The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker (2023) Poster

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So this is difficult for me to review as a documentary
orcinussr10 January 2023
Normally, with a documentary you try to review the actual film more than the subject matter (which I understand is counterintuitive) even though with a documentary the subject is essentially 90 percent of the film - but in this case I can't get past the subject which is of course "Kai" and maybe moreso, the people who chose to interact with him - He's branded a hero for acting quickly, and rather impulsively but nonetheless effectively - now bear in mind that in the cold opening we learn that he goes from being lauded as a hero to the polar opposite and this is the point of the documentary. But as I watch I quickly become disgusted by two things, the first being how all these people with zero knowledge or experience of Kai, attempt to glom onto him for, essentially, financial gain - comments are made willy nilly about how he can be rich and famous or how everyone wants to be famous but this kids got 'it' and this one newscaster begins to lead the charge to, allegedly, aid Kai navigate these waters - as his abnormal psychometry begins to become apparent however, they quickly start to attempt to distance themselves from him - and the whole time I'm thinking to myself 'is anyone going to even attempt to help him, or get to know him or try and learn about his background and upbringing - does anyone care any further than how his viral fame can help them?? " it's horrifying! From Kimmel personally handing him 500 dollars no questions asked to people implying that his claims about his childhood are too far fetched to be true - why are we watching a young man, slip between the cracks in real time? In plain sight? In broad daylight? Why?? I'm actually dumbstruck by how humans behave in this film - from trying to D ride off of him to disavowing and discarding him - never to once offer him to see a Dr or any wellness.. Ugh.. Sorry I can't go on -
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This could make for great satire on modern media consumption if not for its murderous angles! [+54%]
arungeorge1312 January 2023
Here's yet another real life instance where internet and media virality doesn't equate to anything. Kai became famous as a life-saving internet hero, but just a few months later, he turned into the villain by beating a man to death. From the 90-minute material we have, it seems pretty obvious that he's got serious mental health issues, which gets covered up in the name of his supposedly heroic act and that there's a goofy charm to him. Also, he notably plays the guitar.

The media, alongside the reality television industry, only fueled his quirks and goofs. A quick listen to anyone who was with him for at least 24 hours or more, can tell you that there was something clearly off about the guy. His philosophical Facebook statuses were also a clear indication. Kai's mother's statements also appear to be questionable, and by her demeanor, it looked like she was relieved that she was no longer responsible for Kai's actions. To think so much of this problematic behaviour is formulated during childhood only makes matters worse. I wish this piece covered Kai as a person more, and not the internet-celebrity bits which are easily available elsewhere.

P. S - Why not let us in on the phonecall that Jessob gets from Kai while he's in prison? That would've made for the most interesting tail-end.
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Lacks depth or answers
eve_dolluk11 January 2023
Warning: Spoilers
If you are new to the story you may find this Documentary mildly interesting, Kai/Caleb is the main character yet this documentary fails to show anything much more than whats out there.

What it does show is a lot of TV people trying to act all humble abd aloof to what was clear as day from the start. They saw a potential money maker and attempted to reel in that cash cow to epic failure.

I think its pretty clear Kai had problems wether it be mental or just as a vulnerable roamer. He obviously hated the society he lived in and valued his idea of freedom, probably pretty close to freedom as anyone in the modern world can possibly get.

Like many homeless/Roamers there is always going to be vulnerable moments and times of insecurity. It seems he liked a drink and smoked weed but was pretty functional. You could see he was very disillusioned with society through his music, social media posts, the answers he gave to questions etc.

Of course he killed a man, nobody can say either way if this was in defence or if it was reactionary through being in an uncomfortable/ horrible or truly demeaning situation. Only one person alive knows this and thats Kai, here is nothing out there to suggest he is a cold blooded murderer however but he definitely killed a man.

