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1/28/08

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I'd never even heard of this film, when I ran across it on one of the movie channels. But it's an 80's horror flick, starring the always creepy Klaus Kinski. That's all I needed to give it a watch. Unfortunately, I think that's all the filmmakers had going for them when they decided to make it. They said, "Hey, we got Klaus Kinski, as a voyeur, psychopathic Nazi, the movie will make itself!" That's basically the whole film right there.


Kinski plays Dr. Karl Gunther, he owns a small apartment building and performs ritualistic tortures in the attic, other than that, he's your basic peeping tom. He will only rent rooms to pretty young women, because at night he crawls through the building's ventilation system spying on girls getting undressed. Sure that sounds like some good-bad cinema, but wow, do they manage to make it boring. Nothing seems to happen. It gets a little more interesting when he decides to bring his rats along as they squeak and try to crawl out of the vents, creeping out the girls.


So a new girl Lori moves in, and Karl begins to spy on her. She seems a little more astute than the rest of the tenants and starts to notice that Karl isn't only a little eccentric, he also may be insane. She stumbles across his evil plot, which includes building nasty torture devices and keeping a girl with her tongue cut out locked in the attic, his only real friend. They bond, while watching old films of Adolf Hitler speeches. Lori discovers all this and in the only worthwhile scene in the film, is chased through the building's Crawlspace by a very pissed off Kinski.


It's a short film with a somewhat good idea, but little actually going for it. Klaus Kinski, who was used to great effect in many Werner Herzog films, is pretty much wasted here, he puts on some lipstick and makes a couple of goofy faces, but that's about it; and sadly he remains the only real reason to watch the film. The director David Schmoeller, made a couple of horror flops in the 80's, this and the gem of his career Puppet Master are the only two I've had the pleasure of seeing. If you're a Kinski fan, it might be worth a watch, otherwise forget it.

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