ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Death Line - Blu-ray review
By James Whittington, Sunday 23rd September 2018

Death Line blu-ray cover

Death Line

Network

Certificate 18

The 1970s, a time of wood-chip wallpaper, the faded dreams of flower power and industrial change. Britain was experiencing three-day weeks, power shortages and general misery. Cinema reflected this depressing time and none more so than Death Line. This gritty, grimy, gory piece is rightly regarded as a classic and Network have given it a transfer that gives it a new lease of life.

When a philandering politician goes missing on the London Underground, the subsequent police investigation uncovers a terrifying secret kept hidden since the 1800s. Who - or what - is turning the Underground tunnels into a Death Line..? Released as Raw Meat in America, Death Line is the sort of movie Hammer should have tried making as its film business production ground to a halt. Its atmospheric, has an idiosyncratic tone throughout and delivers on the violence. The movie captures the seedy side of London at the start of the 70s, the way it lacked definition resembling a cheap, dilapidated version of New York in desperate need of a revamp. Its all neon with peeling paint and bland colour schemes, a place where bowler hatted gentlemen get their questionable kicks and those above the law only need an OBE after their name.

First time director Gary Sherman shows great confidence, slowly building up the tension with long tracking shots and solid character development. He also handles acting legends Donald Pleasence and Christopher Lee perfectly, allowing their two-dimensional characters to fully develop. Adding to this one of the sleaziest scores ever to accompany a horror movie and you've got an almost perfect mix.

The supporting cast are a tad flat and some of the dialogue is a bit dated, but the film is saved by a tight running time and some cracking set-pieces which, for their time were considered very strong. The sequences in the underground tunnels are huge fun, look out the infamous "spade in the head" shot! By the way, the film retains its "Certificate X" card from the BBFC at the start which for some reason sent a bit of retro chill down my spine.

The transfer is superb, for a film shot in 1972. Taken from original film elements it looks as if it could have been made yesterday. It has a deep range of shades that retain plenty of detail in the many darker sequences. The soundtrack is fine though some of the dialogue is a bit shrill, but I think this is due to how it was recorded rather than anything else.

Extras include Mind the Doors!: an interview with Hugh Armstrong, limited edition collectible booklet written by Laura Mayne, Theatrical Trailer, Image Gallery and PDF Material.

Death Line is an important film as it brought a much-needed rawness to British horror cinema, thus breathing life into a dying genre.


Related show tags: 4 STARS
MORE ARTICLES
Black Moon Rising - Blu-ray review
Posted in Reviews, Monday 22nd April 2019
Black Moon Rising CoverBlack Moon Rising
Arrow Video
Cetificate 15

Most Sci-Fi thrillers from the 80s often suffered from lack of budget and lack of imagination as they tried to bring visions of tomorrow to an audience weaned on a diet of Star Wars and other such fodder. Black Moon Rising was different, it kept its hopes high but kept itself in the here and now and viewing some thirty plus years after its initial release only fashion and the odd dodgy piece of SFX lets its age be known.

Tommy Lee Jones stars as Sam Quint, a master thief working for the government who hides a computer disc loaded with evidence of corporate crime in a prototype supercar, the Black Moon...

SHARE: READ MORE
Dark forces invade Horror Channel in May
Posted in Features, Thursday 18th April 2019

Dark forces arrive on Horror Channel in May when the UK's most popular genre TV channel unleashes Invasion Season: a collection of Saturday night alien attack sci-fi movies.

The line-up includes Chris Gorak's Moscow-set apocalyptic fantasy, The Darkest Hour, Colin Minihan's wonderfully effective sci-fi shocker Extraterrestrial, Scott Stewart's compulsive alien home-invasion thriller Dark Skies and the high velocity alien battler drama Skyline, directed by Greg and Colin Strause.

In the Channel Premiere of The Darkest Hours on the 4th, young entrepreneurs Sean (Emile Hirsch) and Ben (Max Minghella) find themselves stranded in Moscow, alongside fellow travellers Natal...

SHARE: READ MORE
Dare you enter The Twilight Zone at The Ambassadors Theatre?
Posted in News, Monday 15th April 2019
The Twilight Zone logo

Full casting was recently announced for the highly anticipated West End transfer of the Almeida's sell-out production of The Twilight Zone, which has now transferred to The Ambassadors Theatre.

Reprising their highly praised performances from the Almeida run are Oliver Alvin-Wilson, Adrianna Bertola and Neil Haigh, who will be joined for the West End premiere by Alisha Bailey, Natasha J Barnes, Nicholas Karimi, Dan Crossley, Dyfan Dwyfor, Lauren O'Neill and Matthew Steer.

Adapted by Anne Washburn (Shipwreck, Mr. Burns) and directed by the multi award-winning director (winner of 7 Olivier Awards), Richard Jones, this production of the acclaimed classic CB...

SHARE: READ MORE
The League of Gentlemen - Live Again this RSD
Posted in , Thursday 11th April 2019
Live_gatefold_complete.indd

Created in conjunction with the League Of Gentlemen, limited to 1250 copies and featuring beautiful original artwork by horror legend Graham Humphreys, The League Of Gentlemen - Live Again is this years LoG offering for Record Store Day 2019.

This title is pressed on 2 x 180G heavyweight Lazarou coloured vinyl, and is presented in an incredible pop up gatefold sleeve featuring key characters Pauline and Mickey.

All your LoG faves are here including the classic characters Tubbs and Edward, Papa Lazarou, Les McQueen, Dr Chinnery, Charlie and Stella, Pam Douve, Hilary Briss, the reverend Bernice Woodall and more.

