HOLLYWOOD – Our intrepid Austrian correspondent, Rescue Dawn director Werner Herzog, visited Disneyland. This is his report.

First of all there is one matter that I fear must be resolved, or at the very least clarified.

Disneyland is not a land as such. Not the way Iceland, or Greenland, or – Lord helps us all – even England are lands. That is large country sized extents of terrain.

No. Disneyland is more like a large park situated near the town of Anaheim in California.

So we begin our journey with lies.

And unlike the aforementioned lands, you have to buy a ticket to enter this ‘land’ and the ticket is very, very expensive. But buy a ticket I did, for I was determined to use my utmost strength to understand a phenomena that had up until now eluded the transom of my being. I started with Space Mountain.

It was spectacular. A roller-coaster inside a building. Exhilarating and claustrophobic, precisely the emotional state I was in directing Christian Bale.

From there I went for a breather in a place I have always enjoyed sleeping. The cinema. But what’s this? Michael Jackson in some ill-advised acting role? Captain EO? I ululated in the way Arab women do when in the deepest grief and fled.  ‘Executive producer George Lucas and director Francis Ford Coppola changed the world when they released Captain EO in 1986,’ boasted the promotional material and I well believe it. A darkness entered the universe that has yet to be identified or eradicated.

Some comfort was to be attained by climbing the Matterhorn I hoped, but this proved to be a grave disappointment. Rather than encountering the dizzying adventures of  my youthful mountaineering adventures in Bavaria, the Matterhorn turned out to be simply another roller-coaster and the Pirates of the Caribbean was revealed to be a complete rip off the wonderfully original Johnny Depp/Keira Knightley movies. How can they sully that wonderful franchise with such dire commercial spin offs? Ditto the Haunted House.

Finally I took refuge in ‘It’s a Small World’. There was something stunning in the slow water cruise through a miasma of barely comprehensible sentimentality. I was Marlow heading up the river to confront Mr. Kurtz, the Hollow Man of exploitation and modern malaise. The children sang the Sherman brothers’ song at first as an anthem and then as a method of torture. It was water boarding for the ears and I was soon screaming along with all my fellow passengers.

I exited the ride a changed man. A sadder, frailer, more defeated version of the Werner Herzog of before. I was also, I am ashamed to say, very much under arrest.

For more wisdom from Werner Herzog, Click Here.


HOLLYWOOD -It was revealed yesterday that the new Hunger Games Experience at Disneyland, California might be having some teething problems in terms of safety issues.

Based on the Suzanne Collins authored film franchise, The Hunger Games, the attraction was opened in February of this year and so far has claimed 251 lives and left 578 people needing hospital attention. The Anaheim Police Department said that they had received several complaints but were reluctant to pursue the matter because ‘we don’t have anything concrete yet’:

We often get a lot of complaints when a new ride opens. People feel dizzy, people get anxiety attacks. Usually – I’d say 9 times out of 10 – it’s just some jackass looking to bring a suit and earn themselves some money. This time, it is true, there have been a number of fatalities, but ultimately isn’t that a quite reasonable price to pay for what otherwise is wholesome family entertainment.  

The Hunger Games Experience occupies a wild patch of wooded land the other side of Space Mountain. Ten members of the public enter the land from different ‘portals’ and race across open ground to a stash of weapons. Then they can choose to fight or run. Only one contestant is allowed to leave. The architect of the attraction – Joely Morris – went on the offensive against the critics:

We want to give the public the most authentic experience of Katniss Everdeen’s world and in a world full of fakery I believe we have actually managed to do that. And at Disney world!

But what about safety issues?

There is a height restriction. 

Jennifer Lawrence was unavailable for comment.  


HOLLYWOOD – Today at Disneyland, California, the latest attraction to be based on a Hollywood movie was unveiled: Das Boot: The Ride.

In the past, Disneyland has produced rides based on popular films such as the Indiana Jones ride and some rides have subsequently become films, most famously The Pirates of the Caribbean. But now Wolfgang Petersen’s amoral claustrophobic study of men at war in the depths of the ocean comes to life as an attraction for all the family (height restrictions do apply). 

Game designer Ziggy Paluchio told Studio Exec that this was:

The game we always dreamed of doing but never could do because of – you know – the Nazi associations and Walt never employed a Jew (if he could help it) and all that, but now, we thought, Hey, let’s just plunge people down to depths of several hundred metres and have rivets fire out at them. They will also have the crab powder and the farting competition. 

Das Boot is the first in a long line of attractions which will hopefully attract what Ziggy calls ‘the Criterion crowd’:

We have a new Wes Anderson ride. It does exactly what every other ride does but just two inches to the left. You don’t really enjoy it, but you pretend you do or people we hire shout at you for being dumb.

Das Boot is open from today.