Other films by Zak Penn: The Grand
Director: Zak Penn
Stars: Werner Herzog, Zak Penn, Kitana Baker
Genre: Mockumentary, Comedy
A mockumentary (fake documentary that presents itself as being real) about the behind-the-scenes of a new film by director Werner Herzog entitled Enigma of Loch Ness.
The mockumentary chronicles a film crew on a small boat making a movie about the Loch Ness monster. The crew deals with troubles and creative differences of their own, but could there also be troubles in the lake?
It's not so much the story of a film crew being attacked by a sea monster as it is the story of a producer who gets a little bit carried away and takes things a bit too far in order to try and produce a good film.
This is a must watch for any Wener Herzog fans. He's one of the coolest director/actors there is and he can make nearly any film enjoyable with his lovable personality and charming acting. The director, Zak Penn (who has written the screenplays for movies like Last Action Hero, Behind Enemy Lines, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, Elektra, The Incredible Hulk, and The Avengers), who plays the producer, created such a great character; the producer is pretty much the worst guy ever but his portrayal is very funny and even slightly unnerving. Penn did a wonderful job playing him. There's plenty of guest appearances in here as well, which adds to the realistic behind-the-scenes atmosphere; you'll catch glimpses of Jeff Goldblum, Crispin Glover, Ricky Jay, and even Herzog's beautiful wife Lena Herzog.
It's a mockumentary but of course nearly everyone going into it knows it's fake, as is the case with most mockumentaries. There was a bit of confusion when it was first shown at festivals as to whether it was real or not, but nearly a decade later I think we've all got it figured out. It's shot convincingly enough that if one were to randomly catch it late one night on television, without knowing anything about it beforehand, they might be in for a bit of a surprise, but otherwise it's just pure, well crafted fiction.
The film doesn't really have any sort of a climax or anything (real life rarely does), and things are fairly slow paced and even during the more intense scenes it's nothing all too exciting. It's certainly not a "horror" movie or creature feature, but it's highly entertaining to watch a fictional crew go through fictional production hell.
It's a mockumentary film-within-a-film-within-a-film that is funny and entertaining. Must see for fans of mockumentaries, fans of Werner Herzog, or cryptozoology buffs.