...
SHARE: READ MORE
Scared Stiff - Blu-ray review
Posted in Reviews, Thursday 11th April 2019
Scared Stiff
Arrow Video
Certificate TBA

Arrow Video continue to trawl the vaults of 80 horror fodder and have dug up a title that's taken too long to come to Blu-ray, Richard Friedman's Scared Stiff. Starring Mary Page Keller and Andrew Stevens the movie follows the classic 80s formula of slow-burn, some gore, more slow-burn and cracking final reel, it's a classic well worth getting re-acquainted with.

Keller plays Kate Christopher, a singer who moves into an old colonial mansion with her son and psychologist boyfriend David (Stevens). But when they make a strange and gruesome discovery in the boarded-up attic, it soon becomes clear that the mansion carries wi...

SHARE: READ MORE
Take a journey through time and space on RSD 2019
Posted in News, Thursday 11th April 2019
The Mighty Boosh RSD 2019

#RSD19 goes on a journey through time and space to the world of the Mighty Boosh.

This is the classic BBC Radio 4 comedy, which launched the careers of writers and leads Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt. This is the first time the series appears on vinyl and presents the surreal world of the Zooniverse on 3 pieces of spectacular splattered coloured 180g vinyl.

Limited to 1500 copies this will be housed in a gatefold sleeve with brand new artwork by Noel Fielding, Dave Brown and featuring sleeve notes by Julian Barrett.

SHARE: READ MORE
The Green Inferno: AKA Cannibal Holocaust 2
Posted in Reviews, Monday 8th April 2019
The Green Inferno - Cannibal Holocaust 2 3D Packshot SlipcaseThe Green Inferno: AKA Cannibal Holocaust 2
88 Films
Cetificate 15

Cannibal Holocaust is probably one of the most debated horror movies of all time. A blend of exploitation, extreme gut-munching and violence (and some real animal torture) its notoriety is still talked about. It was inevitable a sequel is some shape or form, official or not, would follow and did so but not in the way fans thought it would. In The Green Inferno: AKA Cannibal Holocaust 2, gone are the hardcore splatter and sensationalist shocks, instead we have a movie that almost satirises what has gone before, seemingly in a ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Vault of Horror: The Italian Connection Vol.2
Posted in Reviews, Monday 8th April 2019
Vault of Horror: The Italian Connection Vol.2Vault of Horror Vol 2 Demon Records

Here we go again with another slice of superb sounds with an Italian flavour from Demon Records and let's just say its just as strong as the movies they're culled from.

Starting off with the hazy chill of Savana from Savana Violenta (The Violent World) by Guido and Maurizio De Angelis, we get the chance to experience some of the most wonderful pieces without the graphic images that accompanied them. Make Love on the Wing from Zombie Holocaust is as 70s Euro lounge as you can get, and both these tracks create images of sunsets and calm waters.

It's not long before Fabio Frizzi turns up with the disco...

SHARE: READ MORE
EXCLUSIVE! New clip from Pet Sematary
Posted in News, Wednesday 3rd April 2019
Sometimes dead is better!

Here's an exclusive clip from Pet Sematary which is being released on 4th April by Paramount Pictures.

SHARE: READ MORE
Free Armed Forces screenings of REDCON-1
Posted in News, Wednesday 3rd April 2019
Redcon-1 Poster

Intense Distribution and 101 Films have announced a partnership with Forces Cinemas, to provide a series of free screenings of Redcon-1 to the British Armed Forces around the world.

Like the relentless zombies in the film, Redcon-1 just won't quit. Following a highly successful theatrical release of the action-packed horror thriller at Vue Cinemas last year, REDCON-1, about eight soldiers on a suicide mission after Britain is brought to its knees by a zombie outbreak, made its home entertainment debut last month and immediately entered the Official Top 20 on its first week of release.

REDCON-1 features over 1,500 extras, some of whom were war veterans who had served in the ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Catch Dom Brunt's first two features on Blu-ray!
Posted in News, Tuesday 2nd April 2019

101 Films are releasing two modern British classics on Blu-ray for the first time this Monday, 8th April, both directed by Dominic Brunt; brutal crime thriller Bait, and bloody zombie horror Before Dawn.

Both feature brand new extras, and to make the releases extra special the first 100 copies of each have been signed by the filmmakers; Before Dawn by director/star Dominic Brunt and star Joanne Mitchell, while copies of Bait are also signed by Dominic and Joanne, along with star Victoria Smurfit.

Before Dawn

Before Dawn: In a last-ditch effort to save his marriage, Alex (Dominic Brunt) travels with is estranged wife Meg (Joanne Mitchell) to an isolated country cottage. Little do they realise, their...

SHARE: READ MORE
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark - new trailer and posters
Posted in News, Tuesday 2nd April 2019

Entertainment One UK has released the first trailer for Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, from the visionary mind of producer Guillermo del Toro. Two new posters have also revealed for the upcoming adaptation starring Zoe Margaret Colletti, based on the classic horror anthology series for children.

It's 1968 in America. Change is blowing in the wind... but seemingly far removed from the unrest in the cities is the small town of Mill Valley where for generations, the shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large. It is in their mansion on the edge of town that Sarah, a young girl with horrible secrets, turned her tortured life into a series of scary stories, written in a book...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Xmoor
XMOOR
Saturday 27th April
9.00 PM
The Day The Earth Stopped
THE DAY THE EARTH STOPPED
Saturday 27th April
6.40 PM
Schizo
SCHIZO
Saturday 27th April
10.40 PM