Posted on Friday, September 4th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
Possibly the best thing about Werner Herzog doing his own Bad Lieutenant film (which got a poster today) is the fireworks that have erupted between he and Abel Ferrara, who directed the Harvey Keitel-starring film that Herzog hasn’t remade. Both directors are at the Venice Film Festival this week, where it wasn’t beyond possible that some sort of confrontation, or at least conversation would take place. (Ferrara once suggested Herzog and his cast should die in hell, and Herzog responded “Wonderful, yes! Let him fight…I have no idea who Abel Ferrara is.”)
There may not be a director alive who is as open to confrontation as Herzog, but who is also open to reconciliation. (This is the guy who pledged to eat his shoe if Errol Morris made a movie, and then did, on stage.) Now the Guardian reports that Herzog said at Venice that the two “should meet up soon over a bottle of whisky,” which is kind, but also less explosive than I was hoping for.
And, wait, what’s this noise about iguanas? Is this also Herzog’s mini-budget Godzilla homage? Potentially spoilerish details after the jump.
In Contention‘s review of the film makes Bad Lieutenant sound even crazier than I would have expected:
An iguana bursts into a bluesy rendition of Engelbert Humperdinck’s “Release Me!” Nicolas Cage shares his lucky crack pipe! A man’s soul breakdances after its owner is fatally shot! Iguanas! Nicolas Cage cuts off an octogenarian woman’s oxygen supply! More freaky shit involving iguanas!
Herzog addresses a question about the animals, also as quoted in the Guardian. Confirming that the whole iguana thing, which is evidently part of a set of fantasy scenes, was his idea, he said “I always like to cast animals in my films, and iguanas are so stupid and bizarre I just love them. I don’t know why I did it. But they are the best moments in the film.” Better than Nic Cage’s hair and his crack pipe? Lord, I can’t wait.