THE KEEP (1983) – During World War Two, Nazi forces occupy a sinister stone Keep, only to realize they have disturbed a malevolent ancient entity which begins preying upon them. The unleashed force manipulates a prisoner of the Nazis into freeing it from its ages-old prison.
With hindsight, The Keep seems like it should have been a massive hit. Directed by Michael Mann, who adapted the screenplay from the novel by F. Paul Wilson, the stars included Jurgen Prochnow, Ian McKellan, Scott Glenn, Gabriel Byrne and Alberta Watson. Plus, the success of Raiders of the Lost Ark a few years earlier had made Nazis cinema’s most popular villains since the actual World World Two era.
So, what went wrong? Well, for starters, Mann’s cut of the film was supposedly just over three hours long at a time when studios expected such length only in epics (Reds, Gandhi, etc), not horror films. The Keep was then butchered in the editing room to the point where Michael Mann TO THIS DAY flies off the handle if this film is even mentioned during media interviews with him. Continue reading