“In 1892… a rival subway company was tunneling, and its tunnel caved in. Then the company went bankrupt [and] no effort was made to rescue the trapped workers.”
A police inspector (Donald Pleasence) learns about a colony of cannibals — descendents of 19th century laborers — who are living in the London underground. When the lone survivor (Hugh Armstrong) emerges to kidnap a new wife (Sharon Gurney), Pleasence and Gurney’s boyfriend (David Ladd) are quickly on his trail.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Christopher Lee Films
- Donald Pleasence Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
Despite its provocative premise, this cult horror film — which Peary concedes is “not as good as its reputation” — is surprisingly boring. There are far too many narrative loopholes — wouldn’t the fifth generation of underground laborers have tried to escape long before now? — and the fake movie gore quickly becomes tedious. Fortunately, the film is partially redeemed by its sympathetic “villain” (Armstrong) — the “brutish lone survivor” of a corrupt government cover-up who’s simply trying to continue his bleak existence; it’s easy to empathize with his plight.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Donald Pleasence as Inspector Calhoun
- A clever, politically scandalous premise
No, though it’s worth a look simply for its status as a beloved cult film.
2 thoughts on “Raw Meat / Deathline (1973)”
First viewing. Haphazardly constructed, written and executed, this is a dull, somewhat pretentious ‘horror’ film of no importance.
This really is the sort of film they ought to be remaking rather than films that are already unbeatable. A good idea that has real potential let down by some botched execution.
As a long time resident of London, I can say that the Underground can be a creepy place – and the film deserves credit for realising that (one reason why I love Von Triers’ ‘The Kingdom’ – while loathing many of his films – is that it realises what creepy places hospitals are).