This is commonly considered Herzog and Kinski's least good partnership together, and if so, neither of them has anything to be ashamed of. It's not a masterpiece like their best; the character of Cobra Verde is too frustratingly vague to pull off the arc completely. But it's rich in spectacle, and its view of human nature as inherently cutthroat (but also inherently conflicted) is a worthy addition to Herzog's canon.
The final Herzog/Kinski, at once the most pared-down and the most extreme. This may be because it seems to be a film made by Kinski himself, where a world of madness and suffering can only be made sense of from a mad and suffering viewpoint. Likewise, the threadbare and barren scenes showing elements of colonial life give way to opulent crowd scenes, where exuberance and death dance often joyfully together. 3.5*
The first half of the film is stunning, and promises to be the best of the Herzog/Kinski films, but then it switches locations to Africa and kind of falls apart. Kinski fades into the background and we're treated to some visually sumptuous albeit fluffy scenes of Africans dancing. Pretty, yes, but not much in the way of plot. The scenes of decrepit mansions in Brazil's countryside are far more striking.
The final Herzog/Kinski collaboration was another tale of madness, determination and colonialism that resulted in their most under-rated feature. Kinski plays a bandit turned slave trader who is manipulated into going to Africa to restart the slave trade after many countries have outlawed it finding himself at the mercy of a mad King once settled. Bold filmmaking and a riveting turn by Kinski.
Another strange and surrealistically poetic historical epic from legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog. Klaus Kinski looks a bit past his prime this time around (in their last collaboration), but he brings his usual intensity to the role. Fantastic locations imagery makes for some unforgettable moments.
This must have been set around 1830's, but according to Wikipedia: "Although slavery is now abolished de jure in all countries, de facto practices akin to it continue today in many places throughout the world." The girl chorus at the end is a gem in itself... and well, Kinsky is just simply too much in himself!
How Werner Herzog pulled of his larger-than-life historical epics I cannot understand. The sheer willpower used to illustrate the incredibly complicated, richly absurd arena of the slave trade in its last years would have put most filmmakers in the grave. Klaus Kinski is yet again a box of dynamite, trudging through the picture with the ferocity of an enraged activist vying for our edification.