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Overall Rating

Awesome: 25.77%
Worth A Look40.21%
Average: 3.09%
Pretty Bad: 17.53%
Total Crap: 13.4%

3 reviews, 79 user ratings

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Keep, The
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by Scott Weinberg

"I can think of a LOT of guys who leave this one off their resume!"
2 stars

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.

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originally posted: 04/12/00 17:18:36
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User Comments

9/22/17 morris campbell best i remember it sucks i was 12 at the time 1 stars
4/03/17 Stephen M. St. Onge Mann took a great novel, and wrecked it by completely changing the villian. Incredibly bad. 2 stars
11/01/15 Scott Amundsen How Could So Much Go So Wrong So Fast? 2 stars
3/19/14 Nick Johansen Strangely addictive. Worth looking at for Prochnow, Byrne, and McKellen's performances 5 stars
3/19/12 Martin Incompetent rehash of well worn B-movie clichés put together without style or sense. 1 stars
3/06/12 Donny Darko Could not be worse. 1 stars
11/27/11 Pete Weird movie. Michael Mann shouldn't do horror. Oddly watchable curiosity. Cool monster. 4 stars
12/29/09 IroQuois Thiis movie is great. Weinberg's infantile rant bares his nescience & favor of ADHD cinema. 5 stars
10/23/09 Gangster89 Throughout most of her life, she has been quiet and introverted. , 4 stars
9/29/09 Patrick Love what their is of this movie! Would love to see a directors cut! 5 stars
9/21/09 Matt Love this movie. Just watched my DVD transfer from VHS. Never gets old. 5 stars
6/25/09 sad person Funniest movie I've seen in a long time, sadly, unintentionally so. 2 stars
6/21/09 PATRICK RYAN Great movie, Would love to see a restored directors cut on DVD. Please Michael Mann 5 stars
6/02/09 Dr Zebby A film more about mood than narrative. Excellent photography & TD score. Judge for yourself 5 stars
4/27/09 Troy Excellent cast,Great visuals.A pity the studio butchered it. 5 stars
3/31/09 awalkingsatire this was bad. like, really really bad. freaky 80's techno soundtrack made me laugh. 2 stars
1/04/09 snOOze Weird, slow, dark, different, excellent. For cinema lovers only. 5 stars
12/15/08 Mark This film should not be confusing to anyone with an average IQ 4 stars
9/24/08 Mark A confusing, muddled mess of a story line. Annoying music and good actors in a BAD movie! 2 stars
2/13/08 John I really want a remastered directors cut to replace my laserdisc. HD DVD?? 5 stars
7/31/07 Allen Zbranek Love this movie... Where is the director's cut dvd? 5 stars
6/15/07 al smith stunning visuals and very atmospheric 4 stars
3/23/07 paul m i have all ways loved this movie .. .. it is od .. but that is what makesit grea 4 stars
2/21/07 Stephen An underrated film that's aged well. Needs some sort of Dvd treatment. 5 stars
1/06/07 Bill Visually, most beautiful film. Story good enuff for sequel. 4 stars
8/28/06 Gordon a gem....HAS to be seen widescreen........stylish 4 stars
7/17/06 mark movie is...but the soundtrack and imagery occasionally mesh to make it worth a look. 3 stars
6/20/06 michael jack shitersby would't know a good movie at any time. ihe's mentally challenged 4 stars
6/20/06 Jason Hyde an odd one. it looks great, but never quite gels the way it should. and the book was better 3 stars
5/19/06 lachlan you describing it as a"haunted nazi castle movie" demonstates the unreliability of your rev 4 stars
1/19/06 Don A classic that is under rated,a must see 5 stars
7/20/05 CDM Great German WW II vintage stuff 4 stars
4/12/05 David Fowler Brilliant, surreal horror! Magnificent visuals, cast, and Tangerine Dream score. Hypnotic!! 5 stars
4/03/05 Jack Sommersby An incoherent, laughable, disingenious adaptation of a brilliant novel. 1 stars
12/08/04 richard One of my top five movies 5 stars
