A double dose of delirium awaits you on this demented DVD! Taking her Diary of a Mad Housewife acclaim to effective extremes, Carrie Snodgress is disturbingly convincing in The Attic (1980), a morbid slice of gothic pie in... more » which she plays a dowdy librarian, obsessively grieving 19 years after the disappearance of her picture-perfect boyfriend. This prolonged sadness is aggravated by her apparently disabled father (Ray Milland), who dominates her life with such abusive bitterness that she descends even deeper into tortured desperation. What does she discover in the attic? We're not telling, but suffice it to say Daddy's evil goes beyond expectations! Directed with earnest compassion for its damaged wallflower, The Attic is wretched psychodrama at its most bizarre. On the flipside, Crawlspace (1986) is grade-Z pulp for those who take perverse delight in the derangement of Klaus Kinski, here playing a suicidal heir to the Third Reich, continuing his Nazi reign of terror as the voyeuristic landlord in a building full of unsuspecting young females. Drawing on his alleged hatred for Kinski (by all accounts it was mutual), director David Schmoeller puts Kinski through the paces (and claustrophobic spaces), turning this nudity-spiced schlockfest into a lecherous tour of depravity. With a score by Italian composer Pino Donaggio, Crawlspace is surely someone's guilty pleasure. --Jeff Shannon« less
"MGM releases yet another double dose of the macabre in their 'Midnight Movie Madness' series with The Attic (1979) and Crawlspace (1986).The Attic stars Carrie Snodgrass as Louise, a librarian and your classic 'old maid' stuck caring for her domineering and verbally abusive father (Ray Milland) who is confined to a wheelchair. Louise was left at the altar 19 years previous, due to the disappearance of her fiancé and has been waiting for his return ever since. The time spent living with her father has taken its' toll, and basically squeezed almost all of the spirit out of the woman. The maddening, soul crushing boredom of toiling away in a rather stale library while dreams of far away places danced in her head, and then having to go home and deal with the constant verbal lashings of her father, has manifested itself in strange fantasies with Louise humiliating or eliminating her father in various ways. She does struggle to exert herself, but always seems to be on the short end of the stick, at least when it comes to her father. What happens when she is finally pushed over the edge? Watch and see...The Attic was quite slow and some might even say tedious, but I rather enjoyed it. The plot seemed to drift here and there at times, but it did find its' way, providing a rather predictable, but satisfying ending. The build up crawls along at a snail's pace, allowing for some viewers to grow wary, but I felt the tension within the plot and I found myself unable to turn away. It was funny, but due to the title, I kind of expected something with more of a horror element, but instead found myself treated to a dusty little gem. I thought Ray Milland was pretty good as the tyrannical, father confined to a wheelchair, spying and berating his daughter at every chance. I found myself wanting to tell him off a number of times, as my dislike for the character grew. If you're looking for scenes of blood soaked violence in this movie, you're going to be disappointed. Crawlspace (1986) stars Klaus Kinski as Karl Gunther, former doctor and now owner of an apartment house. His hobbies include playing Russian roulette, writing his memoirs, conversing with the caged woman in the attic who's tongue he removed (talk about your one sided conversations), rats, collecting body parts, and sliding around the crawlspaces in his building spying on his comely female tenants in various activities and states of undress. The film also stars Talia Balsam as Lori, as student who has just moved in the building, but will soon find the place to be not quite the deal she first thought. I can see the ad for renting the apartment now... 2nd & 3rd floor units. Newly renovated & deleaded. Stove & refrigerator included. Front/rear balconies. Section 8 approved. First & last due at time of rental. Nice quiet area. Resident psycho included. Okay, maybe that last part was left out...As Lori moves in, she hears strange noises coming from the vents by the ceiling. What could they be? Mice? The idea of Klaus Kinski creeping around, peeping through vents certainly gave me the willies. He's such an ugly little man, and I have to wonder how much of his performance was acting and how much wasn't...His perversions seems to really begin to bloom when his new tenant moves in, driving him to extreme measures to satisfy his self proclaimed addiction to all things once alive but not anymore.Crawlspace, contrary to The Attic, moves along fairly quickly, and also has a fair amount of blood and some pretty gruesome murders. Most aren't shown, except for small details, leaving the rest to the viewer's imagination. The ending, while definitely final, almost seemed anti-climatic to the rest of the film, but if one looks a bit more closely, you will understand how it ties together, given the character played by Kinski. He's such an oddball in this film, and I loved how most of the other characters overlooked that, especially since they were women, and most women I know have better perceptive skills than I do...oh well...he also seemed to slip into his full blown dementia pretty quickly, but then again, I'm no doctor, so what do I know?Both films look really great, and are presented in wide screen format. I've found that MGM has consistently done a fine job in releasing their films, even the more dubious ones, providing very good quality. No real special features, except for a trailer for Crawlspace, but that's all right. I still feel like I got pretty good bargain with two watchable films at a decent price.Cookieman108"
Okay, baby, let's get started
Holly Apollyon | The Overlook Hotel | 06/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Straight away, I'll say that I bought this combo pack for Crawlspace. The Attic was slow, boring, and extremely predictable; and not predictable in the good way---like you know that Madman Marz will show up in the last frame. And, based on what I've read here, the "surprise" ending has pretty much been covered in detail. The woman's father was alot more amusing as the sour, black-hearted old guy in Frogs. He played pretty much the same role here, but it was just creepy. And what exactly IS the purpose of having animals mistreated or worse in some movies? Why did that have to put that poor monkey in this bad trip of a movie? Absolutely pointless, other than in the interest of extreme poor taste. Uggh.But, on the other hand, Crawlspace is a hoot. Klaus Kinski has passed on now, but were I a movie maker, I would put him in everything. I would write roles just to include him. In Crawlspace, he places a deranged doctor with a vague Nazi background, and I thought it was a scream the way the movie itself almost occured from his sympathetic point of view. He narrates the tale with fragmented journal entries, often read aloud to the tongueless captive he keeps in the cage in his attic. He has decided that he's become addicted to killing, and sets out to explore his addiction methodically.The movie starts off with a blonde in red underwear preening herself in a mirror. But don't get too excited; though it should be cool, it just, somehow, isn't. Klaus, Dr. Karl Gunther, is watching through a crawlspace in the bedroom wall. (He owns the apartment building, and has free run.) Anyway, there's this dork staring through the outside window. He gets into the apartment, grabs the girl and shoots off with a mouthful of idiotic dialogue. But don't worry; the good Dr. Gunther, madcap that he is, nails this guy about twenty minutes later. Gunther pretty much fills his day with spying, chumming around with rats, playing Russian roulette, smearing lipstick over the bottom half of his face, and killing his female tennants with improvised traps. I know, it sounds pretty stupid, and it is, but Klaus comes through in trademark style, baby. That guy kills me. He's got three jars of solution sitting around, one with a tongue, another with eyeballs and another with a ring finger, gruesome trophies, sure, but noboy else could do it with Klaus' royal panache. And wait until you see that chair of his.However, all things must come to an end, and the good doctor ends up taking in the one tennant that beats him at his own game. But, he seems pretty lighthearted even about his own demise, so, I guess in a way, you can call it a happy ending."
