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I've heard that Michael Mann doesn't like his own version of the atmospheric Nazi-Zombie-alien movie The Keep and I know the the original story author, F Paul Wilson, really hated it. It also isn't very well rated in IMDB.

I liked it, though I saw it a long time ago. Is it really that bad? Is there any clear evidence about who is blocking it from being on DVD?

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

Paramount Studios had intended to release The Keep on DVD in 2004, but this would have been the (frankly incomprehensible) version, edited down to 96 minutes from Mann's original 180 minute version, and the release was shelved for no apparent reason.

The edited version seen in theaters and on VHS is indeed pretty poor and doesn't make a whole lot of sense, due, I would think, to being only half a film!

There appears to be no clear evidence over who is blocking the film, and I am not convinced that Mann has enough power to do so, but efforts have been underway for a while now to get a full, director's cut, release made. You can follow these efforts on this fan-run site here and sign the petition here. This site does include a fascinating interview with Mann from 1983.

Incidently, a graphic novel was produced, which F Paul Wilson adapted himself.

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Has the long version ever been released? – matt_black Dec 19 '12 at 22:34
Not that I am aware of. – Nobby Dec 19 '12 at 23:51

I believe that the reason behind The Keep not being released is because neither Virgin records or Tangerine Dream, which performed the music for The Keep, wants to release what they feel is their rights to the music. Since neither party wants to let go of the music (I tend to side with Tangerine Dream in this case), the movie will sit in limbo until the issue is resolved. You might find supporting information about this on Tangerine Dream's website but I cannot remember the exact citation or link.

I think it will come down to a legal decision on who owns the rights to the music before we get to see The Keep released. I hope a decision comes soon because the movie and the music is one of those rare combinations where the music and the story match perfectly.

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