Sunday, July 10, 2011

Incident at Loch Ness 2004

Incident at Loch Ness is a film within a film within a film meta faux documentary which is as tiring as it sounds.  Unfortunately, it is not as interesting as it sounds, despite featuring Werner Herzog playing himself.

I don't remember this coming out in 2004 (in fact I don't remember too much of 2004 in general) but it was obvious to me that this was a con from the start.  That made it nothing more than an interesting yet dull experiment in my eyes.  Filmmaker John Bailey is making a documentary about Werner Herzog entitled Herzog in Wonderland.  Herzog is about to embark on his own documentary, a look at the legend of the Loch Ness Monster entitled Enigma at Loch Ness.  The producer of Herzog's documentary is one Zach Penn, an untested producer/director/writer who at that point was best known for coming up with the ideas for X2 and The Last Action Hero.  Penn and Herzog have very different ideas about the documentary.  Herzog wants to explore WHY people need the legend of the Loch Ness Monster, whereas Penn seems to want to make a titty action film. 

The crew go to Scotland and things start to fall apart almost immediately.  It becomes clear that two of the "experts" Penn hires are actors.  The DP and Sound man leave the shoot.  Herzog threatens to leave but decides to stay when he begins to suspect that something really may be in the water.  All the action is caught by Bailey's team, and they too become part of the storyline. 

I just made it sound a whole lot better than it actually is.  I love Werner Herzog... he pulled a gun on Kinski and ate a shoe.  How could you not love him?  And he is great here.  The film just didn't work, even as a faux documentary.  It is not scary, not for one minute was I fooled ala Blair Witch, and everyone, who all play themselves, is annoying, with the exception of Herzog.

If you want to get your Herzog fix may I recommend Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Encounters at the end of the World, Grizzly Man, or My Best Fiend.  If you want to get your Loch Ness fix may I recommend that spooky old show hosted by Spock: In Search of... 

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