"I can think of a LOT of guys who leave this one off their resume!"
The Keep is a forgotten little horror movie from 1983. It's not particularly scary (unless you mean the cheesy-ass music from Tangerine Dream), the plot logistics are muddled (and that's being nice), and the whole movie is just too silly. Silly can be cool, but not when you're trying to make a "Haunted Nazi Castle" horror movie.Before Michael Mann hit it big with movies like The Insider and Last of the Mohicans, he tried to direct an artsy horror movie. It's about an ancient castle/mountain thing that holds within it's walls a deep and horrifying eeeeeevil. Or something. When the Nazis show up and take over this 'keep', they promptly begin to die. By the handfuls, at night and real quietly. So the clever Nazis dig up some Jewish expert to read the signs inside the fortress. Let's just say he doesn't find good news.
The Keep is not a good movie. There are certainly worse choices you could make if you desperately HAD to rent a horror movie from the early eighties. What makes this movie a curiosity (in addition to the director and his wacky use of wind machines and strobe lights) is the cast.
Jurgen Prochnow (of Das Boot and Beverly Hills Cop 2) is the nice Nazi sergeant. His plan seems to be to let his entire regiment slowly die before getting the hell out! This is interrupted by the MEAN Nazi who is played with manic glee by Gabriel Byrne! I was stunned to see him here, and it's actually quite fun to see him doing his Colonel Klink impression and shooting people at will.
Our heroes are Scott Glenn, who is made up with these wacky blue contact lenses that make him look like Superboy, and a wheelchair-bound scientist Jewish scientist played by...Ian McKellen. I'm not kidding. When we first meet his 'Dr. Cuza' he is decrepit and near death. But the powers of The Keep somehow energize him and make him less crippled!
There's an angry spirit who swears to avenge the Jews killed in the camps. But the stupid town priest (good old Robert Prosky) says that it's just a trick, and they shouldn't release the all-powerful evil darkness. Then the Nazis get furious about something in German and lots of shit explodes in slow motion. Or something. I was a little confused, and I watched the whole movie!If you're at all curious to see this bizarre mixture of actors in a strange rock-video type horror movie, here it is. While horror fans may find slim pickings, maybe World War 2 buffs will enjoy it a little more. I just loved seeing Gabriel Byrne goose-stepping and he gets eaten later on, which makes it even better.