Pity the poor slasher movie director. Faced with a gore glut on the market, he or she has to keep devising newer, more loathsome ways of cutting up actresses and spreading fear and nausea through the world's moviehouses.
And most of the time, as in "Crawlspace" (citywide), after all that toil, the director comes up only with one more reprehensible, sleazy, pointless piece of trash--fit only for the slag heap of slash.
In "Crawlspace" (R) we are introduced--much against our will--to the crazed Karl Gunther (played by Klaus Kinski with bulging eyes and a sibilant hiss). He runs an apartment house for lonely, hot-blooded young starlets, complete with a crawlspace through which he can slither at will and peek through the air vents.
Gunther, son of a Nazi commandant, has apparently developed a taste for murder while administering mass euthanasia at a Buenos Aires hospital. Now he has an attic--complete with his own concentration camp victim, Nazi war documentaries and a diary in which he scribbles philosophical ruminations on the addiction and exaltation of murder. When not thus occupied, he plays Russian roulette, snakes around the crawlspace, bangs on the vents to torment his tenants, plays with rats, kills passers-by and sticks their eyes into jars of formaldehyde.