“Death Line” aka “Raw Meat”
The 1972 British cannibal flick "Death Line," formally known as "Raw Meat," gets the deluxe treatment from Blue Underground. “Death Line” is presented in uncut HD, so there is no need to keep your butchered VHS or muddy DVD.
When a government official disappears in the U.K. subway system, Detective Calhoun (Donald Pleasence) begins to dig into the case with the help of a pair of young witnesses. They soon learn of a tragic cave-in where several miners were trapped and left to die years prior. A descendant of the miners has managed to survive by consuming human flesh and is responsible for the missing man.
By 1972, the horror genre had already started to switch gears; it was becoming more subversive with films like “Night of the Living Dead” and “Last House on the Left.” The lighter stuff was starting to be put on the backlog. “Death Line” is somewhat of a transitional horror piece; it holds a certain charm from the yesteryear horror, a somewhat subdued classy approach, but still manages to incorporate some gore and nihilistic tendencies. This makes “Death Line” a fairly important and equally interesting film.
“Death Line” is in fact a mixture on many levels; half of the film plays out like a police procedural, with Detective Calhoun and his cohorts looking into the case as if it were a weekly television episode of “Dragnet.” They frequently are cracking jokes and making jabs at each other in a clever fashion and getting drinks at the pub. The other half of “Death Line” is much darker; it’s a slice of haunting folklore about cannibalism, trapped miners, and subterranean horrors. These two styles mix in the middle, creating a humorous yet horrific combo both done competently. A through line of scandals is evident as well, the first being the ignored cave-in which happened years before and allowed the cannibal monster to be created. This scandal ends up having a nice parallel to the modern cover up of the missing politician. The politician’s disappearance is swept under the rug due to his shady lifestyle. Without his unsavory private life, his disappearance would have been looked into more quickly; uncovering the surviving cannibal. These two scandals contribute to our monster: the past creating him and the present harboring him, unknowingly.
The cannibal “villain” of the film is tragic yet grotesque. “Death Line” again mixing two seemingly opposites, creating a sympathetic abhorrence. He has touching moments with his dying, pregnant lover. He coddles her in a loving moment which is quickly shadowed when he slits a man’s throat and pours the contents into his partner’s mouth. Detective Calhoun, on the other side of the coin, is witty, playful, and a tad crude; this creates a nice dynamic between the characters. Pleasence is hilarious in the role, he is clearly having a wonderful time acting opposite David Ladd, and Norman Rossington, and briefly, Christopher Lee. Pleasence steals nearly every scene he is in. Caught in the middle of these two powerhouse characters are the young lovers who seem to be mostly catalysts and connective tissue. They are effective, none the less.
“Death Line” is a surprisingly quiet film in the score department. The moments underground are scored eerily accordingly, but the police scenes are almost the void of any score, making it feel a little like a television affair. A major highlight is a seven minute unbroken tracking shot; scanning the dark cannibal lair. This shot shows us his history and livelihood without ever saying a word. The lighting is done very well, keeping everything dark but with enough contrast to bring out tell-tale details; while at the same time making sure the audience doesn't feel confused by where the light sources are coming from. Everything technical about the film is fairly sound; it’s no surprise the film makers had a successful career to follow.
Blue Underground has included a commentary with the director and producer. It also includes interviews with them and some of the cast members. The interviews and commentary are very candid, they remember the film fondly and recall as much as they can. Great picture, great sound, and all around, another top notch disc from Blue Underground without any negatives to report.
Theater Talk: Wonder Woman and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 -0:45
Death Line aka Raw Meat -4:35
Cops Vs Thugs -10:50
Sad Vacation – 14:33
Cross of Iron – 17:37
City Heat – 25:11
The Mechanic – 30:26
Shout Out – 33:57
Contest Winner – 34:48 – Brian Morotta
New Contest – 35:30
Update – 36:25
DEATH LINE (AKA RAW MEAT - LIMITED EDITION) BLU-RAY/DVD
Beneath Modern London Lives a Tribe of Once Humans. Neither Men nor Women...
They are the Raw Meat of the Human Race!
When a prominent politician and a beautiful young woman vanish inside a London subway station, Scotland Yard's Inspector Calhoun (Donald Pleasence of HALLOWEEN) investigates and makes a horrifying discovery. Not only did a group of 19th century tunnel workers survive a cave-in, but they lived for years in a secret underground enclave by consuming the flesh of their own dead. Now the lone descendant of this grisly tribe has surfaced, prowling the streets for fresh victims... and a new mate.
Norman Rossington (A HARD DAY'S NIGHT), David Ladd (THE WILD GEESE), Sharon Gurney (CRUCIBLE OF HORROR), and the legendary Christopher Lee (HORROR OF DRACULA) also star in this heart-stopping horror classic co-written and directed by Gary Sherman (DEAD & BURIED). Originally recut and released as RAW MEAT in the United States, now DEATH LINE has been freshly transferred and fully restored in 2K from the original uncensored camera negative and comes fully loaded with exclusive new Extras produced for this release!
