Erik Jan Hanussen - a fraudulent Danish mesmerist in Weimar Germany 70 years ago finds his pro-Nazi prophecies earn him celebrity, while his sidekick is a Polish Jew who reluctantly dons Roman armour and a wig to become 'Aryan'.
Inspired by events that took place 70 years ago in Weimar Germany, the story of Erik Jan Hanussen - a fraudulent Danish mesmerist whose pro-Nazi prophecies earned him celebrity - has already been filmed to good effect by Istvan Szabo. Thus, Tim Roth's impersonation pales beside Klaus Maria Brandauer's, while Werner Herzog is left to make what he can of the less intriguing tale of a Polish Jew who reluctantly donned Roman armour and a wig to became Hanussen's 'Aryan' sidekick.
Returning to features after a documentaries sabbatical, Herzog profitably mines such themes as ruinous obsession, the exploitation of freakish nature, alternative states of consciousness and the plight of the outsider. But the atrocious dubbing and Jouko Ahola's luggish performance confound an already deeply flawed film.
Aside from being a rather unnecessary endeavour, this is additionally marred by technical negligence.