Picks and Pans Review: Mr. Death: the Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.
In Mr. Death, documentarian Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line) trains his unblinking camera on geeky Fred A. Leuchter Jr. and lets him talk and talk and talk. Leuchter proudly explains how he went from repairing electric chairs to designing them, then on to building lethal-injection machines in an oxymoronic attempt to make executions more humane. He didn't stop there. Based on scant scientific training and evidence (the failure of a lab to find significant traces of gas on wall fragments Leuchter covertly removed from an Auschwitz death chamber), he declared the Holocaust a fiction. By the end of this fascinating film, Leuchter has been revealed as a pathetic, clueless—and dangerous—dweeb. (PG-13)
Bottom Line: Chilling portrait