature of Gary Sherman (Dead and Buried, Vice Squad), and is the better horror film of the 1970's if not one of the best, it really is a well-accomplished, genuine ’70s shocker with a great and spooky atmosphere shot underneath the London subway system. Set in contemporary (70s) London, Raw Meat is about a cannibal fiend who dwells in the Underground tunnel system. A young couple stumble over an unconscious man (who turns out to be an important politician) on the stairs of an Underground station; when they come back with a police officer in order to help, the man is gone. Shortly thereafter, more people disappear from the same Underground station by night...

The film's premise and its execution are exceptionally disturbing. The gory makeup effects are fantastic and very grisly, and the Underground tunnel system is a genuinely creepy and unsettling Horror location. The menacing and truly scary fiend's persona which is something in-between cannibalistic monster, human being and animal is maybe the most disturbing aspect of the movie. The performances are very good, especially the magnificent Donald Pleasence who once again is great in the role of the eccentric and overall not very friendly investigating Scotland Yard Inspector. The Inspector's cynicism and eccentricities provide some humor in the otherwise disturbing film. Sharon Gurney, who plays the female lead, is also known for another British Horror film, The Corpse of 1971.

Horror icon Christopher Lee also has a short cameo as an MI5 agent. Hugh Armstrong is incredibly creepy as the Cannibal fiend. His role reminded me of the Italian Gore-classic Anthropophagus (1980), to which it may or may not have been inspirational; while I love Anthropophagus, Death Line is much more subtle and intellectual in its explanation of the reasons for people turning to Cannibalism. Raw Meat is a highly disturbing and brilliant cult classic horror film that nobody who likes true Horror should miss, it's filled with some highly intense and memorable moments that you'll soon won't forget. Highly recommended.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best British horror films ever, 13 Jun 2008
By 
DAVE HORN "Dave Horn" (Ellington Village, Northumberland, GB) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Raw Meat [DVD] [1973] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
This 1972 classic British horror from Director Gary Sherman (Poltergeist 1-3, Dead and Buried) is set in the London Underground where survivors of a cave-in where workers on the original tunnels in the late 1800s were buried alive and left, as the company went bankrupt soon after. They created a colony of cannibals who had never seen daylight and fed off unwary late night travellers from the last tube train at Russell Square Station, near to where they lived.

Exactly how they knew which train was the last one and why they never popped up for a snack at other times (thus gaining access to the surface before the station was locked up at night) is not explained. Why the trapped workers lived and bred down there for generations instead of going back to the surface a.s.a.p. is not explained either. Nevertheless suspend disbelief for the duration of the film.

The colony is now reduced to its' last man. Though he is immensely strong, he is not in good shape, suffering from the plague and anemia. The immortal words "Mind the doors" are all he can say, having learned it from the recorded message from the departing tube trains. The survivors didn't pass on the quality of speech to their descendents but, again, why not is not explained.

There is some blood and gore and a couple of bits that made the cinema audience (myself and girl-friend of the time included - hi Janice) jump out of their seats and the man bites the head off a rat before Ozzy did the same to a bat on stage.

Hugh Armstrong gives an ace performance as the cannibal man of few words, whilst Donald Pleasence gives an unusual one as the rather nasty Inspector Calhoun and Christopher Lee does a more or less cameo as an investigating MI5 agent brought in when a high-ranking civil servant joins the missing. Sharon Gurney plays the student girl-friend of American student Alex (David Ladd) and wears the most ridiculous bright yellow boots that even in 1972 no student or any girl with taste would be seen dead in (take it from me I remember student girls in boots from 1972 (Newcastle Upon Tyne Uni in this case - hi Lind or should I say Lupin?).

For such a good horror film it's a shame that this is a totally cheap, bare bones disc with no extras. To its' credit, the picture is excellent, with vibrant colour (for the underground) and free from sparklies, whilst the sound is clear with no hiss, pops or crackles. A surround remix would have been nice especially for the scary bits. The 5* rating is for the film alone and not the package.
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