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The Keeper (2004)

Life has rules.

Directed by:

Paul Lynch

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 91 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: Canada, United Kingdom

We’ve all experienced those days where just nothing seems to go right. I mean, just yesterday I forgot to take the wheelie bin round the front for emptying, and then in the evening I spilled some Um Bongo down the front of a brand new shirt. It’s exactly the sort of lousy day Gina (Asia Argento) is having in ‘The Keeper’, only her’s involves narrowly escaping an attempted rape and then being kidnapped by the crazy copper who offers her a lift home. Okay, so I still think my day was a bit worse (I mean, the shirt was NEW!), but you have to admit her’s was pretty bad too.

Anyway, months later and poor ol’ Gina is still locked up in the basement of the loony Sheriff Krebs (Dennis Hopper), a man obsessed with giving out seemingly-random sums of “points” for good behaviour. You see, Gina is a nightclub stripper (meaning that she takes her clothes off, not that she’s an interior decorator), and the disapproving lawman has taken it upon himself to hold her prisoner until she learns the ways of the righteous. So, in other words, his philosophy on life is nudey dancing bad, locking women up for months on end in a home-made dungeon good.

‘The Keeper’ is a fairly generic kidnap thriller, making plenty of use of such age-old clichés as the female kidnapee who invariably trips over nothing every time it looks like an escape could be on the cards. But it remains watchable enough until a string of ridiculous plot-turns take hold and the whole thing becomes impossible to take remotely seriously. I won’t give away exactly how daft things turn just after the hour mark but, as a taster, I’d just like to draw a bit of attention to the sub-plot involving our baddie becoming the world’s most unlikely kiddie’s TV star in the months between his imprisoning of Gina and the predictable climax.

This forgettable kidnap-by-numbers escapade from Scouse director Paul Lynch struggled to get a big screen release anywhere, and given its uninspired story and bland dialogue, it’s not difficult to work out why.

It's Got: A female admirer (Helen Shaver) who’s remarkably difficult to put off.

It Needs: An episode of one of Sheriff Krebs’ appalling-looking children’s telly shows to be included as a DVD extra.

DVD Extras An interview with the director, some more interviews with a distinctly bored-looking cast, and a trailer. DVD Extras Rating: 3/10

Alternatives:

Taking Lives, Trapped

Summary

Not only is ‘The Keeper’ not a “keeper” – it’s not even a renter. Leave this one on the shelf beside most of the rest of the poo Dennis Hopper appears in nowadays.

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