The Keep

Michael Mann

Ian McKellen,
Gabriel Byrne,
Jurgen Prochnow

Released in US: Holiday 1983

Set in Romania during World War II, The Keep is a stylish horror film involving Nazis, a professor in a wheelchair, monstrous evil forces, and lots of fog and smoke. Jürgen Prochnow (Das Boot, Dune) and Gabriel Byrne (The Usual Suspects) are German officers who have commandeered an ancient fortress, unleashing Molasar, the creepy denizen of the castle's keep. After losing several of their soldiers to Molasar's unnatural appetite, they desperately enlist the only man who can help them: a Jewish professor (Ian McKellen), now an internee at Auschwitz, whose expertise includes haunted fortresses.

Ian McKellen on The Keep

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On the drawbridge to the keep, director Michael Mann (L) gives last-minute instructions to Ian McKellen (centre), as the wind-machines blow and the cameras are ready to turn.