Meet Karl Gunther (played by legendary eccentric Klaus Kinski). He's the demented son of a notorious Nazi war criminal and a former doctor with his own shady past. He's now the landlord of an apartment building that strictly caters to young females. He regularly spies on the ladies from the buildings' hidden crawlspace area, and kills them as well. He even keeps a woman named Martha (Sally Brown) enclosed in a too-small cage. He keeps a diary of his thoughts and activities, to provide us with some exposition and insight into his character. After he brings in a new tenant, university student Lori Bancroft (played by Talia Balsam, the daughter of actor Martin Balsam), he begins to be visited by a Nazi hunter named Josef Steiner (Kenneth Robert Shippy).
Kinskis' performance essentially IS the movie. Overall, this brief bit of nutty mayhem, written and directed by David Schmoeller ("Tourist Trap", "Puppetmaster"), is mildly amusing but quite forgettable. Kinski, of course, is anything but, and he does seem to relish portraying this character (although he did make life miserable for Schmoeller and crew). There are a bunch of rats in this thing, some entertaining makeup effects gags (but not very much blood), excellent production design (by Giovanni Natalucci) and music (by the great Pino Donaggio), and a very nondescript (if attractive) supporting cast, including Tane McClure, the daughter of Doug McClure. Balsam is a reasonably personable heroine, but Shippy is boring and unintimidating in his part. Schmoellers' direction lacks style, and his dialogue, for the most part, ain't so hot. (He does admit that the movie isn't particularly good.)
Kinskis' presence and performance raise the rating by a point.
Future "Tremors" director Ron Underwood was the associate producer here. Schmoeller has a cameo as a rejected tenant.
Six out of 10.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 24, 2021 at 03:09 AM
1 hr 20 min