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Movie Review: The Keep + Gone

The Keep (1983)
This has never been released on DVD and director Michael Mann disowned it. Apparently his original cut was 210 minutes and now numerous bizarre cuts of this weird film exist. It is 1941 and German soldiers end up at a keep in Romania. You’d have to read the novel by F. Paul Wilson to know a vampire is imprisoned inside; this movie seems to imply a rubber demon with a red light bulb inside its head dwells inside.

This has mud and long, gloomy silences. Also it has a lot of whispering, a bizarre musical score, evil wind and almost inaudible dialogue. No-one seems to wonder why the Keep is full of crosses or who built it or why. Instead we get lots of slow motion, bad 80s SFX, ugly wedge haircuts and general plot incoherence. Soldiers try to steal the silver crosses and unleash something.

Jurgen Prochnow plays a nice German, Gabriel Byrne plays a horrible Nazi and Ian McKellen is Cuza, a Jewish professor who is menaced by Byrne. But they vanish from the film for long periods and instead we get the local priest ranting and Cuza’s daughter and her bubble perm running around. There is bad acting, personality changes, hysteria and the talisman has keeps the monster at bay looks like a torch.

Prochnow and Byrne do their best to actually act but this film is a mess. ‘Evilspeak’ and ‘The Kindred’ were better than this. There is a big laser show climax with a lot of endless scenes of Cuza’s daughter (Alberta Watson) and some guy (Scott Glen) doing stuff. This was utter tosh.

Best Lines:
“Now we are the masters of the world.”

“This place was not designed to keep something out.”

“We found the rest of Steiner.”

“A language that has been dead for 500 years.”

“The keep is a prison built to contain you.”

~
Gone (2007)
A UK couple travelling through the Australian outback hang out with an American tourist. It all goes horribly awry in this dull, boring mess.
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