Incident at Loch Ness


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Rating: PG-13

Werner Herzog as Himself (Crew of Discovery IV)
Kitana Baker as Herself (Crew of Discovery IV)
Gabriel Beristain as Himself (Crew of Discovery IV)
Russell Williams as Himself (Crew of Discovery IV)
David A. Davidson as Himself (Crew of Discovery IV)
Michael Karnow as Himself (Crew of Discovery IV)
Robert O’Meara as Himself (Crew of Discovery IV)
Zak Penn as Himself (Crew of Discovery IV)
Steven Gardner as Himself (Crew of Discovery IV)
John Bailey as Crew of Herzog in Wonderland
Matthew Nicolay as Crew of Herzog in Wonderland
Tanja Koop as Crew of Herzog in Wonderland
Marty Signore as Crew of Herzog in Wonderland
Elisabeth Beristain as Party Guest
Katherine Ferwerda as Party Guest
Crispin Glover as Party Guest
Jeff Goldblum as Party Guest

Special Features:
Commentary by Zak Penn and Werner Herzog

Deleted Scenes and Outtakes

Featurettes and Testimonials

Revealing Photos and Candid Clips

Inside Information and Hidden Surprises

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 94 Minutes

The following is from the DVD cover:

“When renowned director Werner Herzog and fellow filmmaker Zak Penn set off to explore the legend of Scotland’s Loch Ness monster, they uncover much more than they bargained for. Unexplained sightings of the creature and chaos among the crew create an uneasy feeling that things aren’t what they seem. But what really happened on the infamous lake remains a mystery. With an unexpected sly sense of humor, Incident at Loch Ness is a comically controversial film that poses a provocative question – where does myth end and reality begin?”

Incident at Loch Ness is rated PG-13 for brief strong language.

The Movie:
Incident at Loch Ness was a movie I was quite interested in seeing. As a kid I was fascinated by the Nessie legend and as an adult I’ve enjoyed Zak Penn’s contributions to X-Men 2, Elektra, and Behind Enemy Lines. Throw in the fact that this is a “mockumentary” and I was thoroughly on board. Unfortunately, the idea of the movie is better than the final product.

The biggest problem with Incident at Loch Ness is that it was primarily made for the Hollywood crowd. There are a ton of in-jokes about movie production, motion picture politics, and out of control producers. Your average moviegoer is either not going to get it or is not going to be as amused by it as Hollywood filmmakers will be. It doesn’t help that the first third of the film is set in L.A. and focuses mainly on the preparation for the shoot in Scotland. The movie didn’t even get its first real chuckle from me until about 30 minutes into it.

The other problem with Incident at Loch Ness is that it changes wildly in tone. The first third of the movie feels like an actual mundane documentary. The second third feels like it’s trying to be a wacky comedy. The final portion of the film feels like it’s trying to be a horror film and there are few laughs. I think if it had been completely a comedy or completely a horror film it would have been more entertaining.

Despite the problems I thought the film had, it did have a few shining moments. Zak Penn is pretty funny playing like a slimy producer. It’s quite amusing seeing him try and sneak a fake Nessie into Herzog’s documentary. Later on when he films a clip with a scantily clad Kitana Baker as a “sonar operator”, it’s extremely low for the producer and worth a few laughs. The depths to which he’ll sink know no bounds. The cryptzoologist is also amusing as he makes up all sorts of crap about imaginary animals like Bigfoot, sea monsters, and some sort of pig. His garbage science offers a good portion of the laughs. Werner Herzog is also fun to watch in the film. I’ve never seen his movies, but this “mockumentary” certainly makes him look like a great sport and an interesting filmmaker. I think I would have appreciated his role more if I was familiar with him and his work, be he is still the star of the film and helps keep things interesting. I also have to add that I chuckled a bit when Ain’t It Cool News made a brief cameo.

There are a couple of Nessie special effects in the film. They’re pretty basic as far as CG goes, but they’re enough to make the scenes exciting and make you wonder what a good, well made film about Nessie would be like. But in reality Incident at Loch Ness is more about the filmmaking process than the mythical beast.

I think if you like fake documentaries or films that poke fun at Hollywood, then you’ll enjoy Incident at Loch Ness. It’s some fun, light humor, but not much more. Fans of Werner Herzog will really want to see this.

The Extras:
There are really three major bonus features on this DVD – the commentary, the Easter Eggs, and the deleted scenes. The DVD cover makes it look like there are a lot more, but that’s essentially it.

The commentary is done by Zak Penn and Werner Herzog “in character”. They still continue as if everything that happened in the film was real. Of course Herzog steps out of the commentary at one point when Penn goes too far. I think I would have preferred a commentary where they “pulled back the veil” and really talked about the movie, but that doesn’t happen.

The deleted scenes make up the bulk of the other bonus features. There are additional clips from interviews with Herzog, Penn, and the bogus cryptzoologist. They all make more amusing comments about the Hollywood process or Nessie. Then there are more cut scenes from the film itself, one of which is a topless scene by Kitana Baker.

You’ll also find a ton of Easter Eggs all over the DVD. I’m not sure if I found them all because they aren’t all easy to spot. They feature various incarnations of the script, a photo gallery, and even a clip from the opening dinner party. This is the one point in the DVD where they reveal that it’s all a hoax and Zak Penn thanks everyone for their involvement. Crispin Glover even pops in as part of a weird cameo.

The Bottom Line:
Incident at Loch Ness is a mockumentary that pokes fun at the whole filmmaking process. It’s more about Hollywood than Nessie, so don’t expect “Blair Witch” on the Loch.