Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Raw Meat (1972)

...aka: Death Line

Directed by:
Gary Sherman

In 1892, a cave-in trapped people deep underground in London, but they have lived on through the years by means of air pockets, water filtration and the occasional stray animal. Now, as the race of people has slimmed down to one last longhaired vagrant with a bad complexion and his lair has been bypassed by an elaborate subway system, late-night travelers start disappearing, turning up dead and/or being cannibalized. Stuffy, sarcastic police Inspector Calhoun (Donald Pleasence) and colleagues are on the case, a couple of bickering college students (Sharon Gurney and David Ladd) get involved and Christopher Lee shows up in a top hat for one brief scene as Calhoun's scheming rival. Though often slow moving, the story and cast are good, there's some gore (impalements, slit throats...) and some surprisingly stylish directorial touches. Long, unbroken shots of victims in the cannibal lair and through abandoned areas of the subway are pretty interesting and so is the treatment of the killer, who, when compared to many of the main characters, comes off sympathetically. Original British title: DEATH LINE.


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