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Into the Abyss

A Tale of Death, A Tale of Life
(DVD - 2012 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Into the Abyss
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In his fascinating exploration of a triple homicide case iin Conroe, Texas, master filmmaker Werner Herzog probes the human psyche to explore why people kill, and why a state kills. As he's so often done before, Herzog's investigation unveils layers of humanity, making an enlightening trip out of ominous territory.
Title: Into the abyss
a tale of death, a tale of life
[videorecording (DVD)]
Publisher: New York : IFC Films, [2012]
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (107 min.) :,sd., col. ;,4 3/4 in.
Summary: In his fascinating exploration of a triple homicide case iin Conroe, Texas, master filmmaker Werner Herzog probes the human psyche to explore why people kill, and why a state kills. As he's so often done before, Herzog's investigation unveils layers of humanity, making an enlightening trip out of ominous territory.
Audience: MPAA rating PG-13 for mature thematic material and some disturbing images.
ISBN: 9780788614699
078861469X
Statement of Responsibility: Creative Differences and Skellig Rock in association with Spring Films and Werner Herzog Film present ; produced by Erik Nelson ; written and directed by Werner Herzog
Performers: Jason Burkett, Werner Herzog, Michael Perry.
System Details: DVD, anamorphic widescreen (1.78:1); NTSC, region 1, Dolby Digital 5.1.
Other Language: English dialogue; optional Spanish subtitles; English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Subject Headings: Perry, Michael, -2010 Burkett, Jason. Death row inmates Texas Conroe. Murder Psychological aspects. Capital punishment United States.
Genre/Form: Documentary films.
Nonfiction films
Topical Term: Death row inmates
Murder
Capital punishment
Publisher No: IFC9345
10710675
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Jun 23, 2014
  • BloomFree rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Worth watching as a piece of the picture. I found the young man who did not get a death sentence the most creepy - he wants 50 children and to be a father when he wont be out until 2041???!!!! The girlfriend who became his wife creeped me out also. Very sad - tragic death - no one should have to die to steal an automobile -- that is just dumb. Had they thought about covering their faces and taking the car?? Did they really think at all?

Feb 21, 2013
  • rationallady rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I was most affected by the humanity of the executioner who finally couldn't do it anymore and gave up his pension because he couldn't.

Jan 21, 2013
  • Monolith rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

So many things to say... I was waiting for Perry and/or Burkett to show some remorse; some glint of human compassion for those poor souls who died so horribly. Nothing. Didn't happen. But then, *everyone* in prison is 'innocent', and they have to watch what they say, as it could be considered incriminating, and an admission of guilt, I suppose. Perry's eyes were scary -- I saw evil in him. Not as much with Burkett, but he is where he belongs. And, oh yeah -- his "wife". His inmate groupie. What a nauseatingly pathetic individual she is. Giggling like a schoolgirl about her infatuation with an incarcerated violent convict. Absolutely stomach turning. Lonely, lonely, unstable woman. My heart goes out to Lisa Stolter-Balloun, SO much loss in her life, and she somehow finds the strength to soldier on. God bless her. So much pain. For what? A Camaro?!? Props to damaged and healing ex death row captain, Fred Allen, too, for following his heart instead of his pension. That must've been a helluva frightening move to make. Quite an affecting piece from Herzog. My 2nd of his documentaries. (My introduction to the man's work was "Cave of Forgotten Dreams", of which the subject matter was astonishing. His presentation of it, however... Well...) It definitely won't be my last.

Jan 16, 2013
  • clover05 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Very compelling and well done documentary. While Herzog has his own feelings about the death penalty he allows the film to unfold without any strident point of view being expressed. The extraordinarily senseless nature of the crime involved and the various personal stories of those being interviewed combine in a way that shows how random life can be turned upside down for all involved. Though there are brief (almost) comedic moments in listening to some of the characters being interviewed, it is interesting to note the levels of personal insight coming from some of the least expected sources. Listening to the one father, a lifer in prison, talk about his son and his failures as a parent is presented matter of factly, but perhaps more powerful because of that. Very recommended.

Nov 17, 2012
  • mythoughts rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I agree with what everyone else has said on this one.

Aug 06, 2012
  • toby65 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Very moving account of crime and punishment in the state of Texas. Brilliant.

Aug 02, 2012
  • jpozenel rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Like watching a train wreck. You might not like what you see, but it's nearly impossible to look away.

Jul 20, 2012
  • aaa5756 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Very well done movie I would recommend this movie for all to see. No fast forwarding on this one.

Jul 18, 2012
  • pronto1961 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

articulate, blunt, disturbing, tragic. herzog is a genius.

Jul 06, 2012
  • voisjoe1 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Into the Abyss by the great director Werner Herzog is a documentary that showcases the story of some low intelligence young men that kill a family to steal a car. The movie explores the relationships of the killers, the victims and the executioner and asks the question, is it a good thing for America that Texas executes so many, many individuals each year.

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Jan 21, 2013
  • Monolith rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Fred Allen: "I just make sure, somebody told me about the... to live your 'dash'. And that's, really, after all this... that I went through, and quit, and everything, I heard the story, they're tellin' me "live your dash". How do you, how are you gonna "live your dash"? And I didn't understand, what are you talkin' 'bout, "dash"? It's on your tombstone. You got your birthdate, and the day that you's (sic) deceased, and you got that little dash in the middle. That's your life, right there. That's your, that's everything from the time you was born, and the time you die. How are you gonna live your dash? And that's where I'm at now. I'm gonna live... my dash, and make sure that everything... Try to make everything right for the family -- everybody. Hold still and... watch the birds."

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