There’s always been something a little villainous about Werner Herzog. Where others perceive harmony, the German auteur hears only “obscenity” and “overwhelming misery.” Where others see kinship and mercy, the filmmaker sees “only the overwhelming indifference of nature.” He is frequently described as “mad” and a “genius,” and he always has an arch nemesis: before, actor Klaus Kinski (whom he claims he once tried to murder with a firebomb) and lately, chickens.
Hollywood has begun to pick up on this quality in recent years (along with the charm of his distinctive Bavarian accent), even casting Herzog opposite Tom Cruise in an action thriller. But Herzog’s first appearance as a Hollywood villain in many ways came earlier, in Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger, which gets a sequel this week. For that movie, actor Hugo Weaving arrived upon his characterization of the sinister Red Skull in large part by studying Herzog.
Just how closely did he capture the spirit of the auteur? We’ve assembled 12 audio clips, some from Red Skull, and some from Herzog’s screen appearances. For each question, click play to hear the clip, and try to identify: Was that the German mad genius, or was it Red Skull?
TODAY IN SLATE
Meet the New Bosses
How the Republicans would run the Senate.
The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.
Why all cracker names sound alike.
Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom
This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059
- Protesters Take to the Streets to Sound Alarm on Climate Change in New York, Across the World
- Knife-Carrying White House Jumper is Vet who Feared “Atmosphere Was Collapsing”
- North Korea: American Sentenced to Hard Labor Wanted to Become “Second Snowden”
- Almost One in Four Americans Support Idea of Splitting From the Union
Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?
A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.