Today elected officials put out a joint statement complaining of the “pattern of tenant harassment” that has caused landlord Steve Croman to be investigated by the State District Attorney. But if you think Croman is a lousy landlord, wait’ll you Crawlspace, one of a dozen Klaus Kinski films that Anthology Film Archives is screening in the next week.
As you’ll recall, last week the Daily News reported that State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an investigation to determine whether Croman, who was recently the subject of a protest in the East Village (and was sued by Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune), has illegally tried to force tenants out of their rent-controlled apartments.
Now State Senators Daniel Squadron and Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh, Borough President Gale Brewer, and Councilmembers Rosie Mendez and Margaret Chin chime in with this statement:
Steven Croman’s pattern of tenant harassment must come to an end. Tenants from his buildings have contacted us with accounts of chronic harassment and intimidation – including disruptive building maintenance, frivolous lawsuits, and most egregiously, the dispatching of a ‘private investigator’ to apartments to intimidate tenants.
We’ve worked closely with a coalition of tenants and advocacy groups like Good Old Lower East Side, Cooper Square Committee, and the Urban Justice Center to address Croman’s tactics of driving tenants, many of whom are rent regulated, out of their homes. We applaud the Attorney General’s investigation into Croman, and we will continue to support tenants’ efforts as it unfolds.
If you’re a Croman tenant looking for solace, know that it could be much, much worse. Tonight at Anthology Film Archives, filmmaker David Schmoeller will be on hand to present a screening of his 1986 flick Crawlspace, starring the legendary Klaus Kinski as an exiled Nazi who, after murdering 67 people during his medical career in Buenos Aires, starts a new life as — that’s right — a landlord.
Oh, but not just any landlord: the first line of the movie, in fact, is “She can’t talk. I cut her tongue out,” and it gets creepier from there.
Inside of Kinski’s office is the aforementioned tongueless woman in a cage, some eyeballs in a jar, and a seat that he’s rigged with a spear that’ll anally impale anyone who reads his secret diary about how much he loves to kill.
As for his tenants, Kinski — when he isn’t watching his dad’s old Nazi videos with tears in his eyes — spies on them through air vents, releases rats into their apartments, and occasionally puts on some eyeliner and kills them with carpentry tools.
To call this a B movie would be a compliment — it’s more the sort of thing that would get savaged by “How Did This Get Made?” So you may want to catch one of the other movies being featured in Anthology’s “If You Meet Klaus Kinski, Pray For Your Death,” which features 13 of the actor’s lesser films, including Paganini (his sole directorial effort), My Best Fiend (Werner Herzog’s great doc about his tortured relationship with the mercurial leading man) and Jesus Christ Saviour (a documentary about Kinski’s blasphemous one-man show). The series started yesterday and continues through August 10.