Sunday, January 9, 2011

Crawlspace (1986)


Written & Directed by David Schmoeller

Mr. Gunther...Klaus Kinski
Lori Bancroft...Talia Balsam
Josef Steiner...Kenneth Robert Shippy

Kreepy Klaus Kinsky plays Creepy Mr. Gunther, a former doctor turned apartment building landlord in this twisted pic.  If you were to walk into Gunther's building, you would be in for quite the peepshow surprise: each and every one of his aparments is rented to a beautiful woman.  It's a bachelor's paradise.  Unfortunately, the only bachelor allowed on the premises is Mr. Gunther himself.

Gunther doesn't rent exclusively to women just to make the hallways more aesthetically pleasing.  It goes deeper than that, as he uses his tenants to feed his sick psyche.  Utilizing a seemingly-impossible network of tunnels behind the walls (the titular crawlspaces), he spies on the women through the air vents, his own personal soap opera--and sometimes porno.

In this respect, Crawlspace is a lot like Sliver.  Only without video cameras, and 100% Baldwin free.  And, perhaps unfortunately, not nearly as sleazy as it could have (should have?) been.

In time, Gunther grows tired of one tenant or another, and he has to "evict" them--which he does with a little good old fashion murder (a skill he probably inherited from his Nazi father).  After the clean-up, it's only a matter of time until the next lovely lady comes strolling through that door, suitcase in hand.

An odd combination of psychological drama, arthouse-slasher flick, and slice-of-life vignettes, this movie spirals slowly and deliberately until the final 20 minutes or so, when it becomes a deliciously tense thriller.  Artful cinematography backed by great musical accompaniment, coupled with Kinsky's skin-crawling performance makes this a heck of a good ride--although, truth be told, if anyone else were in the lead role, this could have been only moderately entertaining.

Definitely worth the price of admission, hipsters.

Rated R
80 Minutes
United States

"I used to kill in the name of science.  Now I kill because I'm addicted to killing.  It's the only way I can feel alive."

1 comment:

  1. I don't know what it is about that dude, but you could probably film Kinsky just sitting still for 90 minutes and have a certain creep factor from that alone.


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