Sep 29, 2014

Crawlspace (1986)




As a mensch whose father was of Polish extraction (the original family surname was ‘Nakszynski’) who dubiously claimed in his autobiography that he made the conscious decision to desert the Wehrmacht during the Second World War and who was one of the first Germans to visit Israel (with National Socialist era auteur Veit Harlan’s ethno-masochistic son Thomas), Klaus Kinski is probably the least likely German actor to hold any sort of National Socialist sympathies, yet that has not stopped various exploitative hack filmmakers from hiring him to play Nazi mad men. Of course, with his ‘blond beast’ appearance, piercing blue eyes, and discernibly deranged persona, Kinski is a Hollywood hack’s kosher wet dream in terms of being the ultimate archetypical screen Nazi. Perhaps the most patently pathetic example of kraut Kinski’s craziness being exploited in a cheap, tasteless, and decidedly dishonest attempt to depict the innate evilness of the Nazis is the actor’s unintentionally humorous performance in the absolutely horrendous horror-thriller Crawlspace (1986) directed by horror hack David Schmoeller (Catacombs, Netherworld). Probably best known today as the ‘auteur’ behind the cult horror classic Tourist Trap (1979) and Puppet Master (1989) where he would demonstrate the best of his meta-mediocre directing talents, Schmoeller—an archetypical left-wing for-hire horror hack who, unlike wine but certainly like many of his genre contemporaries, has only gotten worse with age—originally intended Crawlspace to be an anti-Vietnam War flick but schlockmeister producer Charles Band, who is Jewish (he even named one of his sons ‘Zalman’), demanded that he change the film to feature a homicidal Heeb-hating Nazi antihero. Apparently a huge Kinski fan, Schmoeller agreed to change the film if Band could get the German actor to be in the film, which he did, and the rest was history. Of course, as Schmoeller would recollect in his would-be-humorous documentary short Please Kill Mr. Kinski (1999)—a sort of poor man's equivalent to Werner Herzog's (anti)love letter to the actor, Mein liebster Feind - Klaus Kinski (1999) aka My Best Fiend, which was somewhat suspiciously released the same year—Kinski caused so much havoc, pain, and chaos on the set of Crawlspace that one of the Italian producers proposed killing the actor and cashing in on the insurance money. When Kinski died, Schmoeller’s negative remarks about him were featured in the actor’s obituary, thus acting as a sort of posthumous revenge against the raving screen renegade. A rather rancid celluloid horror turd of the shockingly horrific sort, Crawlspace is a hokey and almost wholly derivative hodgepodge of horror flicks ranging from Michael Powell’s masterpiece of voyeuristic horror Peeping Tom (1960) to Willard (1971) and its sequel Ben (1972) to William Lustig’s classic slasher flick Maniac (1980) that is only worth viewing to see Kinski get kinky with lipstick, hordes of rats, Russian roulette, and nihilistic post-Auschwitz ramblings about life and death. Indeed, in spite of Mr. Jesus Christ Savior’s disruptive behavior on the film’s set, Kinski is the only thing about Crawlspace that saves it from being the cinematic equivalent of prostate cancer. 




 Karl Gunther (Klaus Kinski) is a crazed nihilistic kraut who has a portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche hanging in his office in a spot where a picture of Jesus Christ would normally be and whose Nazi surgeon father used to exterminate Heebs, thus it should be the apparent to the Hollywood-lobotomized viewer that he epitomizes all that is truly evil and rotten in this god forsaken world (or something).  Indeed, apparently after learning he liked killing people while working as part of the Nazi euthanasia program, Gunther Senior developed a fetish for wasting yids.  Like all the evil genius Hitlerite wackjobs featured in Hebraic Hollywood movies that put the propaganda of the real National Socialist propaganda films to shame, Karl is independently wealthy and owns an apartment building which he has rigged with secret passageways (hence, the title ‘Crawlspace’), booby traps, and nonsensical torture devices that he likes to play with when not deriving an almost erotic satisfaction from reading his naughty Nazi father’s masturbatory journal entries regarding euthanasia and the killing of the chosen amongst god's chosen. At the beginning of the film, one of Gunther’s beautiful blonde Aryan babe tenants accidentally walks into a room containing the good doctor’s personal pet, a dyke-like chick named Martha White (Sally Brown) who’s had a forced glossectomy and is confined to a cage, all courtesy of Herr Doktor, who wanted a permanent companion that would not talk back. Of course, Karl is saddened he has to kill beauteous babe, not to mention the fact that he has to go to the effort to rent out her room to somebody else. Ultimately, Gunther rents the room to a somewhat lesbo-like chick named Lori Bancroft (Talia Balsam) after lying to a rather bitchy prospective male tenant (played by the director in an uncredited cameo role) and telling him that the room is no longer available. Like virtually everyone else in the film aside from Kinski’s character, Lori seems to have no personality, thus she does not elicit even the vaguest sympathy from the viewer. 




