From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
As my wife happily defrosts a big block of ground bison in the kitchen, I sit here, fittingly, pondering the merits and missteps of Raw Meat. This film made my list due to a recommendation from a film critic acquaintance via one of the social network leviathans. I picked it up from the ever fantastic Vulcan Video here in Austin,TX and now let us grab our knives and forks and merrily chew some Raw Meat.
Raw Meat takes place, for the most part, in a London tube station. For clarification to anyone who doesn’t watch as much British cinema as I do, the tube is their name for the subway. Anyway the thing about this particular station is that people who go there late at night have the annoying habit of disappearing forever. Since it has primarily been people of no real consequence who have vanished, the police are scarcely involved in the situation. But when a young couple finds a man dying on the steps of the station only to have mysteriously relocated when the police arrive, an investigation is finally launched. What is the horror that lurks in the wings of mass transit? What menu items does this creature fancy? Will he ever wipe that one string of drool from his fucking chin?!!!! Sorry, getting ahead of myself.
There are some really incredible things happening in Raw Meat. Not the least of which is a completely unhinged Donald Pleasence who bullies his way through scene after scene with unflinching disdain for damn near everyone. Despite the fact that his mental status is constantly in question, his standards for things large and small are set in stone. My favorite of these bugnuts eccentricities has to do with an aversion to tea bags. Sounds lame, is actually hilarious! He handles police work like he’s doing all of England a favor and isn’t afraid to tell anyone to take a flying fuck. There is also a small, completely wasted cameo by Christopher Lee that was all too disappointing.
The monster/cannibal himself starts off kind of imposing and frightening, but a very sympathetic light is shined on him near the end that I think dissipates the mood established by the opening. There is this fantastic 360˚ gore pan that travels around the cannibal’s lair and really kicks the movie up to that grindhouse 70’s style. The bodies strewn about with pieces missing and rats feasting on human remnants spanked of the great, unassuming splatterfests like Night of the Creeps or the original cut of My Bloody Valentine. Suddenly we really fear the idea of entering the tube stations late at night (a similar feeling came over me during Midnight Meat Train). But once the audience is forced to feel for the cannibal, the entertainment value starts to hemorrhage like a sliced artery. It doesn’t help that there are poorly edited scenes that suck all the pacing out of the film as the cannibal screams and cries and hugs with a giant string of saliva swinging awkwardly from his lips. Damn it!
Let me end on a laud here and say that the music in Raw Meat is phenomenal. The movie opens with an industrial-sounding, pseudo-jazzy anthem that thumps along at a snappy pace. It really sounds like if a young Carpenter got really into funk and beat poetry. It is fraking awesome. All in all, this movie isn't bad. I just wanted to see more carnage from a creature that started the movie with a mean appetite and ended up being zombie Corky who just needed a fwiend. Oh well. TEA!
Review by Casper Von Sidecar