When I was a lad, the BBC showed a load of horror films on a regular basis. They’d show the classic Universal horrors, Hammer of course, the Roger Corman films and lots of independent films of varying quality.
One film they showed when I was probably ten at the end of the 1970’s or so is a film called Death Line. It’s the film that scared people of my generation who saw it from entering the London Underground late at night when it’s empty and the only sound you hear is far, far away and it’s a weird little clicking sound that seems to be getting nearer even though you’re walking further away from it as fast as your legs can take you….
Even now I enter the London Underground and I think there’s a tapping of water somewhere under the noise of people from all over the world rushing around the city’s Underground. Somewhere under the hectic thrust of the day there’s a wall separating us from them, whomever them may be.
The film is one which stars Donald Pleasence in a great performance supported by a cast of wonderful British actors and directed by Gary Sherman, who frankly never ever achieved anything of the quality of this film ever again. It’s a very, very well directed film and uncompromisingly brutal but the single shot which instilled a primal fear of those long, dark corridors in London’s Underground is this one. Watching this at ten quite simply fucked me up and even today, it still sends a glorious shiver down the old spine as well as making my stomach turn just a bit…