Nazis take over a ancient fortress that contains a mysterious entity that wreaks havoc and death upon them.
Having waited almost 20 years to watch The Keep, after missing it on a BBC Moviedrome showing (and also with my video timer not catching it), there was always little chance that it was going to live up to the high level of expectation I had for it. I expected it to get closer to those levels than it actually does, though.
Adapted from an F Paul Wilson novel (the alarm bells should have started ringing right there), it sees Jurgen Prochnow lead his merry troop of Nazis to a Romanian keep in 1941 where they are to be stationed for the foreseeable future. When a couple of them get greedy and attempt to steal one of the silver crosses…
100 Films December Thing #1
Strange to be revisiting this film some 20 years since I saw it last. I remembered it being much better but it still does have greatness in there somewhere. It looks fantastic in places and the score is interesting but it's one heck of a mess. Story is all over the place and the acting not great, but one could argue that's all part of the charm.
Pleased to see it again though. At the very least, there's not many films like thid Nazi-horror oddity.
I’ve had this film on my watchlist for quite some time now. Not just on Letterboxed, but for years it’s one I’ve been meaning to track down and check out. Unfortunately I think I'd built it up too much and came away fairly disappointed.
It has its moments, such as some stunning shoots, particularly during the opening scene, where a group of German soldiers wind their way through the mist towards the eponymous keep, and the inevitable showdown at the end. The score by Tangerine Dream, while a little incongruous in places does add to the atmosphere and features some truly gorgeous passages.
Sadly though, it’s hamstrung by numerous substandard elements:
1) The special effects for the monster, Radu Molasar…
An entertaining and atmospheric mess.
Nazis, a hyperactive dry-ice machine, wonderfully garish lighting, curious editing, superb pre-CGI sets, amazing Tangerine Dream soundstrack (including a warped but seasonal version of 'Walking in the Air'), hammy acting from the likes of Gabriel Byrne and Ian McKellen, and a terrible script are all part of this curate's egg of a film.
I enjoyed the hell out of this and would like to sit down with it's ashamed director, Michael Mann, and explain that to him. Some days this would be more than a three out of five, it's that kind of film.
A frustrating case, here, of a terrific idea let down by the wrong execution.
There's a rollicking great film in a bunch of Nazi soldiers holed up in a creepy Romanian keep holding ANCIENT EVIL, but this isn't it; a bizarre, distant, overly-talky horror drama with a frequently baffling narrative (anything with Scott Glenn), a god awful, misjudged 80's synth soundtrack by Tangerine Dream and very scattershot direction by a young Michael Mann; his talents a far cry here from his later epics. Largely a waste too, of quality talent such as Gabriel Byrne or Ian McKellen, plus cult legends like Jurgen Prochnow, not served well by a strange script. The effects haven't dated well either - coming across like John Carpenter without a bigger budget or his kitsch appeal.
Just really, frustratingly odd and dull when it should have been exciting, terrifying and cool as hell. Would love to see it remade by someone not presumably on crystal meth.
I'm not sure if I just had a kidney stone pain induced fever dream or if I watched The Keep?
Visually arresting yet muddled and confusing. DARKSEID FRIES NAZIS.
F. Paul Wilson, author of the novel on which the film is based, was succinct and perfectly accurate when he said that Michael Mann's movie was “Visually intriguing, but otherwise utterly incomprehensible.”
Part of my Michael Mann Marathon.
Watching Manhunter made me miss this movie. Looking for it I discovered that it's not available anywhere. You have to drop $100 for a VHS copy if you want to see this thing. Or, you can go to YouTube. Nice.
I didn't realize how impactful this movie was to me, how affectionate I was for it. I think this comes mainly from the fact that I was allowed to watch this a child. It is kind of a movie that I shouldn't have been seeing (horror, sex scene) and I was very excited by the fact that my father let me watch it. Watching today I was reciting lines of dialogue along with the…
I liked it
Stylish and weird in an 80s way that is unique to director Michael Mann. Unfortunately, the style can't overcome the dragging pace and bewildering plot (and I've even read the book!) to "keep" it entertaining enough.
Part of the Michael Mann Marathon
Did Michael Mann really direct this piece of shit? I can't believe I was looking forward to see this for so many years, expecting some really great low budget 80s sci fi.
With a great synopsis ..........Nazis are forced to turn to a Jewish historian for help in battling the ancient demon that they have inadvertently freed from its prison. Now how could anybody mess that up. Especially with a great cast, Ian McKellen, Scott Glenn, Gabriel Byrne and Jurgen Prochnow, but its a mess. Largely incoherent, very strange and even though the soundtrack is good, much like Django Unchained, the soundtrack does not suit the movie at all. Very weird having an electric synth track with Nazi officers. Just doesnt feel right.
This is the one film in Michael Mann's that doesn't sit right with the rest of his filmography, and only hopes it gets better than this.
I suppose now I can say I've seen The Keep. Credit to Mann for making a brazenly incomprehensible film.
Great Tangerine Dream score, though.
My word, what an awful awful film. How on earth did any one let this get released?
I see from IMDB, it's said Michael Mann disowned it and actively stopped it's DVD release....that or Tangerine Dream stopping it. Either way, some smart people out there tried (and succeeded) in stopping it's release for home viewing.
There's very few things from this film I can look at and nod approvingly at. I'm aware it's been heavily cut, and of course this absolutely destroys whatever original aim Mann had for the film. Scenes change with no explanation, nothing makes any sense, characters randomly appear and disappear.... yup, some awesome editing going on.
Ian McKellan hams it up to the extreme and gives…
Oh dear, what a horrendous mess.
Having been cut from 3+ hours to 96 minutes by the studio, this film is borderline nonsensical and should not have been released in this form. The movie jumps about erratically, condenses moments and character developments to the points of farce and secondary characters disappear for ages only to pop up later to remind you they're still there.
I would much rather have seen Mann's original edit but having said that, this film still seemed very bad. Mostly poor dialogue badly acted, even by a couple of familiar names such as Gabriel Byrne and Ian McKellen.
And I'm sorry but the Tangerine Dream score, which seems to be the saving grace for a lot…