Nazis are sent to guard an old, mysterious fortress in a Romanian pass. One of them mistakenly releases an unknown force trapped within the walls. A mysterious stranger senses this from his home in Greece and travels to the keep to vanquish the force. As soldiers are killed, a Jewish man and his daughter (who are both knowledgeable of the keep) are brought in to find out what is happening.
The Keep is a 1983 horror film directed by Michael Mann and starring Scott Glenn, Gabriel Byrne, Jürgen Prochnow, Alberta Watson and Ian McKellen. It was released by Paramount Pictures. The story is based on the F. Paul Wilson novel of the same name, published in 1981 (1982 in the United Kingdom).
About the Story
Within an uninhabited citadel (the “Keep” of the title) in World War II-era Romania lies entrapped a dangerous demonic entity named Radu Molasar (Michael Carter). The inner walls of the citadel contain 108 T-shaped icons, supposedly made of nickel. When the German Army under the command of Capt. Klaus Woermann (Jürgen Prochnow) occupies the castle to control the Dinu Mountain Pass following the commencement of Operation Barbarossa, Molasar is unleashed by a pair of looting soldiers who identify one glowing icon as being made of silver.
In the ensuing days, Molasar kills several soldiers. A detachment of Einsatzkommandos under the command of sadistic SD Sturmbannführer Eric Kaempffer (Gabriel Byrne) then arrives to deal with what is thought to be partisan activity, executing villagers as collective punishment.
At the instigation of the local priest, the Germans retrieve a Jewish historian, Prof. Theodore Cuza (Ian McKellen), from a concentration camp. He deciphers a mysterious message emblazoned on a wall of the citadel. Molasar saves the professor’s daughter, Eva (Alberta Watson), from sexual assault by two Einsatzkommandos by feeding on their essence, and then enlists the aid of her grateful father to escape. Cuza is also cured of his debilitating scleroderma by the touch of Molasar and therefore becomes doubly indebted to the entity, who is taking on a solid form.
However, a mysterious stranger named Glaeken (Scott Glenn) suddenly arrives to foil this plan. After an unsuccessful attempt by the professor to have the stranger stopped, the two supernatural beings confront each other. Molasar, who is not perturbed by Christian crosses, is weakened and drawn back into the innermost recesses. Glaeken is transfixed, taking the place of the seal that was broken by the German looters.
The Keep (1983)
Directed by: Michael Mann
Starring: Scott Glenn, Ian McKellen, Alberta Watson, Robert Prosky, Gabriel Byrne, Jürgen Prochnow, Michael Carter, Phillip Joseph
Screenplay by: Michael Mann
Production Design by: John Box
Cinematography by: Alex Thomson
Film Editing by: Dov Hoenig, Tony Palmer
Costume Design by: Anthony Mendleson
Set Decoration by: Michael Seirton
Art Direction by: Alan Tomkins, Herbert Westbrook
Music by: Tangerine Dream
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: December 16, 1983