Reviews written by registered user
|2 reviews in total|
I was able to find an original German language version of this. It is
being uploaded to Youtube and I also created a torrent file under
Hanussen (1955) For those of you, like me, who endured the long wait
for this to become available, wait no more...
This is the 1955 original version feature O.W. Fischer, Liseloett Pulver, and Klaus Kinski.
From Wikipedia: "After World War I, Hanussen performed a mind reading, muscle reading, and hypnosis act at La Scala in Berlin that catapulted him to stardom. At his height, he enjoyed the company of Germany's military and business elite, also becoming close with members of the SA (Sturmabteilung) and lenders to them of large sums of money. It is claimed he was a supporter of the Nazis despite his Jewish ancestry, which was an open secret.
Stories abound of meetings between Hanussen and Hitler, including an encounter shortly before the election of November 1932, during which Hanussen taught Hitler his crowd control techniques of using gestures and dramatic pauses. Hanussen was also quite close to other important Nazi officials, to whom he had often lent money, including Wolf-Heinrich Graf von Helldorf, Karl Ernst and Friedrich Wilhelm Ohst."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A woman for no apparent reason begins walking up a flight of blood-red carpeted stairs, a flashlight in hand. She sees, at the top of the stairs, that a door is left open. Strange. She investigates. To her intrusively horrific disbelief, in this eerily illuminated room, Nazi war photos adorn the walls to one side, while other side is decorated with scores of caged rats, a kitten, and a caged mute woman staring out passionately.
Enter Klaus Kinski as Dr. Karl Gunther. "She can't talk", calmly mutters Gunther to the ill-fated intruder, "I cut off her tongue what a shame, I really liked you", before unemotionally murdering the intruder in a most unusual way. Fade to the kitchen where Gunther, slicing open a finger and coating a single bullet with his blood, proceeds to load the bullet in a gun, spins the cylinder, places the barrel to his temple, and pulls the trigger. Nothing "So be it." As if to justify what he has done...and what he is about to do.
Crawlspace is one of those rare lost treasures of the horror genre that has never really gotten its due. Perhaps because it was a relatively low-budgeted affair. Perhaps because it did not get much publicity. Who is to say? It is, without any doubt, however, a triumph as a well written, well directed, and more importantly amazingly acted study of a man whose lust for voyeurism and blood consumed him totally beyond the brink of any semblance of sanity. Kinski simply astounds.
Written and directed by David Schmoeller, the movie boasts an outstanding soundtrack by the famed Pino Donaggio. And although Mr. Schmoeller personally and professionally hated Kinski enough to thoroughly trash him in the 9-minute (and outrageously overpriced) documentary, "Please Kill Mr. Kinski", it is clear the two of them (Schmoeller and Kinski) got the most out of each other's talents. Schmoeller, by far, got the better of the deal. Schmoeller has 12 films to his credit, Kinski has over 150. Enough said.
Dr. Karl Gunther has recently been uncovered by Nazi-hunter Joseph Steiner who has spent the last 3 years locating Gunther who fled Argentina where, under his care, 67 patients of seemingly good health died under "mysterious circumstances", to which Gunther refers to as "euthanasia".
That Steiner interrupted the day-to-day routine of Dr. Gunther's "behavioral studies" of the gorgeous tenants of an apartment building he owns; was a most certain distraction to Gunther to be dealt with, as only he knew how. Murder most heinous and cruel.
It is discovered that Dr. Karl Gunther's own father was a Nazi war criminal who also had a passion for mercy killing. Mostly women and children. Gunther's writings in his personal journal reflect his musings over the ironic similarities between father and son.
Dr. Karl Gunther has an unusual way of spying on his lovelies. The ductwork, which provides heat, is conveniently located near the ceiling and works quite well as a "crawlspace" in which Gunther can merrily go about his business of studying his tenants in various states of dress and undress.
Enough cannot be said of this movie. There are few dull moments. A lot of action and a lot of Kinski, the genius who once again proves that his appearance in a film is reason enough to see it. Kinski's supporting cast members are nowhere near the caliber of actor(s) as he. But then who is? Talia Balsam, Barbara Whinnery, Carol Frances, and Tane' provide a pleasant visual distraction while Sally Brown as the pathetic and tragic Martha is very convincing as the wretched, tortured soul she portrays in her horrifically tragic and confined silence.
After watching Kinski portray yet another madman, one who terrorizes his tenants in the ductwork using odd tap tap tapping sounds, with rats aplenty, those of you who live in apartments after viewing this movie will find yourselves gazing at the vents and ductwork, wondering if anyone is behind there watching, leering, and plotting in the "Crawlspace". "So be it".