 Luckily for Gunther, most of his tenants are dumb sluts with either sexually impotent boy toys or old sugar daddies who are too big of candy asses to properly please their ladies. Of course, while hanging out in the various elaborate crawlspace tunnels he has strategically placed around the building, Gunther becomes accustomed to eavesdropping on his titillating tenants' less than impressive sex lives. Meanwhile, a nauseatingly nerdy and ambiguously Jewish “Nazi Hunter” type named Josef Steiner (Kenneth Robert Shippy) shows up at Gunther’s building and accuses him of killing his brother. Steiner also goes on about how he is a “very tenacious” man who spent three entire years of his assumedly rather banal life looking for him and during his research he discovered that the doctor’s father was a SS man that was executed for “crimes against humanity” after the Second World War.  Apparently, while working as the chief resident at a hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Karl killed 67 people, including Steiner’s brother. Luckily, Gunther eventually kills Steiner and, like most of his victims, leaves a poorly drawn swastika on his face. An unhinged Übermensch, Gunther likes to make pseudo-Nietzschean ramblings like, “I’m fascinated by the delicate balance between life and death...good and evil” and “I’m my own god…my own jury…and my own executioner.” Of course, as one can expect from such a patently predictably hack horror work, Gunther’s executioner is ultimately ‘empowered woman’ Lori. 




 Featuring scenes of Klaus Kinski getting off to watching old newsreels of Uncle Adolf like it is pornography, every holocaust and Nazi ‘war criminal’ cliché imaginable, corpses covered with swastikas, braindead blonde Shiksa sluts, and even a Hebrew lament that is played throughout the film, especially when the Nazi murderer is contemplating the crimes of his SS war criminal father, Crawlspace would be a kosher wet dream, especially for philistine Zionist types like torture-porn hack Eli Roth, but the film is just too god damn awful to appeal to the Semitic sensibilities of Teutonophobes. Indeed, as much as I hate to even reference the site, Rotten Tomatoes has the film at an impressive 0% ‘rotten’ rating, thus making it probably the only holocaust-themed work with such a pathetically low rating (it should go without saying that, whether good or bad, in the shoah business world, virtually all holocaust films get at least some sort of puffery-ridden praise). Of course, that has not stopped director David Schmoeller from pretending it is a serious film, even going so far as to state of Italian composer Pino Donaggio’s Hebrew lament that it was designed to, “remind the viewer of the terrible tragedy of the Holocaust.” Judging from Schmoeller’s surname, I assumed he was a member of the tribe, but after watching him complain about Kinski in Please Kill Mr. Kinski, I’m convinced he is just some ethno-masochistic queen of a shabbos goy who whored himself out to Semitic smut-peddler Charles Band and who gets off to trashing his racial kinsmen because he got his ass regularly kicked as kid for being an exceedingly effete pansy. Unquestionably, any entertainment value that Crawlspace features is to the credit of Herr Kinski and I do not blame him for being an intolerable egomaniac on the set as a man who has starred in some of the greatest films of the post-WWII era and thus shouldn't have to tolerate American hacks telling him what to do. If you’re a big enough Kinski fan (and/or masochist) to endure Crawlspace, make sure to watch Schmoeller’s micro doc Please Kill Mr. Kinski right after. As Schmoeller rightly describes in the documentary, Kinski hated directors. Ironically, the last film Kinski starred in, Kinski Paganini (1989), was also his directorial debut. While Kinski Paganini is not a masterpiece, it certainly demonstrates that Kinski was a much more talented filmmaker than Schmoeller ever was. Indeed, as much as I typically hate actors and see them as vain and vapid cattle that should be exploited by good directors, Kinski’s talents transcended that of the onscreen whore, even if he was a deranged psycho whose own daughter accused him of molesting her as a child. 



-Ty E

9 comments:

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I wonder if he was lucky enough to bugger Nastassja when she was 10, if he did he was the luckiest bastard who ever lived ! ! !.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Ty E, a lot of horror fans wont have enjoyed your trashing of this movie, back in the late 80`s it was one of the most popular titles in video rental stores (and its still 1000 times better than anything the British film industry has ever produced). Such a shame the director was a faggot though, that always spoilt it for me.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I want to bugger Talia Balsam (as the bird was in 1977 when the bird was 18, not as the bird is now obviously). I always thought she was a really tasty bird.

Jennifer Croissant said...

Charles Bands Empire Pictures made some marvelously imaginative and entertaining movies back in the 80`s, i wish you`d reveiw more of them on here Ty E.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

So Ty E, what have you got planned for tomorrow, the 59th anniversary of Jimmy Dean snuffing it and Tammy O`Rourkes 43rd birthday ? (oh how i wish her little sister was still alive), we shall see.

eddie lydecker said...

In the 50`s there was AIP, in the 80`s there was the afore-girl-tioned Empire Pictures, and now theres The Asylum.

teddy crescendo said...

Watching this film its difficult to believe that he snuffed it only 5 years later at the age of 65 because in Crawlspace he seemed to have that indefinable air of invincibility about him like he was going to live to be 105.

jervaise brooke hamster said...

Klaus Kinski was rampagingly heterosexual all his life and that fact alone makes him a truly great geezer, if he did indeed bugger his gorgeous little daughter Pola when she was 5 (and lots of other gorgeous sexy little girls) that only strengthens his greatness (and makes him a right lucky bastard obviously ! ! !).

jervaise brooke hamster said...

I always liked Kinski's perfor-girl-ce in the 1981 Jack Lemmon/Walter Matthau vehicle "Buddy, Buddy". "A coating of shit on the balls make them itch even more", that was such a hilarious line from that movie and Kinski delivered it quite magnificently in his Ger-girl accent.