Director Werner Herzog is off to Scotland to shoot a documentary entitled The Enigmaof Loch Ness. This is coinciding with the shoot of a documentary about his life calledWerner in Wonderland. So what we have here is a documentary about the making of adocumentary. Or, more accurately, of a failed doc, since things start going wrong right away,mostly due to producer Zak Penn, who clearly wants something more exciting and sexy than aphilosophical essay on why peo…le believe crazy things.
The conflicts wind up producing a meditation on the role of truth (or its lack) in thefilmmaking process. The series of catastrophes are also howlingly funny, as are some of thegrotesque characters that are part of the unfortunate Herzog’s crew. I really don’t want to say toomuch more, other than to enthusiastically recommend what will likely stand as the definitiveLoch Ness movie for years to come.
Given how this was shot, the sound and picture (see below) are terrific. What minordistortion on the dialogue there is, is forgivable. The surround elements are also very strong,whether it be the alternatingly chirpy and ominous music (great bass) or sound effects such asthe crowd in a bar.
Pretty nifty picture too. The image is sharp, and the colours are strong, setting aside someunavoidable murkiness given some of the conditions of the shoot. There is a little bit ofpixelation, but it is a long way from being a real problem. Again, all things being equal, thewidescreen transfer looks damn good.
Herzog and Penn, none too pleased with each other, are pretty funny on the commentarytrack. There is a raft of other features, but all of them amount to extra footage that was not usedin the main feature. At least, this is the case as far as the surface features go. There are numerousEaster Eggs, however. Some are behind-the-scenes clips, but the two most important are twomore commentary tracks, and these are essential. I won’t enumerate all the Eggs (just keeppushing the arrow buttons in whatever screen you’re in, and look for the Nessie silhouettes), butthe commentary tracks are not to be missed under any circumstance. One is found on the SpecialFeatures menu (hit left, then up). The other is on the Languages menu (move to Resume Feature,then press up). My thanks to Fangoria for this vital bit of info. The menu’s main screenis animated and scored.
Easily the most accessible, hilarious project Werner Herzog has ever been associated with.Essential viewing. And my apologies to anyone who thinks I’m being coy.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentaries
- Deleted Scenes and Outtakes
- Extra Footage and Clips
- Many Easter Eggs