Truth is stranger than fiction and I’ll take raw struggle over shitty CGI any day. That’s why I love a good documentary; they’re less oppressive than scripted narratives and often pack double the drama. I’m not referring to the Ken Burns-type of edutainment you watched in social studies, but rather the stark portrayals of human existence that mainstream Hollywood tends to shy away from. So yeah, I like to watch fucked-up films about fucked up people. Stick to Seinfeld re-runs for falling asleep, here are the 7 Craziest Documentaries of All Time*.
(*More like of recent times, but I wanted to limit it to Netflix and YouTube-ready fare)
7. Anything from VICE
Don’t label them hipsters. The VICE staff is the ballsiest in journalism today. From running drills with cannibal child soldiers in Liberia to searching for the last dinosaur in the Congo, there is no place on the globe where Shane Smith and his team won’t go (Okay, so they spend a lot of time in Africa). Remember Sports Illustrated for Kids? VICE is like CNN for millennials, exposing viewers to the fringe cultures and multicultural mayhem that Big News would rather avoid.
6. The Hollywood Complex
Every year, thousands of child actors flock to LA during pilot season for a chance at showbiz. 99% of them fail miserably. This film captures it all, from the obsessive stage parents to the creepy casting agents to the painfully optimistic kids themselves. The parent of the year award goes to the mom who gets her six-year-old to cry for a spot in a Lifetime movie by thinking about her dead brother.
This was the go-to bugout film in my frat house. A bunch of overly baked finance majors denouncing their religions and shredding their credit cards. Okay, so it might be a bunch of bullshit, but Zeitgeist became a cultural phenomenon. “OPEN YOUR EYES, BEFORE YOU’RE ENSLAVED BY THE NEW WORLD ORDER! Alright, back to Madden”.
4. Jesus Camp
We condemn radical Islamists for brainwashing their youth. They’re just not doing it right! Even band camp kids think Jesus camp kids are freaks. Who needs arts and crafts when you can foam at the mouth over a cardboard cut-out of George W. Bush?
3. Dark Days
Dark Days is truly tragic. I live in New York City, so I’ve encountered all kinds of homelessness; from drunks with funny signs to those in real need of help. But nothing is more heart wrenching than the plight of the subjects in this film. Mole people are real, and it’s no joke.
2. Capturing the Friedmans
We’re all familiar with the tale of a neighborhood pedophile. This film takes a different route; chronicling the complete destruction of accused’s family. Whether Arthur Friedman did it or not is still unclear, but the aftermath is absolutely devastating. The damage of diddling knows no limits.
Remember that urban legend about that guy that fucked a horse and died? It’s not an urban legend. And it’s the single most stomach-churning story you’ll ever watch. I got through half of this film before going fetal and telling myself the world is still a good place. You’ve been warned. Maybe you should save this one for the second date. Regardless, if you can find a more disturbing piece of footage, you probably don’t belong on BroBible.
Got any other crazy docs? I’d love to hear about ‘em. Unless it’s that Lil Wayne one. No one cares bro. I get it. He likes syrup almost as much as vagina. Leave your thoughts in the Comments Section!!!