11/01/04 Robert Has been awhile but memrable 4 stars
8/11/04 paul kierley jaw dropping, and not in the good sense! 2 stars
7/17/04 Trancedevio Much better than most people think! Great photography, music and cast. 4 stars
7/02/04 Anubis 67 Excellent 4 stars
6/29/04 Colin Foote Flawed due to agressive editing by the studio. But a very well shot film by Michael Mann. 4 stars
6/25/04 Jeff Great movie, I really liked it! 4 stars
6/20/04 donald palmer i thought that movie was exceptionally good and would highly recommend its viewing 5 stars
5/28/04 Paul Brilliant 5 stars
12/06/03 dave lalibertte great supernatural horror flick 5 stars
11/02/03 Dynamike Good overcomes Evil. that was re-generated from the evil that lay within the SS 4 stars
10/12/03 Himself The cinematography and cast are great! 5 stars
10/05/03 john holdsworth totally amazing film, a must see. 5 stars
9/06/03 andy firth its not that bad! 4 stars
8/20/03 zrski I liked the music and sound in general. 4 stars
7/14/03 Bentcat Never compare movies to books, they are separate artforms entirely-Cinematography Right On 4 stars
6/01/03 Guapa I loved this movie... 5 stars
4/27/03 jesse x watched 3 times to see if i'm missing something - i'm not.. read the book. 2 stars
2/21/03 anthony harrison number 3 in my list of best films i have ever seen in my life..bluw me away!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
2/08/03 Charles Tatum All style, no script 2 stars
1/23/03 Al Van Great Score, Some Great Visuals (Hey folks this was PRE-CGI) 4 stars
12/31/02 Jack Sommersby Incomprehensible, crappy adaption of magnificent novel. 1 stars
12/23/02 Marcelo I love the scene when soldier runs toward the cross, forget the rest... 2 stars
11/20/02 Darrell Z. Epic flick, but the "BitchSlap" review is better. 4 stars
10/13/02 Blodge Beautiful cinematography, very atmospheric. Book is better. 4 stars
9/15/02 The Watcher Not quite a true story as told by my grandfather, but close enough 5 stars
8/23/02 Lee Harris A superb movie, wonderful music and great atmosphere. The book of course is even better! 5 stars
7/04/02 corgi to military history buffs, the german uniforms, insignia, vehicles, etc. are letter perfect 3 stars
6/25/02 Bat This movie is a lot better then people say. The score is probably the best in the world. 5 stars
6/21/02 Kirsty Watched this years ago.found the soundtrack fantastic and the film unusual. Bought it! 4 stars
6/17/02 William Scalia By today's standard's of creativity, this film is a masterpiece. 4 stars
6/07/02 Joe Robinson Very good Movie. 4 stars
2/21/02 Thomas James Ramsbottom The book is better, but the film has one saving grace: the majestic introduction of Molasar 4 stars
2/13/02 George Rottman I really enjoyed this one, regardless of the "experts" 2 stars
1/30/02 james irvin Quite a good movie. great beginning but it does fade near the end. 4 stars
1/10/02 frank Somewhat of an oddity but good 4 stars
12/11/01 robert Creates a stunning atmosphere - I love it. 4 stars
11/22/01 donna interesting and different 4 stars
9/15/01 Eric Total wreck of a film. Laughable score. It butchers F. Paul Wilson's brilliant novel. 1 stars
7/18/01 Paulette I'd really like to see it again. 5 stars
5/02/01 Gregg Hollins This is a very hard to find movie but it is a good one to see. This is not main stream 4 stars
1/26/01 Bodhi Great visuals,great athmosphere,overly serious,silly performances but interesting. 4 stars
1/24/01 realityflaw To understand the story you should read the book.They did the best they could in 1&1/2 hrs. 4 stars
8/04/00 Sillyboy Silly crap but semi-watchable thanks to a good cast and some nice visuals. 2 stars
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  16-Dec-1983 (R)



Directed by
  Michael Mann

Written by
  Michael Mann

  Scott Glenn
  Alberta Watson
  Jurgen Prochnow
  Robert Prosky
  Gabriel Byrne
  Ian McKellen

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