Return of Project Horror, Day 8: Raw Meat


There's an ATM about a block away from the apartment I used to live in when I was a bachelor.  It's not a drive-up one, but it's also not exactly an indoor one - it's enclosed inside a tiny standalone vestibule in the middle of a mall parking lot.  The glassed-in side faces away from the major street that passes by the mall, so if you are inside it, you not only are outside of the safety of your car, but you're also not visible to passersby.  I used this ATM all the time, day or night, without every thinking about any of those things.

Then I started dating Courtney, and after we'd been out late one night, I pulled up to that ATM to use it and started to get out of the car.  Courtney stopped me: "Please don't use this ATM.  Just wait until morning, OK?"  Until that moment, it honestly had never occurred to me that something bad could happen to me.  I'm a big guy, and I've been fortunate for the most part to move through life without being messed with.

I tell you all of this to make the point that in my experiences of being in metro areas and riding subways, I've never had any fear about it.  But when you think about it, the fact that there are just these tunnels beneath cities, with all kinds of side tunnels, hidden alcoves, and possibly forgotten passages is really freaky.  That's what Raw Meat focuses on, the strange world beneath a major city.

A young couple coming out of the subway sees a man lying unconscious on the stairs, but when they come back with a police officer, the man is gone.  It turns out that he was an influential figure, so the police launch an investigation when he is not heard from.  The police notice a pattern of similar disappearances from that subway platform over the years, and one officer tells a story about something that happened years and years before:  a group of railroad workers was trapped by a cave-in during the Victorian era, and was left for dead.  Unknown to the world, though, they survived underground for generations, and the last surviving member is now coming out to the surface to bring home food and, he hopes, a new mate.

This was a pretty good shock feature.  Not the scariest movie I've seen, but some very good creepy scenes when it shows the cannibal's den, and a solid (and pretty funny) performance from Donald Pleasance, who is no stranger to slasher movies after playing Dr. Loomis in the Halloween movies.  It's kind of a mix of CHUD, X Files, Jeepers Creepers and The Hills Have Eyes.  Although the scenes in the police station are mostly filler, Donald Pleasance brings some great humor to his performance as the police chief, particularly when he rants at his secretary about the sub-par tea in the department.  In a clever touch, the only understandable words that the cannibal speaks are "Mind the doors!" which, along with "Mind the gap" are the two warnings that are given to riders of the London mas transit system over intercoms, and which he must have heard many, many times over the years.

I can't decide what to rate this.  I'm wavering between a 3 and a 4.  It had a good backstory to set it up, and a good, scary villain, but it also had lots of scenes that were drawn out without needing to be.  I give it three subway trains out of five.
TOMORROW: Midnight Meat Train


Agoodmanmedina said...

Living under the subway tracks IS creepy and thus gets used in lots of movies: Mimic, Extreme Measures,etc. . . Unlike you, I've always been afraid of dark tunnels and lonely places, but unlike you I am fun sized and a woman. Also, there's the whole "raised with La llorona stories" factor in there.

Danny Holwerda said...

I had to look up La Llorona - that is some creepy stuff to tell your kids!

Agoodmanmedina said...

. . .and that's why any barrio friends you have are a little weird. . . .


Post a Comment

Every comment is like a fresh flower, so please write!