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Most Disturbing Documentaries

Some people are overly sensitive towards certain topics although they are able to tolerate the vast majority of images that routinely assault their eyes. A small percentage of viewers would find nearly everything too disturbing for their delicate neurotransmitters. Individuals living at the extreme end of the spectrum constantly crave the stimulation provided by violently gory still images and moving pictures. They are extremely excited by such disgusting or nauseating graphics. A certain documentary may seem quite benign to a seemingly unremarkable individual…however the person sitting next to that viewer may suffer from a mild heart attack because he/she has become so upset due to the disturbing nature of that documentary.

Some of the most disturbing documentaries are very upfront about their content. Bold letters and stern voices spell out their dire warnings. These types of documentaries usually fall into three categories: people, places and particular events. Evil people have often risen from obscurity. Their tainted thoughts have contaminated entire populaces. They thoroughly twisted people’s mild-mannered mindsets. Until undying terror and unimaginable atrocities had effortlessly mixed with everyday politics and culture. Reporters, visionaries, historians and survivors of such bedlam have frequently united in order to present remarkable retellings of some of the most disturbing and debilitating milestones that have ever been recorded from man’s past and present. Leaving volumes of uneasy spectacles for unsuspecting generations from the near or distant future.

“Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About his Father” is devastatingly disturbing. Obviously, it’s all true because the dead man’s dear friend had been crafting this cinematic masterpiece ever since they were both youngsters. Friendship between the dedicated documentarian and the deceased doctor led to this splendid magnum opus. The fiendish reaction to a broken romantic entanglement between two physicians led to the murder of Dr. Andrew Bagby then another murder/suicide involving his former lover and their thirteen month old son. Zachary. This film is a juicy juggernaut encompassing journalism and justice. Both are shoved into a blender, creating a horrifying elixir. The purest form of true crime drama. This surreal gem was released on October 31, 2008. This website, http://www.dearzachary.com/,will provide additional details regarding this disconcerting documentary. 

One of the very worst yet one of the most fascinating documentaries is entitled “A history of punishment and torture from ancient Roman times, through the Inquisition, to contemporary times and forms of punishment”. This is a comprehensive glance into individual acts of extreme torture and excruciatingly cruel forms of punishment encompassing many different peoples, places and particular events throughought humanity’s horrible past. This eerie extravaganza features a variety of graphic depictions of death. People being beheaded and dismembered. Detailed paintings depicting the ancient Romans who routinely pitted men against beasts.

This documentary could be considered as very disturbing because it demonstrates how societies effortlessly blended capital punishment with mass entertainment. Criminals became superstars for short periods of time. Their public executions were both appalling and tantalizing to ancient audiences. But they were ultimately disturbing. Man had lost his inhumanity. He’d become numb to his compassionate nature.

“Titicut Follies” would fall underneath the torture and punishment category. Human beings have been horribly victimized. They’ve been stripped of their dignity and their clothing (in public). Left to wallow in their own filth while suffering in poorly lit cells. This documentary demonstrates the horrible living conditions endured by criminally insane inmates during the 1960s at an inhumane institution in Massachusetts.

The following link allows one to download the 1958 documentary of this demonic dictator. Adolph Hitler impacted the history of the world in such a horrendous manner…that his vile actions and ideologies will never be forgotten. This documentary has fallen into the pit of “public domain”. It included footage shot by Hitler’s mistress and also interviews with Hitler’s own sister. Here’s the Hitler link: http://torrentfreak.com/documentary-the-secret-life-of-adolf-hitler/.

Other evil despots have also been the subjects of numerous documentaries. People are drawn to these warped individuals who exude endless charisma. The magnetism continues long after their deaths. Educators, students, historians and many others are continually fascinated with brilliant minds that were solely used for greed, corruption and endless acts of ruthless and deadly debauchery.

A trilogy of terror earns a spot on this list of undesirables. “Most Evil”, “America’s Serial Killers: Portraits in Evil” and “Serial Killers: Real Life Hannibal Lecters” These memorable documentaries effortlessly turn sordid headlines of emotionally-disturbed killers into unforgettable nightmares. Within the safe sanctuaries of  cozy bedrooms and comfy living rooms, this disturbing trio would definitely horrify many folks. Viewers need not observe any of the actual graphics stemming from any of these gruesome murder scenes. One can still feel the full effects of such catastrophic crimes through other means. Attentively listening to many horrific descriptions of such merciless acts will automatically ensure that one has a lifetime stash of gory memories. But incredible renderings from forensic artists and cold, hard facts from aging newspapers splashed across large television screens…definitely function as unpleasant globs of superglue. Effectively cementing information attacking viewers’ visual and auditory senses.

