I have long thought of Werner Herzog as a bit of a roffler, albeit one of a wry and ironic nature. Last night I saw his film Encounters at the End of the World, making the astonishing discovery that there are many people out there who find Herzog side-splittingly hilarious. These were, of course, people in the audience, not in the film. A particular offender was some woman who would cackle away maniacally at pretty much everything that Herzog said or showed on screen. She was not the only one. The guffawing and oafish frat boy a little bit to my left was another candidate for instant justice, but it was the cackling witch who most made me regret my decision to see the film. Compared to her, Viz Comic's Fat Slags giggle like virginal schoolgirls, and she subjected us to her deranged laughter at every opportunity. "Here is an English vulcanologist," said Mr Herzog. "HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!" she responded. "This man is an expert on seals." "HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!" "This confused penguin is marching to certain death." "HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!"
I have always thought that there is something of the mentalist about people who shun the cinema, but maybe I am starting to see their point of view. For all that, I still recommend seeing this film. It is worth seeing in the cinema, even though you run the risk of being stuck among amused munters, as it is the kind of picture that really gains from being seen on the big screen.