“Raw Meat” (1972)
Studio: Harbor Ventures
Starring: Donald Pleasence, David Ladd, Sharon Gurney, Christopher Lee
Directed by: Gary Sherman
Running Time: 87 min.
Synopsis: A savage man who lives underneath a subway in London feeds off the living in order to survive.
A good scary creepy horror flick from the U.K. about a crazed man who lives underneath the subway and drags victims to his lair and eats them. The film’s opening credits are pretty neat, with a scene where we see a businessman walking around but were not sure where he is. The screen gets blurry and a credit is shown, then it goes back to the scene. Turns out he was coming out of a peep show and entering the subway.
The businessman ends up becoming a victim of the subway dweller. A couple, an American man and an English woman see the man on the ground and go report it to the police. By the time they get back there the man is gone. The police start to look for the man, since this is not the first time someone has disappeared from the subway. Donald Pleasence plays an inspector looking for the killer. They have no luck finding him and even ask the American man, who’s a student for help. Pleasence even finds out from a historian that back in the 19th century some workers of men and women were trapped under a building where now the subway lies. It is said that there was enough air pockets and water where they could survive and to get food, they ended up eating the dead bodies of the group. They even reproduced down there creating more savages. Now, only one is left and wants to find a mate for he can create more of his people.
There are some great eerie moments through out the film and plenty of stylish shots. The whole backdrop of London is dark and gloomy. The creepiness of the underground passageway to where the killer lives sets a great tone for the film. There’s one real long shot that pans across the underground cavern. It starts with a tight shot of a rat and the sound of water drops. It then slowly tilts up and pans over to dead bodies, the first one is fresh, but the others are rotten. It then slowly pans over to the animal like man who is weeping over a dead woman who must have been his old mate. Camera then pans over to a darken hallway and backs up down a long corridor and then ultimately up toward the subway.
Some highlights include a scene where the couple gets off the subway later in the movie. The man goes back on to get the girl’s school books, but the doors close and he’s stuck in there leaving her outside. They think nothing of it and he just says, I’ll meet you back at the flat. As the train leaves the woman is grabbed by the killer. This scene made me jump, even though I knew she was going to get taken, but previous scenes were more slow and suspenseful before the killer jumped out, this one was out of no where. Also Christopher Lee has a very small part in this film playing an inspector, but he’s only in one scene. I wish his role was a little bit bigger.
Most of the film is good, but they are some parts that kind of drag on and could have been cut down a bit. All in all it was a good horror film with an eerie story and has an awesome gritty gloomy feel to it.