Director: Michael Mann Run Time: 96 min. Format: 35mm Rating: R
Starring: Alberta Watson, Gabriel Byrne, Ian McKellen, Jürgen Prochnow, Scott Glenn
On the occasion of The Keep’s 30th anniversary, Nitehawk has teamed up with Alamo Drafthouse (Texas) and Cinefamily (California) to bring over the British Film Institute’s 35mm archival print to the United States. Out of print for years on VHS and never released digitally, The Keep has become a difficult film to see so for a very special one-night screening, experience The Keep the way it was meant to be seen – on the big screen!
Before his mainstream success with Miami Vice, Heat, The Insider, and Ali, director Michael Mann explored the horror genre in the early 80’s with his film adaptation of F. Paul Wilson’s vampire fantasy novel set in the latter days of WWII called The Keep. The story depicts the German army’s unfortunate intersection with an epic battle between supernatural beings in a remote mountain castle in Romania. A group of Nazis led by Jürgen Prochnow is forced to join forces with an ailing Jewish historian (Ian McKellen) to prevent an ancient demon from returning to the mortal realm all taking place in a wonderfully creepy atmosphere. Mann in adapting the book created one of the best horror films of the decade, a piece almost entirely reliant on mood vs. conventional storytelling. With a cast featuring Scott Glenn, Gabriel Byrne, and a mesmerizing score from Tangerine Dream, The Keep stands as a significant achievement for its era and, with its hallucinatory imagery, it maintains a timeless quality.