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The Keep (1983)

 -  Horror  -  16 December 1983 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 6,723 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.

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(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

Star Billing: Scott Glenn (1st), Alberta Watson (2nd), Jürgen Prochnow (3rd), Robert Prosky (4th), Gabriel Byrne (5th) and 'Ian Mckellen' (6th). See more »

Goofs

The Einsatzkommondos of the SS always wore field grey Waffen-SS uniforms, not the black parade jacket with swastika armband as depicted in the film. See more »

Quotes

Major Kaempffer: Don't you talk to me about courage! Were you with the German anti-fascist fighting us in Spain? No! Did you stop the Einsatzkommando at Poznan? No! You have the debilitating German disease Woermann - Sentimental Talk! It allows you feel sensitive, superior, and yet stay safe because you take no action. Your sentimental suffering makes me sick!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Michael Mann (2001) 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

 
Best Entity ever committed to celluloid
4 July 2012 | by (novelist of The Final Version) – See all my reviews

A few of a detachment of German Army soldiers are mysteriously murdered in a Romanian citadel - 1942. The SS arrives to investigate and put a stop to the killings. However, there is an evil force at work within the Keep which will do anything to escape.

The Keep is a high concept yarn. The initial find set up and shooting of the villagers are stand out moments. The visuals and effects are stylistic, strong lighting, wind machines, optical layers are very much of there day. The special make-up has a startling 'cool' look to it, the 'Molasar' and Trismegestus designs are particularly well executed. Notably are the cast which includes the likes of Gabriel Byrne and Robert Prosky. Jürgen Prochnow is on fine form as Captain Klaus Woermann, Scott Glenn is intense and Ian McKellen is memorable as Dr. Theodore Cuza. The sets are well crafted, the on location shoot adds credence to the WWII setting and costumes add to the believability.

Nevertheless, rather than being intriguing with a slow pace The Keep plods along without building any real tension or suspense. The editing is a little jumbled, it appears to be a mixture of good and bad takes leaving it somewhat disjointed especially in the final reel, it may have benefited from only using those 'good' takes with a shorter running time. Tangerine Dream's score is of its time but doesn't compliment the scenes, it's highly intrusive and takes away much of the atmosphere, subtlety and eeriness.

Even with director Michael Mann at the helm and given the excellent story based on F. Paul Wilson's novel and Mann's adequate screenplay it never gels together. It's not sure whether it wants to be an art house, MTV video piece or gritty supernatural. Should Mann had attempted this recently he may have been able to fuse it together satisfyingly. I suppose retrospect is a fine thing. Curiously, Mann's workprint ran for 3 hours, after the studio saw what he had they wanted it cut to no longer than 90 minutes and assigned it second-level advertising. Mann has since distanced himself from the film.

Through all its disjointedness The Keep is an interesting film with a strong mythical good versus evil theme that plays on old religious fables. Molasar (Michael Carter) is the most menacing evil entity/being ever committed to celluloid and it's a shame that this has fallen into obscurity robbing the character and The Keep of even cult status.


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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
UK fans - showing on Film4 soon (December 2012) Speednik Abreaction
Widescreen version of THE KEEP is no longer streaming on Netflix.. :( Zbranek001
The Keep: From Book to Cinema Discussion KlaviaturistKeyboardist
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