"Animal Farm" with Dwarves
Casey McGovern | Arlington, VA United States | 12/24/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A revolution has gripped a remote village/prison/asylum inhabited entirely by dwarves. Inside a fenced compound, one dwarf holds another one hostage while the rest of the little people taunt the captor, threatening to destroy everything. Then the tiny barbarians at the gate gleefully run amok. They set flowers on fire, crucify monkeys, vandalize a car, and unsuccessfully attempt sexual relations. In the climax, the captor apparently kills the hostage (the action occurs off-screen) and then hurries away until he confronts a gnarled tree. He angrily accuses the tree of pointing at him. The last five minutes of the film show one of the revolutionaries cackling at a distraught camel. Although the action can be described, the plot is not prominent; this film exists as a series of loosely connected scenes. These scenes are both hilarious and disturbing; often I found myself simultaneously amused, agitated, and confused. For example, the incessant, maniacal and high-pitched laughter that accompanies the havoc wrought by the Lilliputian horde is extremely unnerving yet engrossing. Though this film is unlikely to be on any of those prevalent best-of-the-millennium lists, I believe that director Werner Herzog has created the celluloid equivalent of a Goya painting. If you are a devotee of the fringes of humanity and think that the cinema should be more than just simple narratives, definitely watch this astounding film."
MAD MAD MAD...MAD
frankenberry | Los Angeles, CA USA | 03/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I can't believe I hadn't seen or even heard about this insanely maniacal film for so many years. Although I've seen some of Herzog's later work with mixed reactions, EVEN DWARFS has made an undeniable and indelible mark on my brain. I thought it was going to be some stupid midget comedy (ala "Terror of Tiny Town"), but instead it's a raw, disturbing nightmare of a world gone mad....and every actor in it is a midget (or "little person"). Don't expect "Wizard of Oz" here, folks.... there are many stark images and an increasingly ominous mood throughout. Coupled with some scenes of mild animal abuse, you may want to keep your "little people" from watching this one. However, even with the sense of dread and psychosis, there is plenty of humor generated throughout from the cast of midgets who obviously gave their all. And Herzog's "real life" approach to filming makes his characters even more real -- they may look at the camera or react in real terror or laugh --- it's almost like Herzog has pulled us as viewers into his celluloid nightmare and we find ourselves reacting the same way as some of his cast are to the surrounding events. This is ultra-cinema.Anchor Bay's DVD has a very enlightening commentary track by Herzog who clears up that the camel's knee ligaments were not severed for the film (the camel was not hurt in any way) and talks about how one of the midgets got run over and caught on fire during the shooting (he lived). He speaks about how stupid chickens are, too, and after you see the mouse scene with the stupid chicken walking back and forth a million times, you'll agree. Crazy actor Crispin Glover is also on the commentary track because apparently he was inspired by Herzog's film to make his own related upcoming "dwarfs" film (I can't wait).EVEN DWARFS may not be for all tastes (if you find stuff like "Forrest Gump" entertaining - skip this one!). But, if you are MAD MAD MAD and like stuff like "Eraserhead" and "Gummo" - then check out these mad midgets. "Hehehehehehehheheehehehe"...."
It'll make you throw your drugs away...
bmw429 | 04/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember sitting in an old time theater with Udo Kier and several other film fanatics "somewhere" in the northwest (I don't remember what year it was though) on a ton of hallucinogenics and waiting for this movie to begin. I had no expectations other than a story that was told to me by (I think it was ) Kier. I have not checked the validity of this story, but I love the mythos of it. Someone can correct me if I am telling tall tales, but here's the gist of it:Herr Herzog was apparently very ill in the late sixties and believed he would die. He wrote this screenplay in his hospital bed, a cathartic way to pass his last days away. Well...as we know, he didn't bite it, but he went on to direct this film with morbid determination. As the film progressed, a dwarf (maybe more than one) was injured during shooting. Werner, as an apology, gathered the cast together, brought them to top of a steep, thorned and thickety hillside, stripped down bare, and threw himself into the brambles. Bleeding and naked, he instructed everyone one to get back to work.I thought to myself: That is rare dedication. Then the film began. I don't really want to give anything away, but I've seen Herzog's other films and this one is his most mind bending, funny, and disturbing film. I swore off hallucinogens halfway through the film, realizing that they weren't necessary anymore, never to do them again. I've seen the film many, many times since (stone sober) and it's still as moving as the first time I saw it...and Hombre is a bona-fide amazing film persona. It's a avant garde cinema classic."
Midgets on the loose
bmw429 | atlanta | 02/23/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a good film that is definitely something you WON'T see anywhere else. The imagery alone sets it apart -- a prison rebellion led by some rather vicious, and many times comical midgets, forces you to keep watching.A really great performance by the midget Helmut Döring aka Hombre. Some parts will disturb you, some will leave you holding your ribs from the uncontrollable laughter (if you're into little people harassing other blind little people, hotwiring cars etc. hehe)Definitely worth the watch because of its one-of-a-kindness."