The Keep (film)
name = The Keep
director = Michael Mann
producer = Gene Kirkwood
Howard W. Koch Jr.
writer = Screenplay:
F. Paul Wilson
Scott Glenn Gabriel Byrne Jürgen Prochnow Ian McKellen Alberta Watson
cinematography = Alex Thomson
December 16 1983
runtime = 96 min.
language = English
amg_id = 1:27032
imdb_id = 0085780
"The Keep" is a 1983
horror filmdirected by Michael Mann and starring Scott Glenn, Gabriel Byrne, Jürgen Prochnowand Ian McKellen. It was released by Paramount Pictures. The story is based on the F. Paul Wilsonnovel of the same name, published in 1981 (1982 in the United Kingdom).
The video run time of 96 minutes is thought to be a studio-ordered cut against the wishes of Michael Mann. His cut of choice is speculated to be in the three to four hour range. Fact|date=February 2007
Wilson himself has expressed his distaste for the film version publicly, writing in the short story collection "The Barren (and Others)" that it is, "Visually intriguing, but otherwise utterly incomprehensible." Part of this criticism probably stems from a strangely truncated ending in which both Hero and Demon are drawn back through an inner wall of the Keep without any clear indication of whether at least one of them has survived. This was said to be the result of a deleted fight scene involving aerial sequences which could not be finished due to the sudden demise of a key special effects consultant. When talk of a DVD release of the film came about in 2004, Wilson and a friend recorded a caustic CD commentary to go along with it, which he teased to his official mailing list [http://www.repairmanjack.com/ "The F File"] , although the CD appears to have never actually been released.
A board game based on the film was designed by James D. Griffin and published by
The film focuses on a deserted
citadel(the "keep" of the title) in WWII Romaniawithin which lives a dangerous demonnamed (Radu) Molasar. When the German Wehrmachtoccupies the castle to control the Dinu Mountain Pass, the demon is unwittingly unleashed from within the innermost walls of the citadel by a pair of treasure-seeking soldiers and he gratefully albeit ferociously snacks on their life energy. A detachment of Einsatzkommandosthen arrives to deal with what is thought to be partisan activity. The Einsatzkommandos' actions only fuel the demon's rage and soon more troops begin to die in mysterious, gruesome ways.
At the clever instigation of the local priest the Germans rescue a certain
JewishHistory Professor Cuza from the crematorium to decipher a mysterious message emblazoned on a wall of the Keep in an archaic Romanian or Slavonic dialect. Molasar serendipitously saves Eva Cuza from an equally opportunistic sexual assault by three German soldiers and then enlists the aid of her grateful father to escape from the Keep. One additional bonus to Professor Cuza is that he is cured of his debilitating sclerodermaand therefore becomes doubly indebted to the malevolent entity. A mysterious stranger, however, then arrives to foil this plan. After a misguided and unsuccessful attempt by the professor to have the stranger stopped the two supernatural beings engage in a curiously perfunctory confrontation. The demon is weakened and drawn back into the innermost recesses and the hero then reluctantly allows himself to be pulled in as well.
The otherworldly stranger, identified by Eva Cuza as Glaeken "Trismaegistus" (Latin for "Three-Fold Master") then wakes up on the lowest level of the keep in one of the alternate film endings and notices he can see his reflection in a puddle of water. This indicates that, presumably due to the death of the demon with whom he was mystically linked, he has become an ordinary mortal man. It is Eva who has in fact discovered him there and revived him, and he is now free to live out the rest of his natural span with the woman who may very well be the first in a very long time to lavish her affections upon him.
Scott Glennas Glaeken Trismegestus
Alberta Watsonas Eva Cuza
Jürgen Prochnowas Captain Klaus Woermann
Robert Proskyas Father Fonescu
Gabriel Byrneas SS Officer Sturmbannführer Kaempffer
Ian McKellenas Dr. Theodore Cuza
Morgan Sheppardas Alexandru
Royston Tickneras Tomescu
Michael Carteras Molasar
The theme and
incidental musicwas by Tangerine Dream. Although the soundtrack was eventually released in 1997, out of 16 tracks only three actually appeared in the film. [cite web |url=http://www.rutka.org/td/keep.htm |title=The Keep |accessdate=2007-05-15 |author=Ranier Rutka |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |format= |work=The Tangerine Dream Database |publisher= |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate= |quote= ]
* [http://www.manhunter.net/mann/the_keep_la_forteresse_noire.html Manhunter.net's take on The Keep - including a complete set of colour Lobby Cards from 1983]
* [http://www.the-keep.ath.cx/default_en.htm A Keep website dedicated to getting a director's cut]
* [http://thekeep.0catch.com/ Molasar's Homepage features pictures of the various endings of the film]
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