Sunday, 6 June 2010


In one of the most wonderfully demented horror plotlines, a mysterious murder case involving a politician unearths a family of cannibals who have been living in a disused part of the London Underground. The family has evidently been in the Tube for some time (it is suggested that they are descendants of Victorian labourers), and have had little exposure to the outside world beyond the tannoy call of “Mind the doors!”, which has become the only phrase they are able to say. It is up to hardened detective Calhoun (Donald Pleasence), as well as young, transatlantic couple Alex and Patricia, to solve the mystery and save London from these dangerous beings.

There is very little in this film for those who like their horror stone-faced and without a trace of kitsch, but for everyone else, there is plenty. As with many of the Hammer horrors at the time, Death Line has surprisingly high production values, the underground setting used to its absolute full potential. An impressive tracking shot travels throughout the cannibals’ lair, serving merely to set the scene but also showing off the set design. Even more striking is the film’s unrelenting gore – no body part or impromptu weapon is spared as the family work their way through various passengers. There are the expected troubles with acting and realism, but anyone wanting to take this ludicrous story seriously should probably wait for the inevitable remake. Wrong Turn, eat your heart out (literally) – this is the original twisted cannibal family.

Gotta love these opening credits – I salute you, Wil Malone.


  1. That WIll Malone theme is so great. I have it in a CD comp somewhere but never thought of looking for the movie. Looks really promising, hope it's on DVD. Also nice selection for the image with the shovel in the brain, classy!

  2. Hehe, thanks! My dad suggested I seek it out a while back, and I was certainly not disappointed. Was Wil Malone quite well respected back in the day? I have to say, I only did a cursory search before posting the link...