Charles Band’s Empire Pictures presents Crawlspace (1986)
Written and directed by David Schoaller (Puppetmaster, Netherworld, Tourist Trap) Crawlspace is the story of the son of a Nazi (Klaus Kinski) who just happens to be a landlord who likes to rent apartments to young women. The vent system in this apartment building is HUGE! So Karl Gunther (can ya tell he’s German?) played by Kinski crawls around inside it spying and playing little games with is tenants. This movie does pose a very important question. Ladies have you ever cut holes in your lingerie so your nipples would show?
Mr. Gunther even has a rumpus room in the attic where he keeps a pet girl with a shaved head in a cage and he had her tongue removed so he has someone to talk to while he writes in his journals about his addiction to killing. Mr. Gunther also builds traps and devices to help him with his addiction (like if you were renting a place from Dr. Phibes or Jigsaw). Not that he is above the favorite weapon of the eighties… a switchblade.
Mr. Gunther also has a deal with God. Karl plays Russian roulette to keep himself honest. To see if God wants him to stop. The best part is the set he is in during the roulette scenes. It is a black and white tiled windowless, over lit, room with a table in the center with a chair and a gun. After the click of the hammer falling on an empty chamber of the pistol pointed at Karl’s head he simply states, “So be it.” It’s freaking great. Very artsy. I could just watch those scenes over and over.
To counter balance the artsyness you also get a comical sex scene. The female tenants getting together for snack cakes and tequila milkshakes. A banana slicer mishap, and a ridiculous chase through the crawlspace.
This movie is made by Klaus Kinsky (Nosferatu, For a Few Dollars More). He totally commits to being this character and he is great to watch.
This movie was brilliant stupidity. I recommend it. It was a lot of fun.