Happy Monster Monday, kiddies! I have a treat for you today: The Shaft, AKA Down, AKA the preeminent film in the English-language Killer Elevator subgenre. Dutch filmmaker Dick Maas directed it as a remake of his 1983 film De Lift. I haven’t seen the original, but unsurprisingly it is generally regarded as far superior to the remake.
The Shaft is so ridiculous and over-the-top that it must be seen to be believed, and it features some truly awful work from Naomi Watts (interestingly, The Shaft was released the same year as David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, the movie that made her a star). I actually went back and rewatched The Shaft in preparation for today’s post, because I didn’t want to unfairly malign it or Ms. Watts’s performance if either one was a lot better than I remembered it being.
Fiends, it was so much worse. The dialogue is awful (and, oddly, seems to be mostly dubbed), and only two actors manage to turn in good performances: Ron Frakking Perlman and legendary character actor and Scanners alumnus Michael Ironside.
There are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in The Shaft, including the obligatory use (twice!) of Aerosmith’s “Love in an Elevator,” but my favorite is the pregnancy scene. A group of pregnant women in the elevator get stuck between floors, and The Shaft begins overheating. The women are in obvious distress; they sweat and scream and look like they are seconds away from giving birth onto a blazing hot floor…and then we cut to eggs frying in a skillet.
If loving that scene is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.
Please enjoy these photos of The Shaft‘s various methods of murder, and know that every time I type The Shaft I say it very dramatically in my best Don’t! voice.
Have a good week, fiends. Stay creepy and take the stairs.