A group of inhabitants of a correctional colony for people of small stature raises a riot against the local order. Tired of adhering to the many rules that require good behavior from them, they decide to become bad. Their immediate leader (also a dwarf) is forced to take refuge in one of the premises while waiting for the police to arrive. Meanwhile, the rioters are having fun: they beat dishes and glasses, start a car and eventually break it, kill a big pig, scoff at blind dwarfs living next door, arrange cockfights, set fire to flowerpots with their favorite colors, and so on.Written by
Werner Herzog made his madman mark with this, his second feature film. Inmates at some sort of institution take over for hilarious and anarchic results. You laugh for a while until it sinks in. The haunting tone, other world locations and sympathy with those on the edge of society set the scene for Herzog's later and better-known masterpieces AGUIRRE and MYSTERY OF KASPAR HAUSER. The German director doesn't exploit outcasts; he loves and defends them, showing that normal people are the ones with something to prove. He insists that it is not the actors who are small, but "the world that has gotten out of shape." Filming was rough: one actor was run over by the driver-less car in the film and another caught on fire. Herzog promised the actors that at the end of shooting he would jump into a spiny cactus to show his understanding. He still has some of the needles in his leg. But this won't appeal to a lot of the usual trash film hounds, as they really want the mainstream versions of "edgy".
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