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The Keep (1983)

 -  Horror  -  16 December 1983 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 6,781 users   Metascore: 14/100
Reviews: 166 user | 55 critic | 5 from Metacritic.com

Nazis are forced to turn to a Jewish historian for help in battling the ancient demon they have inadvertently freed from its prison.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Eva Cuza
...
...
Father Fonescu
...
...
Dr. Cuza / Dr. Theodore Cuza
...
Alexandru (as Morgan Sheppard)
Royston Tickner ...
Tomescu
Michael Carter ...
Radu Molasar
Phillip Joseph ...
Oster
John Vine ...
Lutz
Jona Jones ...
Otto
Wolf Kahler ...
S.S. Adjutant
Rosalie Crutchley ...
Josefa
Frederick Warder ...
Border Guard 1
Edit

Storyline

Nazis are sent to guard an old, mysterious fortress in a Romanian pass. One of them mistakenly releases an unknown force trapped within the walls. A mysterious stranger senses this from his home in Greece and travels to the keep to vanquish the force. As soldiers are killed, a Jewish man and his daughter (who are both knowledgeable of the keep) are brought in to find out what is happening. Written by Brian House

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

nazi | ss | fortress | demon | green blood | See more »

Taglines:

THEY WERE ALL DRAWN TO THE KEEP. The soldiers who brought death. The father and daughter fighting for life. The people who have always feared it. And the one man who knows its secret... THE KEEP Tonight, they will all face the evil.

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

16 December 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Satans borg  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video) | (original cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical trailer shows some deleted and extended scenes; Longer conversation between Woermann and Alexandru in which Woermann says that the keep looks like it was build to keep something in, longer version of the scene where Molasar is talking with professor Cuza for the first time, also in this scene Cuza asks Molasar "What are you?" one more time, Glaeken talking with Eva asking her did she find what she was looking for and did she expect to find him, Glaeken touching Eva's face while she asks "What's happening to me?", Glaeken walking inside the keep with his eyes turning white, longer version of the ending where Glaeken is standing at the entrance of the keep looking over Molasar's fog/white smoke, different version of the scene (different visual effects) where Glaeken is walking towards the room where Molasar is waiting for him, in this alternate scene Glaeken's sword is covered with some glowing grey light. See more »

Goofs

The writing on the wall is in a modified Cyrillic alphabet, not Glagolitic as Dr. Cuza identifies it. See more »

Quotes

Captain Klaus Woermann: What's all the shooting in the village, huh?
Major Kaempffer: A civilian to be interrogated. He resisted, and was shot!
Captain Klaus Woermann: Another civilian! The courageous Einsatzkommondo again is victorious!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Burn in Hell See more »

Soundtracks

Walking In The Air
(a.k.a. "Theme From The Snowman")
Composed by Howard Blake
Rearranged and Performed by Tangerine Dream
Copyright Highbridge Music 1982
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

More than the sum of its parts
14 September 2004 | by (Dallas, TX) – See all my reviews

Possibly this isn't Michael Mann's best - or even next to next to best

  • movie, but I make no apologies for liking it quite a lot. In fact, my


chief complaint about this movie is that it has never been released on DVD so that the full texture and sense of this piece could be better experienced and appreciated. It is a travesty with all the tripe that leaps from the undergrossing screen to overblown DVD these days, that no studio has had the stones to release THE KEEP on DVD.

In a weird, connect the dots fashion, I consider this film to be a critical milestone in Mann's directorial evolution. In and of itself, this makes the film entirely watchable, if not "important". The movie should be indispensable to Mann's devotees, and I find it surprising that it is not. As much as Manhunter (one of my all time favorites) and Heat (right up there with them) are ranked by most as very good films, THE KEEP, if for no other reason than its novelty should be accorded more respect than it gets.

Read the other reviews here and you can more or less understand the story line. The salient facts are there. I differ on several points, however.

First, I don't consider THE KEEP to be a 'horror movie' or even sci-fi, although it certainly has elements of both. I have no recollection of how the film was billed when it opened in '83 (in fact, I didn't see it until it appeared on Showtime, significantly later), but if you are looking for a 'horror' or 'sci-fi' flick, THE KEEP will leave you short. It is more of a 'thriller' if you had to pigeon-hole it, but even that doesn't really work, and this is what I think what confuses many who have seen and subsequently slammed this movie. To those who want a nifty tight film with all the proper cinematic and artistic "T"s crossed and "I"s dotted, you won't find it here and you will be eternally frustrated. What you will find is a unique, visionary realization of an essentially often told story of conflict between ultimate good and ultimate evil, spun in an arguably overly symbolic context.

Second, much apparently has been said about the lameness of the sets and special effects and accents and soundtrack and costumes, etc etc. I can't ever know for sure, but I don't think that Mann, with all his individual sense of style (remember, his visions and realizations virtually defined a substantial part of the 80s -- whether you liked them or not) was all that concerned about the impact of the trappings, but more on what they allowed the story to play against. The interplay of color (or lack thereof), background, character and music all create an enjoyable tapestry, best viewed from several feet away. If you get hung up on the minutae of this film, you've lost the message. In my personal opinion, this isn't a movie that should be watched critically
  • because it will fail in many ways, as others have already observed.


Rather, you should suspend not only your disbelief but your pretentiousness and just let the movie sort of flow around you. It's a bit like drift diving in Cozumel - the warm current moves you along to the degree that details can get lost and fuzzy, but you eventually realize that's what makes the experience different and wonderful.

The music certainly isn't appropriate to the period (1941 Nazi-occupied Romania) but then this isn't a period piece. Quite the contrary, the Tangerine Dream soundtrack adds to the gauzy, dreamlike quality which to me is what makes this movie so compelling and different. The acting isn't the best and in places, yes, the audio is pretty bad, but when considered as a whole, I believe the movie succeeds. My VHS copy of THE KEEP is now getting threadworn from overplay and I hope that someone, somewhere, will bring it out on DVD.

A strong 8 out of 10.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
What if they fixed the music? jloehrlein
Mann needs to emulate Friedkin to get The Keep released matthew-dexter-brewe-787-315213
THE KEEP - Deleted Scenes List Nick7080
Widescreen version of THE KEEP is no longer streaming on Netflix.. :( Zbranek001
UK fans - showing on Film4 soon (December 2012) Speednik Abreaction
The Keep: From Book to Cinema Discussion KlaviaturistKeyboardist
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