US release poster
|Directed by||Gary Sherman|
|Produced by||Paul Maslansky|
|Written by||Gary Sherman|
|Music by||Wil Malone|
|Edited by||Geoffrey Foot|
Death Line is a 1972 British horror film, distributed as Raw Meat in the United States. The film stars Donald Pleasence as Inspector Calhoun, and was directed by the American filmmaker Gary Sherman.
A family of cannibals, descended from Victorian railway workers who were buried alive during construction and never rescued, dwells in the disused lines of the London Underground tube network. The last surviving member of the family (Hugh Armstrong) frequently visits the neighboring Russell Square and Holborn stations to pick off unlucky subway passengers for food. After the cannibal kills a politician, he is sought by a detective (Donald Pleasence) reluctantly assisted by an American college student and his English girlfriend, who were the last people to see the victim alive.
- Donald Pleasence as Inspector Calhoun
- Norman Rossington as Detective Sergeant Rogers
- David Ladd as Alex Campbell
- Sharon Gurney as Patricia Wilson
- Hugh Armstrong as The Cannibal (credited as "The Man")
- June Turner as Dying Cannibal (credited as "The Woman")
- Clive Swift as Inspector Richardson
- James Cossins as James Manfred, OBE
- Heather Stoney as W.P.C. Alice Marshall
- Hugh Dickson as Dr. Bacon
- Jack Woolgar as Platform Inspector
- Ron Pember as Lift Operator
- Colin McCormack as Police Constable
- James Culliford as Publican
- Christopher Lee as Stratton-Villiers, MI5
The disused British Museum tube station was mentioned in the film, but it is not the station portrayed as being the cannibal's home. The station in question is named "Museum" and is stated as being between Holborn and British Museum in a conversation between Inspectors Calhoun and Richardson. Signs in the abandoned station also state "Museum" as the name. Location filming took place at both Holborn and the now disused Aldwych station.
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Ramsey Campbell, in a review cut from The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural, but reprinted later, calls Death Line "an unusually bleak and harrowing horror film...very little in the film offers the audience any relief from the plight of the Man...The violence would be intolerable if it were not for the tragic dimensions of the film, but Hugh Armstrong's performance is one of the greatest and most moving in horror films".