The Keep

The Keep ★★

Film #5 of My Definitive Ranking of Michael Mann


Truly an anomaly within Mann's filmography, The Keep is the story of a band of Nazi soldiers aided by a Jewish historian, and their struggle to survive within a massive fortress (or keep) under threat of a monstrous super-human and an incoming Christ-like figure, not to mention their own violent natures. It's supernatural, campy and religiously focused, bluntly asking some real questions about the blurred lines between good and evil but that's about it. This film does not exude the same beauty, precision or profundity so many of his other works do. It barely feels like the work of a cinematic master, only apparent because of it's occasionally marvelous effects work. With Mann's now sophisticated sensibilities, I'd love to see him make a horror film sometime. I think he has the talent to make a great film within the genre, but I will admit during this one I was more often amused than unsettled. There is no doubt in my mind that this is Michael Mann's worst film, and will be forever.

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