Serial killers’ lives and victims are very disturbing. But death on a massive scale is horribly atrocious. War is appalling. Especially when neighbors are at war with one another. Civil wars have occurred in every nation.  Documentaries regarding these terrible times make people relive the terror, pain and agony that their ancestors had suffered. Possibly, people feel extreme guilt because the cycle of violence is a continual threat. Neighboring nations routinely wage war with one another due to many factors including: greed, religious and political differences or extreme nationalism run amok. “Nuit et brouillard” means “Night and fog” in French. It is a 1955 documentary. One could say it is actually a short horror film. Since it features the hellish scenes from the Holocaust. It was made by two people who actually survived this horrible period in history. It is very graphic. Disturbing images that viewers could never possibly forget.

“Crumb” deals with a famous underground comic book artist and his family. Robert Crumb is an atypical genius who is less than fond of mainstream society. He’s in a category all by himself.

Torture and death aren’t the only disturbing images and events that are revolting to human beings around the world. “Pornography – The Secret History of Civilisation follows the 2,000 year trail of sexual activity from Pompeiian walls to modern times revolving around the internet.  “Thinking XXX” is another documentary dealing with pornographic actors and actresses. No actual footage has been included. But this documentary would be highly disturbing to conservative viewers. This documentary would also be disturbing for young children. They would be listening to conversations regarding topics that they’d never been exposed to before. Hearing words and phrases that were unfamiliar to them. This documentary would be confusing to young viewers so it could end up having a very disturbing impact on these young minds. “Zoo” is disquieting because it deals with sexual perversion. The title tells the tale. But only part of it. Kenneth Pinyan was an anonymous engineer until his death. Then details regarding his demise leaked out. He’d had an obsessive fascination with horses which proved to be fatal.

Medical documentaries are also disturbing. Authentic and artistic. Yet diabolically disturbing. Skin has been peeled away from afflicted individuals…revealing unappealing diseases, internal destruction and mysterious disorders. Surgeons and scientists dig through the gore, educating while operating. With extreme skill and determination. These documentaries disturb us. They also frighten us. Because some day, we may be similar such patients, laid on the sterile tables, undergoing grueling operations and painful procedures.

This website seems to be dabbling in some sort of horrific science fiction but unfortunately it all could be quite true. “The Disappearing Male has appeared right here: http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/doczone/2008/disappearingmale/. Baby boys may become toxic toddlers then tainted teens. Young males are increasingly suffering from disturbing diseases and disorders due to seemingly innocent chemicals that are found in ordinary items such as shampoo, sunglasses, various food products, carpeting and cosmetics. Even baby bottles have been contaminated. Vital building blocks dealing with human development may be negatively impacted by all those harmful ingredients. Eventually, male fertility rates could really suffer. Humanity would then succumb to extinction. This documentary sheds light on probable culprits for many problems suffered by males.

Other types of documentaries that are also disturbing deal with terrorism and natural disasters. Victims seldom knew, in advance, what was going to happen to them. Viewers often choose to avert their eyes when these documentaries are being shown on television. The devastation displayed on the screens is too overwhelming. The grief etched on the faces of the survivors is too unbearable to grasp. The rows of victims. Covered with blankets and sheets leaves everyone with an enormous amount of distress. “The Hellstrom Chronicle” seems to fit into its own exclusive category. It is part science fiction and part documentary. A struggle between insects and human beings.

Civilization has been continually contaminated by controversy. Well-meaning documentaries dealing with religious, political and artistic themes will often offend others with their disturbing content. Disturbing documentaries definitely enlighten, entertain and educate everyone whether or not any of these individuals would actually admit to any positive effects from viewing them. Channel surfers will find many different documentaries airing…day and night. Documentaries are all over the internet. Free or for a fee.

One site has created a comprehensive video list, http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2010/09/whats-up-doc-the-15-most-disturbing-documentaries-of-all-time/#gallery , which effectively showcases their fifteen selections for the most disturbing documentaries of all time: Dear Zachary (2008), S&Man (2006), Hell House (2001), Jesus Camp (2006), Black Tar Heroin: The Dark End of the Street (2000), Mondo Cane (1962), Titicut Follies (1967), Zoo (2007), Cropsey (2009), Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred Leuchter, Jr. (1999), Capturing the Friedmans (2003), Brother’s Keeper (1992), The Hellstrom Chronicle (1971), Wisconsin Death Trip (1999) and finally Crumb (1994).

The gruesome genre of disturbed documentaries will never die as long as humanity clings to its feral fascination with peculiar people, painful places and particularly putrid episodes from the past and present.