Audio Commentary with Co-Writer/Director Gary Sherman, Producer Paul Maslansky, and Assistant Director Lewis More O'Ferrall
Tales From The Tube - Interview with Co-Writer/Director Gary Sherman and Executive Producers Jay Kanter & Alan Ladd Jr.
From The Depths - Interview with Star David Ladd and Producer Paul Maslansky
Mind The Doors - Interview with Star Hugh Armstrong
DEATH LINE Trailer
RAW MEAT Trailer
RAW MEAT TV Spots
RAW MEAT Radio Spots
Poster & Still Gallery
BONUS Collectable Booklet featuring new writing by authors Michael Gingold and Christopher Gullo
Cops Vs Thugs [Blu-ray + DVD]
Considered by many to be director Kinji Fukasaku's greatest single-film achievement in the yakuza genre, Cops vs Thugs was made at the height of popularity of Toei Studios' jitsuroku boom: realistic, modern crime movies based on true stories taken from contemporary headlines. Returning to the screen after completing their Battles Without Honor and Humanity series together, Fukasaku joined forces once again with screenwriter Kazuo Kasahara, composer Toshiaki Tsushima and star Bunta Sugawara to create one of the crowning achievements of his career, and a hard-boiled classic which is still ranked as one of the best Japanese films of the 1970's. It's 1963 in the southern Japanese city of Kurashima, and tough-as-nails detective Kuno (Sugawara) oversees a detente between the warring Kawade and Ohara gangs. Best friends with Ohara lieutenant Hirotani (Hiroki Matsukata), he understands that there are no clear lines in the underworld, and that everything is colored a different shade of gray. But when random violence interrupts the peace and an ambitious, by-the-books lieutenant (Tatsuo Umemiya) comes to town, Kuno's fragile alliance begins to crumble. Greedy bosses and politicians alike seize the opportunity to wipe out their enemies, and Kuno faces the painful choice of pledging allegiance to his badge and keeping a promise to his brother. Echoing the great crime films of Sidney Lumet and Jean-Pierre Melville, in Fukasaku's world, there's no honor among thieves or lawmen alike, and the only thing that matters is personal honor and duty among friends. Kasahara's shattering screenplay and Fukasaku's dynamic direction support an all-star, ensemble cast to create one of the most exciting, and deeply moving films about cops and criminals ever made.
High Definition digital transfer
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
Original uncompressed mono audio
Optional English subtitles
Beyond the Film: Cops vs Thugs, a new video appreciation by Fukasaku biographer Sadao Yamane
A new visual essay on cops & criminals in Fukasaku's works by film scholar Tom Mes
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ian MacEwan
FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Patrick Macias
Sad Vacation: The Last Days of Sid and Nancy
Sad Vacation is a new documentary on the lives and deaths of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen.
Sad Vacation is a personal account of the tumultuous and stormy relationship between Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen and how it ended in Room 100 of the Chelsea Hotel. Directed by Danny Garcia, this films pulls no punches and reveals the facts through personal friends, insiders and witnesses. Includes interviews with Sylvain Sylvain, Bob Gruen, Walter Lure, Leee Black Childers, and many more.
Cross of Iron
Sam Peckinpah's only war film follows the story of a doomed German platoon facing annihilation at the hands of the Russians in 1943. Non-Nazi German soldier Steiner (James Coburn) resents the arrival of arrogant Prussian Stransky (Maximillian Schell) as his new commanding officer. Stransky is desperate to win an Iron Cross - a medal Steiner has already earned, but considers worthless - and so promotes the highly-recommended Steiner to sergeant. During a siege, Stransky hides in his bunker, terrified of battle, only to later file a report claiming that he himself led a victorious counter-attack. However, when Steiner disputes this Stransky takes measures to remove him.
In Kansas City 1933, wisecracking detective Murphy (Burt Reynolds) tracks the killer of his partner. Police Lt. Speer (Clint Eastwood) doesn’t have much tolerance for the local mob war’s body count. Neither guy likes each other, so that makes them a dream team. And it provides the ideal scenario as they clean up the town with slugfests and shoot-’em-ups that parody Reynolds’ and Eastwood’s macho screen images. Director Richard Benjamin gets the ’30s stylishly right and the supporting cast – Jane Alexander, Irene Cara, Rip Torn, Richard Roundtree, Tony Lo Bianco and Madeline Kahn – makes the antics sparkle. Hard-boiled and hilarious, City Heat is your red-hot ticket to starry entertainment.
The Mechanic 1972
Arthur Bishop (Bronson) is a mob hit man who operates in a world of his own... an uncompromising world where conventional rules of morality don't apply and where one wrong move could cost him his life! He's always worked alone, but as age catches up with him, Bishop takes on a competent and ruthless apprentice (Jan-Michael Vincent) and teaches him everything he knows. Together they become an unmatchable team of globetrotting killers... until the pupil's ruthlessness puts him on a collision course with his teacher!
American Guinea Pig: Song of Solomon!!!
Old Contest Winner of “The Void” is Brian Moratta
New Contest Instructions