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Werner Herzog's Doc 'Into The Abyss' Spawns Investigation Discovery Series 'On Death Row'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 17, 2012 at 3:33PM

Though it starts with squirrels and ends with hummingbirds, Werner Herzog's latest documentary effort "Into The Abyss" is easily the most straightforward of his career, but is no less powerful as a result. The film investigates a triple homicide from all angles, with Herzog not only interviewing the perpetrators including the charismatic Michael Perry, but also the relatives of the victims, and surprisingly, the wife of one of the three charged with the crime who only met her husband after he landed in jail. Well, there's going to be lots more to come.
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Into The Abyss

Though it starts with squirrels and ends with hummingbirds, Werner Herzog's latest documentary effort "Into The Abyss" is easily the most straightforward of his career, but is no less powerful as a result. The film investigates a triple homicide from all angles, with Herzog not only interviewing the perpetrators including the charismatic Michael Perry, but also the relatives of the victims, and surprisingly, the wife of one of the three charged with the crime who only met her husband after he landed in jail. Well, there's going to be lots more to come.

Last fall, Herzog revealed that he had actually made four films based on death row inmates, and it looks like we'll get to see them soon. At the Television Critics Association, Herzog told Deadline that the films will be coming to Investigation Discovery later this year in a series titled "On Death Row." The films will continue to see Herzog interviewing those on death row in Texas and Florida, with exact details not yet known.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of "Into The Abyss" was Herzog making very clear his stance on the death row issue (he's against it), even going so far as to ask one of the daughter of one of the victims if life without parole would have been an alternative option to lethal injection, for a sense of justice to be served (we'll let you see the film to discover her answer). We're guessing he'll continue to inject his commentary but perhaps the most striking thing about "Into The Abyss" was Herzog's ability to capture the most absurd details from the intersection of life and death and reverberations of the murders he investigates. To put it simply, it's Herzog-ian.

We'll be fascinated to see results, and more Herzog is always a good thing. No word yet on exact air dates.

This article is related to: Werner Herzog, Into The Abyss, On Death Row


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