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Love Tiger King? Check Out These Other Riveting Documentaries

Love Tiger King? Check Out These Other Riveting Documentaries

Over the last couple of years, ever since around when Making a Murderer came out, the demand and thirst for true crime documentaries have shot through the roof. So the entertainment industry did what any savvy business entity would do, and they began pumping out insane amounts of true crime documentaries through multiple platforms and channels. 

However, it seems that no company has honed in on the true-crime fad as well as Netflix has. As I said, they kicked it off with Making a Murder, and have been going strong up until their latest release, Tiger King, which may be their biggest documentary hit yet. 

Tiger King

I’m sure there isn’t much of a need to explain Tiger King, considering that around 34 million people have watched it to date. Still, I’ll use it as a baseline to list the criteria of a successful true-crime documentary, in my eyes, at least. 


Colorful characters are the first thing, if I’m going to be watching these people for anywhere from 90 minutes to 7 hours, the subjects of the documentary better are interesting. Tiger King is a perfect example of this because it accomplishes what I think any great documentary should. That is not being able to figure out if this is real life or if everyone is just an actor, and feeling like I’m watching the best mockumentary ever made. 

Next is a murder, or some twisted plot of any sort, the genre is true crime, so therefore we need some crime. Tiger King has no shortage of crimes from murder for hire, illegal wild animal rackets, and cons coming from men who wear hats with bandannas under them like a real-life south park character.

And finally, you need a twist, or a few twists, which Tiger King also comes through with. I think the point of a good twist is to let it be a surprise, so I won’t expand upon them, but they are there. 


These aren’t the only criteria that make a documentary great, but as I said, it’s a good baseline when looking for your next binge-watch. 

Wild Wild Country

Wild Wild Country was the toned-down version of Tiger King in 2018, and while it had a cultural impact, it wasn’t propelled by the force of the whole world being locked away in their homes. 


Wild Wild Country follows the tale of a guru who attempted to build a utopia in the middle of the Oregon desert and the conflict that followed between his cult of followers and the conservative Oregon natives.

Wild Wild Country hits all the same points that Tiger King does, and the larger than life Joe Exotic character of Wild Wild Country comes in the form of a woman named Ma Anand Sheela. Sheela is the right hand of the guru Osho, who is the Doc Antle of Wild Wild Country, and Sheela is the taskmaster of the Rajneesh cult. Sheela conducted every illegal act that was committed by the Rajneesh people, and it’s amazing to see her reflect on all of these activities with the cold-blooded no regrets attitude that she carries. 

The crime is all there in Wild Wild Country, and while I don’t want to spoil anything, I will tell you that you have mass poisonings to look forward to, you will see cult members fitted out with military-grade weapons and equipment, and of course, there are murder plots and a fair amount of drug use.  


The twists are also there, and they come in many different forms at different times. And without giving too much away, I will say that the most touching twist to see is how all the cult members who didn’t know about the illegal activities going on, we’re completely gutted when they found out the reality of their situation.

I can’t recommend Wild Wild Country enough, and I hope all of you who haven’t seen it start streaming it immediately. 

See Also

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, hopefully, some of you have heard of this documentary, and those of you who haven’t you can thank me later. Paradise Lost was the original Making a Murderer, but it has a cathartic release that makes it all worth watching. I’m sure the people who were paying attention in real time had a much more bittersweet relationship with this story, though. 

Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills came out in 1996 and centered around the 1993 murders and sexual mutilation of three boys, in what appeared to be an occult ceremony. Three boys who were different because of their taste in music and clothing style were pinned as the culprits of this crime. And what ensued is a wild ride that wasn’t resolved until the third Paradise Lost installment, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, came out in 2011, 18 years after the initial crime, and 15 years after the first documentary. 


Paradise Lost was the first documentary I ever saw where 20 minutes in I couldn’t figure out if it was real or fake. Every single character in this series who is from Robin Hood Hills in Arkansas, is the most interesting person or most entertaining person I have ever seen. There are still certain snippets that I check out on Youtube to this day, about four years after I’d first seen Paradise Lost.

The crime is all there, as I said the story revolves around the horrific murder of three young boys and the trials that followed them. 

And with a series that takes place over 15 years, I’m sure its possible to guess that this story is a roller coaster ride of twists and turns. Sticking with the tradition of not giving too much away, especially this series, which I think is possibly the best documentary ever made, you want to go into it fresh. Just know that with every installment, which each came within 5-10 years of the last one, there are plenty of new developments. New suspects, drama with the trial, and the thing we all love, fresh evidence that validates specific theories we as viewers were forming as the story went on.


If you’re going to do anything during this quarantine, make sure watching Paradise Lost is that thing, you will not regret it. 

What documentaries have you hooked right now? Let us know in the comments below!

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