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Incident at Loch Ness

41 customer reviews

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(Mar 01, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Incident at Loch Ness chronicles the story of the making (an unmaking) of acclaimed director, Werner Herzog's film. Herzog's stated intent was "to explore the origin and the necessity of the monster" rather than to look for the creature itself. Shocking, controversial and strangely humorous, the film raises many questions about where reality ends and fiction begins.

Nothing is quite as it seems in Incident at Loch Ness, an entertaining pseudo-documentary comment on cinematic fakery. Conceived and directed by Hollywood screenwriter Zak Penn, this half-clever ruse begins with a master-stroke by casting German director Werner Herzog as himself, preparing to film a documentary about Scotland's mysterious Loch Ness monster. As this film-within-a-film is chronicled by a documentary crew led by renowned cinematographer John Bailey, "producer" Penn rises to apparently impossible heights of ineptitude, until it becomes obvious (indeed, it's the film's near-fatal flaw) that there is no "reality" here at all--just a very amusing pile-up of falsehoods. Penn's onto something good here, and Herzog is by far the film's greatest asset, maintaining a credible commitment to the ruse with a hilarious and fiercely believable performance. Still, the ideas at play are better than Penn's execution of them, so you'll have to play along, in Blair Witch fashion, even after the film's ploy becomes clear. Penn and Herzog provide a worthwhile commentary track, adding another layer of observation to Penn's multilayered con game. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: John Bailey, Kitana Baker, Elisabeth Beristain, Gabriel Beristain, David A. Davidson
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: March 1, 2005
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006UEVNQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,819 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Incident at Loch Ness" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Graff on January 10, 2006
Format: DVD
I didn't know what to expect when I was given this dvd as a Christmas gift. I enjoyed the film very much, mostly due to Werner Herzog's performance. He shines despite Zack Penn's best efforts to steal the lime light. Although I didn't get all the jokes, I found myself laughing throughout most of the film.

What I was most happy about was all the dvd easter eggs. Without giving it away, I'll say the commentary by Werner and Zack was by far the most entertaining commentary I've heard.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By karatechop on February 24, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I used to be such a huge fan of Christopher Guest's movies but it seems to me that recently, they've all started to feel exactly the same. The same actors, the same jokes... I'm bored. That's why I was pleasantly surprised when I came across this movie at a film festival. If you like mockumentaries, this is like a breath of fresh air. It's the story of how Werner Herzog tries to shoot a documentary on the Loch Ness Monster but everything goes horribly wrong.

Part of the brilliance of the movie is the use of Werner Herzog as the lead character. As a fan of his, I never could have imagined that he would have appeared in a film like this. The film sends up Herzog's reputation of being demanding and violent on the set perfectly... for example, in this movie, demonic producer Zak Penn pulls a gun on him (echoing the near-legendary confrontation between Herzog and Kinski in Aguirre). There are a lot of moments like this for the cinefile who knows enough about the director to be surprised and amused. Kudos to Werner Herzog for being such a good sport.

I should also point out that I have no interest in the Loch Ness Monster, but this movie kept me riveted by focusing less on the monster and more on the loons who think the monster is real. Special mention must be given to the ridiculous and insane Cryptozoologist who almost steals the film. Basically, anyone who is a fan of Werner Herzog or just wants some good laughs must see this film. I am definitely looking forward to Herzog's next adventure...hopefully in search of Big Foot or something...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 19, 2006
Format: DVD
It's not that easy writing a spoiler-free review of Incident at Loch Ness, an entertaining piece of mythmaking flim-flammery and an enjoyable addenda to Werner Herzog's own documentary filmmaking, following the director on his ill-fated Loch Ness film as he finds himself increasingly at odds with producer Zak Penn's interference. Considering Penn's commitment to authenticity involves as much window dressing and outright fakery as he can manage, that's not surprising, but when the fun is over it does manage to raise some points about the validity of documentaries as actual documents of reality in a time when the form's popularity has led to increasing sensationalism and `recreations' to stand out from the pack. But this is first and foremost the Werner Herzog Show, and he doesn't disappoint, whether it's his reaction to an unexpected addition to the crew ("She doesn't luke layk a sonar operator") or arguing with his gun-toting producer who has obviously heard one Klaus Kinski story too many ("Zat's a myvvf! Ay neffer directed anybody at gunpoint!"). Some of the crew are too obviously playing up for the documentary cameras while the last third of the film overplays its hand, but it's hard to dislike a film with exchanges like "Well, at least we're not dragging the boat over a hill." "Vat vos zat?" "Uh, nothing." Although looking at the finished product, I couldn't help wonder how poor Kevin Cowle, one of the few genuinely helpful and competent people at Scottish Screen, felt about his screen credit here: first being famously taken for a ride by the producers of Beneath Loch Ness and now this...Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 4, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This may be the first mockumentary made... about a mockumentary.

The independent, creative mind clashes with big-budget in "Incident as Loch Ness," a bizarre mockumentary-within-a-mockumentary (sort of a fictional "Lost in Le Mancha"). It has some problems -- a slow pace and spotty humour -- but it's still an interesting little movie.

The movie opens in 2003, with an interviewer visiting Werner Herzog (played by... himself) for a documentary. Herzog explains that his forthcoming movie is a documentary about Loch Ness, and how people want to believe in a monster. For this, he's collaborating with Zakk Penn (himself again), writer of movies like "Elektra," "X2," and "X-Men: The Last Stand." Very, very mainstream.

But problems crop up as soon as they get to Scotland. Herzog finds that Penn has hired a Playmate/sonar operator, an exozoologist and a big inflatable plesiosaur. He's trying to turn the intelligent documentary into Hollywood garbage. But as Herzog decides to put a stop to it, something huge in the water attacks the boat...

This is a notable movie for two reasons: It's Zakk Penn's first indie movie, and it's the most bizarre movie that Herzog has ever done. And as we're reminded, he once had a riverboat hauled over a mountain, so that is saying something. At the end, it's hard to even remember that this was all "wheels within wheels."

Stylistically, "Incident" does exactly what it is supposed to do: twist reality, and turn the documentary on its ear. It's slow-paced and rather meditative, like behind-the-scenes documentaries are, and at times it's pretty dull. No outright funny stuff, but it has a sort of wry humour in scenes like the exozoologist showing off his tentacle, or the Playboy girl installing the sonar.
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