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The Keep 1983 ***

Michael Mann’s name is synonymous with hard-boiled cop cinema, from Miami Vice to Heat, so it’s something of a departure to see him tackle full-blown horror in his troubled 1984 production of The Keep. Set during WWII, and based on a novel by F Paul Wilson, The Keep sees Gabriel Byrne’s Nazi officer awakening a dormant force from a sealed tomb, only to see it decimate his officers. Scott Glenn puts in a strange turn as some kind of messianic soldier summoned to balance out the forces of evil, and Sir Ian McKellern is a Jewish professor summoned to analyse the markings found in the crypt. Although the suspense is lacking, the general atmosphere, and the erudition of the characters, make this a curio well worth seeking out.

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