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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Raw Meat (1973)

Raw Meat has several things going for it.  First of all, there's Donald Pleasence [Dr. Loomis from Halloween] who plays Inspector Calhoun.  Calhoun is investigating a number of disappearances in the London Underground which turn out to be perpetrated by the sole descendant of a group of 19th century cannibals who lived under the streets of London.  Pleasence brings a quirky spark of life to nearly every scene he's in which is a good thing because most of the acting is either dreary or overly melodramatic.

The second thing Raw Meat has going for it the realistically creepy London Underground which is filmed unflinchingly by director Gary Sherman [Poltergesit III, Wanted: Dead or Alive].  Corpses in various states of decay are so realistic you can almost smell them.  The slow camera shots through the filth and squalor are like an auto accident where you want to look away but can't stop staring at it.  Nicely done.

One wonders what Tobe Hooper [Texas Chainsaw Massacre] could have done with this screenplay and setting.  The potential is there for a really disturbing and powerful film.  However,  Raw Meat falls way short of greatness.  Too bad because the creepy is definitely lurking all over this film.  

As an added bonus, the one and only Christopher Lee makes a cameo appearance and steals the only scene he appears in.  It left me hoping he would team up with Pleasence for the rest of the film.  Alas, that was not meant to be.


For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.

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