Sunday, June 26, 2011

365 Movies Day #89 "The Keep"

Acclaimed writer/director, Michael Mann delivers a cool ride in one of his earlier films here. A cast of wonderful players like Scott Glenn, Alberta Watson (of previously mentioned "THE LOOKOUT", Jurgen Prochnow (Sutter Cain from "IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS" and featured in the yet to be named 100th film of the blog), Gabriel Byrne and Sir Ian McKellan. Made in 1983, it's fun to see some of these talents with almost 30 years shaved off of them!

Based on the book by F. Paul Wilson, Mann's film was originally 3.5 hours long. It's amazing that the studio was able to cut it down to 96 minutes and maintain any type of coherency, but they did. I would LOVE to see the director's cut of the film with the additional 2 hours. A cult classic with a bearable synth soundtrack by Tangerine Dream and some great old school effects. The entity Molasar is nearly as creepy as Darkness from "Legend". Coincidentally, Michael Carter, who portrays the big baddy was also in "CENTURION" and during the same year "The Keep" was made, was also Bib Fortuna in "Return of the Jedi"!

Basically Nazis occupy an old keep in the Carpathian mountains in Romania in 1941. When they mess with stuff they were told not to, bad things happen(a la Indiana Jones). Prochnow and Byrne are left to pick up the pieces and in response pull in a Jewish professor and his daughter (McKellan and Watson) to figure out what's going on. An evil semi-vampire in the form of Molasar is discovered to be behind the murder of the Nazis and Scott Glen shows up as a mystical entity to thicken the plot.

Again, it's a pretty solid and fun film, but would be AMAZING with the additional 2 hours! Time to track down the book.

On a final note, I mentioned the other day that in "LIFEFORCE" there's a prophetic scene with Patrick Stewart in a wheel chair regarding his future role as Professor X. In "The Keep", there is a scene with McKellan sitting in a concentration camp that was equally interesting.


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