Controversial German director Werner Herzog helmed this cinematization of Woyzeck, playwright Georg Büchner's anti-military tale of depersonalization run amok. Utilizing the more grotesque elements of German expressionism, combined with his own sense of the outrageous, Herzog plunges us directly into the middle of his story of a soldier (Klaus Kinski) who is conditioned to be an unthinking killing machine through lab experimentation. His one vestige of humanity is his love for the beautiful Marie (Eva Mattes), but even this is corrupted when he is goaded into murdering the girl. An earlier film version of Woyzeck, filmed in 1947, was released in the U.S. in 1981.
by Hal Erickson synopsis