I noticed last night that Micheal Mann’s The Keep (1983) is currently available on Netflix UK. Despite being screened occasionally on Film4 this is welcome news for anyone still clinging onto their VHS or, like me, their poor laserdisc to DVD copy. Unlike the Amazon rental the Netflix version retains the widescreen format even if the picture quality isn’t brilliant (although it’s as good as I’ve seen it).
Of course, referring to the film as ‘Michael Mann’s The Keep’ is slightly misleading as he has all but disowned it and it lingers unloved with no notable DVD release let alone a Blu Ray. The film is also disowned by F. Paul Wilson who wrote the novel on which it is based and didn’t like the changes made by Mann. Fans of the book can get a better idea of what Wilson had in mind for the movie by reading the comic book adaptation, which is essentially his version of the film. A feature length documentary about the film was due for release in 2013 but is yet to appear with pre-orders currently suspended.
Despite all this, I still quite like the film. Even with it’s weaknesses it’s full of interesting ideas and images, a decent cast, and has a score by Tangerine Dream. Unloved and uneven I think The Keep is a great piece of cult cinema