The Keep

Year: 1983

Synopsis: Nazi forces decide to create a base within an ancient keep, which holds dark forces beyond their comprehension.

Pros:
• A surreal journey into unexplainable horrors on the backdrop ones known all too well.
• Ian McKellan ultimately steals the show, expertly providing a powerfully human speech to the demoniac Molasar.
• Molasar was an almost perfect in its evil, sometimes enigmatic machinations.
• A competent meditation on how desperation and weariness can blur the lines of right and wrong.
• The rest of the cast wonderfully helped to shape the film’s dark madness.
• The visuals were overall horrifying and surreal, almost ironically trumping the very human horrors present.
• The soundtrack was glorious in how it guided the viewer through the unknowable, helping to make up for the film’s truncated status.

Cons:
• Though less significant in multiple viewings, the edits made to the film were blatant, as there were multiple moments where we were forced to assume an unseen passage of time. There are regular sound issues and inconsistencies as well.
• Certainly related to the dramatic editing, many elements of what was going on were obviously cut out when they were never meant to be.
• Molasar’s (near?) final form might be seen as cheesy or disappointing, especially next to its more ghostlike appearances early on.
• We will probably never see the complete version of the film.

Discussion:
He is the Hammer!

Perhaps the most interesting element of this rather unique film was not only good versus evil, but also desperation in impossible situations. That desperation allowed the acceptance of using Molasar as a means of taking down the Reich. In 1941 Germany might as well have looked invincible, covering everything with their twisted cross. Yes, there is no doubt Molasar would have ended the Reich, but it would have likely absorbed the evil of it, leading to something truly apocalyptic. In the end, it was not really a likely ancient soldier that fought back Molasar. It took the strength of a human, whose faith was always in humans, to eventually see past desperation, and know what Molasar really was. Who are you that I have to prove myself to by killing my child? Molaser was a darkness ready to consume the world.


Extended Ending

Rotten Tomatoes — 40%

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