“The sun dimmeth, the land sinketh, gusheth forth steam and gutting fire,” intones German auteur Werner Herzog, quoting Norse poetry and reminding us that he maketh a great narrator, in the first trailer for Into the Inferno. Herzog teams up with volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer, who he first met while filming Encounters at the End of the World, for the director’s new Netflix documentary about volcanoes. Herzog and Oppenheimer travel to Indonesia, Ethiopia, Iceland, and even North Korea to explore the geological phenomena, learn about human belief systems surrounding volcanoes, and stand dangerously close to open pits of fiery magma.
Herzog is a great devotee of volcanoes. His 1977 documentary, La Soufrière, examines the lingering inhabitants of Guadeloupe, where an imminent volcanic eruption forced an evacuation. Meanwhile, Herzog’s new scripted thriller, Salt and Fire, revolves around the nefarious plot surrounding a supervolcano. While reviews for Salt and Fire have been mixed so far, Into the Inferno, which premiered at the Telluride Film Festival last month, has gotten raves. And hey, we’re happy as long as we get to hear Herzog say things like, “To the heavens soared the hurtling flames of the mighty gods, the engulfing doom.”
Into the Inferno heads to Netflix Oct. 28.