Raw Meat (aka Death Line)

AUGUST 28, 2007

GENRE: MONSTER
SOURCE: DVD (ONLINE RENTAL)

Every now and then, I get a movie from Blockbuster that just sort of puzzles me when it arrives in the mail. Such was the case with today’s movie, Raw Meat. I didn’t know anything about it, have no recollection of adding it to my queue, and in fact wasn’t even sure if it was horror movie for a while (other than the title).

The film begins with a guy who looks like Magritte’s Son of Man endlessly walking around a blurry city as the opening credits drag on for eternity. Ordinarily this would be enough for me to shut it off to at least confirm it was a horror movie, but since I spied both Donald Pleasence AND Christopher Lee in the cast, I figured it HAD to be. About a half hour later I got my confirmation, as a mutant guy living underneath the subway slits a dude’s throat and lets the blood pour into the mouth of his wife (also a mutant thing). Hurrah, it’s horror!

Even if it wasn’t I probably would have kept watching though, because Donald Pleasence is an absolute delight in this one. He’s not as batshit insane as usual; instead he just seems sort of drunk throughout the movie. He randomly throws darts around, obsesses about tea (he IS British), makes inappropriate jokes, etc. He also reminds me a bit of John Hodgman, one of the best Daily Show personalities (and fellow blogger!). There’s a scene late in the film where he just sort of argues with a bartender while his partner plays pinball that had me in stitches. Oh Donald, why couldn’t you have survived watching Halloween 6? Everyone else did.

As for Christopher Lee, I am at a loss to explain his appearance here. He almost literally appears out of thin air in the middle of a scene, has a little face-off with Donald, and then is never seen or spoken of again. I suspect he happened by the set one day and they quickly threw him in there and had him just say whatever came to his head (Donald’s reaction to his appearance certainly seems to support this theory).

This one isn’t too well known, and that is a shame. It’s a wonderful little British chiller with a decent enough horror villain (by the way, the film Creep, with Franke Potente run Lola running around a subway chased by a monster, really ripped this one off) and as said, a truly wonderful Pleasence appearance. I urge you to go check it out at once.

“But the first thing you gotta do is get some TEA!!!”

What say you?

9 comments:

  1. You had me at "Pleasence." I'll have to rent this puppy.

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  2. Haha nice! Yeah let me know what you think, it's certainly a rare one.

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  3. haha yeah. so funny. love him. his book is good too.

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  4. You know, I watched this one shortly after it came out on DVD, and just couldn't get into it. Just found it kinda dumb and boring. And this from a guy who worships Paul Naschy. I did like the furiously blinking "corpse" though.

    Maybe it's just the underground cannibal theme I can't get into. I hated Creep as well.

    But then I also hated Anatomie. Maybe it's Franke Potente I can't stand!

    I'm so confused.

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  5. I rented this about a year ago. I had no idea what it was or what it was about, but it had a creepy dude on the cover, so I decided to give it a whirl. I remember thinking how awesome Donald Pleasence was. The rest of the movie was alright, and you're right about Creep stealing this movie's schtick, although I really liked the first half of Creep.

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  6. Well if you hate Franke... never watch PRINCESS AND THE WARRIOR. One of the worst movies I've ever seen.

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  7. its funny, I just bought this film today, I have heard great things about it over the years. Plus, I'm a Gary Sherman fan, Dead and Buried is one of my favorite films.

    I look forward to checking this out next week.

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  8. This was definitely worth watching for Donald Pleasance's amazing performance alone. I've never seen him be such a hilarious bastard. Awesome.

    And I appreciated the suspense scenes where we pan (painfully, extremely) slowly across a very dark room full of nasty things, although those shots -- aside from the impressive first one -- tended to drag on too long for my tastes. And the villain was clearly the inspiration for every Rob Zombie character: filthy, long-haired, drooling, insane and totally unlikable. I've also gotta wonder if the guys who wrote the X-Files "Home" episode saw this and were inspired. When we first start to learn about the home life of the villain, I immediately thought of that killer episode. The first half of RAW MEAT is much better than the second half -- once all is revealed and/or obvious about halfway through the movie, not much new is introduced -- but this is a nice find. Thanks, BC!

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