More Midnite Madness
Joseph P. Menta, Jr. | Philadelphia, PA USA | 09/03/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The MGM "Midnite Movies" series keeps its streak going with another entertaining release. Hey, all the movies in this series aren't fabulous, but they've all been at least perfectly watchable, some even much better than that. And it helps that these rescued-from-obscurity movies have mostly all been presented to us in the form of sharp, clean, widescreen prints. This is is the case with both "The Attic" and "Crawlspace", both of which I'd rate as "watchable-plus" in the entertainment department. In other words, they're both ultimately pretty average, but laced with interesting, offbeat moments here and there. Unlike other Midnite Movies releases, however, there isn't much in the value-added department here (meaning extras). Oh, well-- you can't have everything. Still, for the price you can't beat it."
There Are Places In Your Home Where Only Demons Dare To Vent
J. B. Hoyos | Chesapeake, VA | 02/12/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a superb double feature from MGM. Both films have been expertly restored to their original theatrical presentation of 1.85:1; the picture and audio are nearly perfect. Unfortunately, only "Crawlspace" has a theatrical trailer and neither one has commentary. However, English subtitles have been gratefully included for us hearing impaired.
Both films involve demented men who abuse women. In "The Attic," Wendell (Ray Milland of Roger Corman's "The Premature Burial") is perhaps the greatest abuser. He psychologically abuses his own daughter Louise (Carrie Snodgress of "The Fury"); he cold calculatingly takes everything away from her until she has only him to rely upon for support. The viewer will feel great sympathy for Louise and deep hatred for her father. Both Snodgress and Milland give excellent, believable performances that will keep you spellbound until you learn the secret in "The Attic." Note: If you like Milland, check him out in MGM's "Frogs" where he portrays another cantankerous, demanding cripple; in "Frogs," the members of his wealthy family are dispatched in horrible, creative means by the local wildlife.
"Crawlspace" is an excellent slasher flick. The insane Dr. Gunther (expertly portrayed by European film legend Klaus Kinski) owns an apartment building in which he is spying upon, torturing, and murdering his female tenants and their friends. His father was a Nazi who invented torture machines. Dr. Gunter writes in his journal that he is addicted to killing. Most of his time is spent in the attic where his sole companion is Martha, a young woman whose tongue he cut out; he keeps her caged and feeds her barely enough food to survive. He also like to crawl through the ventilation ducts and spy on his tenants. This film has a great piano score provided by Pino Donaggio who also scored the supernatural horror masterpiece "Don't Look Now." "Crawlspace" was made in Italy and has the look and feel of an Italian giallo (mystery), but we know who the killer is. However, will anyone be able to stop him?
This is one of my favorite MGM Midnite Movies Double Features. How sad that, at the time of this review, it is out of print. Hopefully, MGM, or someone else, will re-release both films. "Crawlspace" definitely needs to remain in print. I love its trailer and its tagline: "Between the wall and Hell . . . Crawlspace." This is a creepy slasher flick that I highly recommend to all serious horror fans. "
Klaus Kinski is superb as a guy playing the elderly version
JOHN P. HANSSEN | ventura, CA USA | 04/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Got a chance to catch part of "Crawlspace" recently on Direct TV. Man, I forgot how creepy Kinski really was in this flick! I immediately thought, "Holy cow! IT'S THE ELDERLY VERSION OF MARYLIN MANSON!! However, I think Marilyn is probably a perfect gentleman in reality compared to Kinski's character of Gunther. He was not only creepy, but very, very sick-minded. What I found particularly disturbing, and sad, was that poor young woman locked in a cage and being starved to death! This, I felt, is the type of scene where one, in their right mind anyway, can not really see this film as mere entertainment. (Anyone who views this as joyful entertainment needs to have their head examined, IMHO). Especially is this true when one realizes that horrible stuff like this has actually happened! (It makes me glad to know the real and satisfying reason why God has allowed such things to happen. If I didn't, I'd probably be an athiest today. A discussion for another time, though).
At any rate, this film is just worth it to see Kinski's performance, which is why I give "Crawlspace" four stars."