Raw Meat (1973)

R | 88 mins | Horror | 1973

Director:

Gary Sherman

Writer:

Ceri Jones

Producer:

Paul Maslansky

Cinematographer:

Alex Thomson

Editor:

Geoffrey Foot

Production Designer:

Denis Gordon-Orr

Production Company:

K.L. Productions, Ltd.
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HISTORY

This film was first released in London in Dec 1972 under the title Death Line . Some sources list the title as Deathline . In 1973, it was re-titled Raw Meat for U.S. distribution. The title of the viewed 2003 DVD version was Raw Meat . According to a 30 Mar 1973 American International Pictures’ inter-office memo, credits on British release prints contained the production statement: “A Jay Kanter—Alan Ladd, Jr. Production.” The statement was to be deleted from U.S. release prints and replaced with “A K.L. Production,” according to the memo. When the film was released in the U.S., Americans Kanter and Ladd, Jr. were not listed as presenters or producers onscreen, or in reviews and ads. Although onscreen credits include a 1972 copyright statement for Harbor Ventures Inc., the film was not registered for copyright, and no information about Harbor Ventures has been found. According to the MPAA website, the film was rated X in 1973, but was re-edited for an R rating later that year. Reviews from the Oct 1973 Los Angeles run list the rating as R.
       As noted in production items, Raw Meat was filmed entirely in London. Although the Spring 1974 CineFantastique reviewer claimed that the story was based on an actual London underground cave-in, during which trapped men and women were abandoned by rescuers, no information about such an incident has been found. Some sources incorrectly describe the tunnel dwellers as “mutants.” Star David Ladd was Ladd, Jr.’s half brother, and Raw Meat marked the first time the two ... More Less

This film was first released in London in Dec 1972 under the title Death Line . Some sources list the title as Deathline . In 1973, it was re-titled Raw Meat for U.S. distribution. The title of the viewed 2003 DVD version was Raw Meat . According to a 30 Mar 1973 American International Pictures’ inter-office memo, credits on British release prints contained the production statement: “A Jay Kanter—Alan Ladd, Jr. Production.” The statement was to be deleted from U.S. release prints and replaced with “A K.L. Production,” according to the memo. When the film was released in the U.S., Americans Kanter and Ladd, Jr. were not listed as presenters or producers onscreen, or in reviews and ads. Although onscreen credits include a 1972 copyright statement for Harbor Ventures Inc., the film was not registered for copyright, and no information about Harbor Ventures has been found. According to the MPAA website, the film was rated X in 1973, but was re-edited for an R rating later that year. Reviews from the Oct 1973 Los Angeles run list the rating as R.
       As noted in production items, Raw Meat was filmed entirely in London. Although the Spring 1974 CineFantastique reviewer claimed that the story was based on an actual London underground cave-in, during which trapped men and women were abandoned by rescuers, no information about such an incident has been found. Some sources incorrectly describe the tunnel dwellers as “mutants.” Star David Ladd was Ladd, Jr.’s half brother, and Raw Meat marked the first time the two worked together on a picture. Raw Meat also marked American Gary Sherman’s directing debut. Although, according to a Dec 1972 Var item, the picture “proved a sleeper in its first date” in London, it was poorly reviewed in the U.S. and had limited release there. In Los Angeles, it was billed with another “cannibal” film, the Canadian comedy Cannibal Girls .
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
CineFantastique
Spring, 1974
p. 26.
Daily Variety
13 Mar 1972.
---
Films and Filming
Apr 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Mar 1972.
---
Los Angeles Herald Examiner
6 Oct 1973.
---
Los Angeles Times
5 Oct 1973
Section IV, p. 10.
New York Times
5 Mar 1972.
---
Variety
15 Mar 1972.
---
Variety
6 Dec 1972.
---
Village Voice
16 Oct 2002.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
PRODUCERS
Pres
WRITERS
Orig story
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Chief elec
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Prop master
MUSIC
SOUND
Sd ed
Dubbing rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup des
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod mgr
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Deathline
Death Line
Release Date:
1973
Premiere Information:
London opening: December 1972
Los Angeles opening: 3 October 1973
Production Date:
began March 1972 in London
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
88
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
23369
SYNOPSIS

Late one night in London, bowler-wearing James Manfred exits a seedy strip club and propositions a prostitute on the platform of the nearby Russell Square underground station. To Manfred’s dismay, the prostitute grabs his cash, knees him in the groin and runs off, leaving him alone in the station. Moments later, a mysterious figure emerges from the underground’s tunnel and attacks Manfred, then flees when the last train of the night pulls into the station. Upon exiting the train, young couple Patricia Wilson and Alex Campbell find Manfred slumped on the stairs in a speechless stupor. Although Alex, an American, maintains that Manfred is merely drunk, Patricia checks his wallet for medical alerts and, while finding none, insists they notify the nearest constable. By the time the couple leads the officer down to the now-closed platform, however, Manfred has disappeared. Later, at the flat she shares with Alex, Patricia awakens in the middle of the night and tells Alex that she is still worried about Manfred, but Alex is unsympathetic. The next morning at the local police station, Detective Sergeant Marshal Rogers tells Inspector Calhoun, his eccentric, abrasive supervisor, about the Manfred incident. Calhoun recognizes Manfred’s name and wonders why a high-ranking employee of the Defense Ministry would be using the underground. Calhoun also connects Manfred’s apparent disappearance to two other recent disappearances at the same station. After Calhoun confirms that Manfred missed his morning appointments, he has Alex brought in for questioning. Calhoun grills Alex, a university student, and accuses him of stealing money from Manfred’s wallet, a claim Alex angrily denies. When Alex returns to ... +


