6.7/10
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Wisconsin Death Trip (1999)

Not Rated | | Drama, History | 9 March 2000 (Denmark)
Wisconsin Death Trip is an intimate, shocking and sometimes hilarious account of the disasters that befell one small town in Wisconsin during the final decade of the 19th century. The film ... See full summary »

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3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Narrator (voice)
Jeffrey Golden ...
Editor (as Jeff Golden)
Jo Vukelich ...
Mary Sweeney
Marcus Monroe ...
Young Anderson
Marilyn White ...
Pauline L'Allemand
John Schneider ...
Asylum Clerk / Whispering Voice
John Baltes ...
Undertaker
Raeleen McMillion ...
Crying Woman
Krista Grambow ...
Mourning Woman
Clay Anton ...
Eloping Couple (male)
Bobbie Jo Westphal ...
Eloping Couple (female)
Scott Hulbert ...
Pouch
Zeke Dasho ...
Edgar L'Allemand
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kathryn Anderson ...
Mrs. Larson
Kevin Anderson ...
Larson Child
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Storyline

Wisconsin Death Trip is an intimate, shocking and sometimes hilarious account of the disasters that befell one small town in Wisconsin during the final decade of the 19th century. The film is inspired by Michael Lesy's book of the same name which was first published in 1973. Lesy discovered a striking archive of black and white photographs in the town of Black River Falls dating from the 1890s and married a selection of these images to extracts from the town's newspaper from the same decade. The effect was surprising and disturbing. The town of Black River Falls seems gripped by some peculiar malaise and the weekly news is dominated by bizarre tales of madness, eccentricity and violence amongst the local population. Suicide and murder are commonplace. People in the town are haunted by ghosts, possessed by devils and terrorized by teenage outlaws and arsonists. Like the book, the film is constructed entirely from authentic news reports from the Black River Falls' newspaper with ... Written by MAR

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Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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9 March 2000 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Kuoleman loukko  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Broadcast in the UK as part of the BBC's prestigious Arena (1975) series. See more »

Connections

Referenced in #PizzaGate: The Documentary (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Barcarolle
Written by Jacques Offenbach
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User Reviews

 
Arty documentary in search of a structure
1 October 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP is a one of a kind documentary experience that explores the odd series of violent deaths that plagued a rural Wisconsin town in the late 19th century. The filmmakers do away with the normal structure of a documentary - i.e. an explanatory narrative, talking head interviews and the like - to instead present a montage of reenactments showing these violent deaths in action.

So the reader is subjected to an endless barrage of black and white footage of farmers shooting their wives, wives shooting their husbands, suicide, violent behaviour, and people carted off to the asylum. The cinematography is vivid, spooky and atmospheric, bringing to mind German expressionist cinema of the 1920s, but there's little real meat here and virtually no explanation or structure. I wanted to hear more from historians, from psychologists, to explain the bizarre phenomenon but if you're looking for answers, WISCONSIN DEATH TRIP is oddly hollow. Watch it as a visual experience and a celebration of death, nothing more.


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