October 18th, 2012: Crawlspace (1986)

Cast and Crew:   Talia Balsam, Tane McClure

What It’s About: Karl Gunther (Klaus Kinski) is an Argentinian doctor who found that cruelty ran in the family (his father was an SS Officer war criminal who tortured the inmates of the concentration camp he worked at) when he discovered that he preferred mercy killing to healing. When he killed a man who he could’ve saved accidentally, and didn’t care, he quit his practice and moved to the United States, buying a huge apartment building.  Gunther has full access to the building’s huge duct system, which he traverses using a small wheeled platform and from whence he watches, and eventually kills his tenants (all female) with elaborate death traps.  Will anyone stop Gunther’s reign of terror?

Why Watch it Today?: Klaus Kinski, born today in 1926, is a famously creepy actor, and, while Werner Herzog undoubtedly made the greatest use of Kinski’s persona, Kinski was a working actor who showed up in everything to Spaghetti Westerns to this sleazy, creepy little slice of weirdness from writer/director David Schmoller (Tourist Trap) and producer Charles Band.

The trailer, which is far better than movie, and worth a look for the voice over alone:

Other Choices:  Had I not already featured it, I’d have picked Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Werner Herzog’s arresting depiction of an expedition of Conquistadors that went horribly, and famously wrong.

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