Exploitation Retrospect | The Journal of Junk Culture and Fringe Media
Crawlspace (1986)
Review by Bruce Walsh | Lightning Home Video

Klaus Kinski in CrawlspaceIn 1986, the heyday of Empire International Pictures, David Schmoeller wrote and directed this lovely little romp through the mind of a now-adult Hitler Youth. Voyeurism. Sadism. Masochism. Misogyny. Euthanasia. Sorry, I'm back now. I was just reminiscing.

There's a nice precredit scene with a nifty implement gizmo. Then Klaus (Dr. Gunther) Kinski kicks in, with a delightful game of Russian Roulette. I know, you're saying that this is all well and good, but is there a plot? You bet! Dr. Gunther (the father) was executed for crimes against humanity because of his "experiments." Dr. Gunther (the son) worked in several hospitals where many patients happened to die under his care, including the brother of Joseph Steiner, a Truman Capote lookin' bastard now set on revenge.

There's also a bunch of mindless bimbos 'cause Dr. G prefers to rent rooms to them due to the fact that he crawls through an elaborate duct system to keep an eye on them. Sally Brown plays Martha (the girl in the cage) who "can't talk because I cut out her tongue." Talia Balsam is basically the babe element.

If you saw his when it first came out and didn't think it a solid piece of cinema, give it a second chance – CRAWLSPACE is a barrel of laughs.

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