Late one night in London, bowler-wearing James Manfred exits a seedy strip club and propositions a prostitute on the platform of the nearby Russell Square underground station. To Manfred’s dismay, the prostitute grabs his cash, knees him in the groin and runs off, leaving him alone in the station. Moments later, a mysterious figure emerges from the underground’s tunnel and attacks Manfred, then flees when the last train of the night pulls into the station. Upon exiting the train, young couple Patricia Wilson and Alex Campbell find Manfred slumped on the stairs in a speechless stupor. Although Alex, an American, maintains that Manfred is merely drunk, Patricia checks his wallet for medical alerts and, while finding none, insists they notify the nearest constable. By the time the couple leads the officer down to the now-closed platform, however, Manfred has disappeared. Later, at the flat she shares with Alex, Patricia awakens in the middle of the night and tells Alex that she is still worried about Manfred, but Alex is unsympathetic. The next morning at the local police station, Detective Sergeant Marshal Rogers tells Inspector Calhoun, his eccentric, abrasive supervisor, about the Manfred incident. Calhoun recognizes Manfred’s name and wonders why a high-ranking employee of the Defense Ministry would be using the underground. Calhoun also connects Manfred’s apparent disappearance to two other recent disappearances at the same station. After Calhoun confirms that Manfred missed his morning appointments, he has Alex brought in for questioning. Calhoun grills Alex, a university student, and accuses him of stealing money from Manfred’s wallet, a claim Alex angrily denies. When Alex returns to his flat, Patricia is packing and announces she is leaving him because of his callous attitude toward Manfred. Calhoun and Rogers, meanwhile, confer with veteran Inspector Richardson about the Russell Square station. Richardson reveals that in the 1890s, a construction cave-in occurred in the tunnel near the station and, for monetary reasons, no attempt was made to rescue the trapped men and women. Soon after, in a dimly lit storage area in the Russell Square tunnel, which is filled with body parts and skeletons, an imprisoned Manfred has his throat slit by a ghoulish-looking man. The man then feeds Manfred’s blood to his sick, pregnant companion as she lies in a makeshift bed. Later, Calhoun and Rogers search Manfred’s town home. After commenting on the suspicious opulence of the place, the fiercely working class Calhoun and Rogers discover a secret room hidden behind a bookcase. Before Calhoun and Rogers can investigate further, however, pompous intelligence officer Stratton-Villiers appears and orders the pair to leave. Back in the tunnel, the ghoulish man’s companion dies, and the man, whose speech consists of grunts and an imitation of the underground’s public address announcement “mind the doors,” is devastated. Soon after, in a grief-stricken rage, the man attacks and slays three maintenance workers in the Russell Square station. Two bodies are recovered, and later at the morgue, the medical examiner tells Calhoun that blood collected at the scene reveals that the attacker had acute anemia. After Calhoun interrogates Alex again and confirms that Manfred was still alive when Alex found him, Alex and Patricia, who has since made up with Alex, enjoy dinner and a movie together. On their way home, Patricia ends up alone at the Russell Square station when Alex gets stuck on the train while retrieving Patricia’s books. Patricia is immediately grabbed and rendered unconscious by the man, then carried into the tunnel. When he returns to Russell Square and discovers Patricia gone, Alex panics and rushes to the police station. There, he finds Calhoun, still inebriated after an evening of drinking, and reports Patricia’s apparent kidnapping. Although he has learned that the attacker’s blood also tested positive for the plague, which is transmitted through rat bites, Calhoun is reluctant to believe Alex until a constable reports that Patricia’s purse has been found. While Alex returns to the station and begins a frantic search in the tunnel, Patricia revives in a dark, rat-infested enclosure. Terrified, she screams, and the man charges in and kills the rats. The man considers killing Patricia, but changes his mind and tries to kiss her instead. She fights him and manages to get away, but the man traps her again and awkwardly tries to woo her. Patricia responds with her fists and, frustrated, the man tears at her clothes. The flashlight-carrying Alex, meanwhile, has discovered Manfred’s bowler and one of the workers’ bodies, then hears Patricia’s screams. He soon finds Patricia and strikes the man with his flashlight, disabling him. Patricia and Alex flee just as Calhoun and a group of policemen enter the tunnel and head for the storage area. After deducing that the storage area has been home to the survivors of the 1898 cave-in and their descendants, the policemen encounter the wounded, plague-infected man. The police attack the man, and assuming he is dead, all but one departs. To the remaining constable’s horror, the man revives and kills him. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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