Blu-ray Review: Crawlspace

Landlords are great figures in horror films. These people can easily turn into monsters with their constant demands for ever increasing rents. They also have the ability to sneak into your apartment without real permission. They know every time you have a guest sleep over. The only time they seem to avoid you is when you need something fixed. Crawlspace presents the most horrifying of landlords in the form of Klaus Kinski (Aguirre, the Wrath of God). Anyone who signs a lease with Klaus is asking for trouble. Sadly in an area with few open apartments, people will overlook things like Klaus Kinski.

The movie doesn’t hold much of a mystery that Kinski is a freak. A young tenant stumbles upon her landlord’s torture room in the attic. She gets shocked at the sight of rats and her neighbor caged up. Kinski arrives and doesn’t try to explain away this nasty sight. He just kills her. This means it’s time to put a classified in the apartment finder. The secret to Kinski being an exceptionally great nosy landlord is a system of air ducts that allow him to snoop through the vents of all his female tenants. This was made in 1986 before it became easy to install a bunch of computer cams to spy on unsuspecting residents. Kinski looks so excitable as the crawls around his kingdom. He does have a nasty agenda. When a guy comes over to ask about a recently unoccupied unit, Kinski declares that he’s too late. When Talia Balsam (Mad Men) arrives later, she’s given the front door keys. Klaus is not an equal opportunity landlord. Why is Kinski’s landlord such a devious creature? Turns out his dad was a Nazi scientist. Klaus has been studying his father’s work. He’s just born to be bad. Will anyone survive their 30 day notice?

Crawlspace is a case of an extreme horror film. There’s no guessing if Kinski is just merely misunderstood and there’s a real killer lurking in the shadows. He’s a pure villain that needs to be stopped. Because of his over the top performance, there’s a strange comical air to his creepy landlord. The movie is a fine example of why you really have to be careful when you sign a lease on a dream apartment.

The video is 1.85:1. The 1080p transfer lets Kinski’s manic performance shine. You can see with sharpness his crazy eyes. The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio Mono. The mix sounds fine. You can hear him scurrying through the duct work.

Commentary Track with director David Schmoeller allows him to explain how the movie changed around with the casting of Kinski in the lead.

Interview with Make-Up Effects Artist John Vulich explains how he was able to create images more disturbing than Kinski.

Please Kill Mr. Kinski is director David Schmoeller’s recounting of the nightmare on the set. Him and the producer were driven insane by their star. This is more entertaining than the actual film. It features behind the scenes footage.

TV Spots and Theatrical Trailer lets the audience know to never rent from Klaus Kinski.

Scream Factory presents Crawlspace. Directed by: David Schmoeller. Screenplay by: David Schmoeller. Starring: Klaus Kinski, Talia Balsam and Carol Francis . Running Time: 80 minutes. Rating: R. Released: December 17, 2013.

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