People talk on this documentary saying things like I didn't think he was violent e.t.c. Its a weird thing to say as A. Virtually everyone is capable of violence, its part of our nature and its how we protect ourselves and others if needed B. The people who were saying this stuff literally took a man who used violence to protect someone else and wanted to put him on a tv show and parade around the man of the hr. Smashing a hatchet over someones head is violence, it may have saved someones life though.

There was a tiny bit of talk about the victim from some neighbours or friends. There was one tiny clip of Kai in prison talking about the trial.

The majority was a lot of jibber jabber from shark like TV people who looked like they were trying to clear their names or try and redeem their guilt but in reality they just wanted to sell a show to Netflix for some cash.

When you take this and compare it to other documentaries that have been on Netflix there is light years in between. This is a bit of light fluff that was less about the victims and more about the media vultures who came swooping, even then it wasnt interesting it was just a bit moronic and sad.

This entire story should be a moral one and the blurred lines that accompany that. There was scope to really explore themes such as violence as a form of defence, how we idolise people we deem to be heroes who are violent. How we deal we these things but learn to constrain our actions and why we do that.

But sadly no....

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More like a confession from people who crossed paths with him
ajbarm13 January 2023
It seems like an unintentional documentary on how the kid could have been rescued or helped with many chances to do so but all the people he kept crossing paths with only saw how they could benefit from him or cast him aside when they were done with their intents for him. Fairly crazy to look at these many people just act as if they don't know what they are doing, fairly mesmerizing, really. The pattern just keeps repeating from different people and even from the same people he crosses more than once, noone wants to see past themselves and face the reality that is in front of them basically screaming for help. What a sad society.
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The guy who discovered this kid used him to get rich
rwalk-217 January 2023
Interesting how the chubby sports reporter with the front tuck is now wearing thousand + dollar suits and spray tans while Kai rots in prison, yet he makes himself out to be some kind of Hero. Perfect example of how the media monster will chew you up and spit you out as long as it's for their own benefit. This could have been interesting but it simply hi-lights how shallow and self centered people can be. This guy is still making money off of Kai and what is he doing to help him? Getting his suits pressed and cleaning his pool? It's just sad. That dude needs to go to hell for this. Nuff said. Truly sad.
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exploitation station
bmoroncini13 January 2023
So this is a much ado about nothing situation. All this people who are trying to make a buck off of this neuro-atypical kid are disgusting. Of course they pretend to be looking out for him and to want to make him rich, but they could not care less about his well being. They just want to ride the wave of his viral moment. That is not a surprise. In fact nothing is a surprise in this doc, and all the moments that are presented as cliffhangers and mindblowing events are so predictable and ultimately uninteresting, because from the point of view of the ugly people trying to exploit him. If it had been a doc about him, his mental health, the relationship between that and his life choices, or the absence of such relationship, it would have been a much better doc. But the bottom line for this is "we could have made so much money out of him, but he is troubled for real, not just to entertain us."
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Why didn't anyone help him?
christinarivers14 January 2023
This documentary is heartbreaking and deeply disturbing to watch, but certainly not in the ways that it was intended to be. It was clear from the get-go that Kai was delusional and needed psychological help. Instead, the media sharks descended upon him and took advantage of him because they thought they could make money off of him.

What if they had looked at him as a human being with a horrendous childhood who was desperately in need of help, instead of only seeing him as their next cash cow? Would things have ended differently? They had an opportunity to really make a difference in this kid's life and they squandered it.

This isn't an indictment of Kai so much as it is an indictment of the bloodthirsty media who exploited him. And this documentary doesn't even have the self awareness to see that. Shame on every single person who chose to ignore the warning signs because they were so focused on the dollar signs! Disgusting!
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Monsters all of them... no not Kai.
ecmarmon19 January 2023
Warning: Spoilers
What do you get when you cross a mentally unhealthy transient with wealthy, gold digging and clueless people who want to exploit them?

Kai was never a hero. Shame on the newscaster. Shame on the reality tv producer. This kid needed mental health care, not a surfboard or to be interviewed. If the newscaster really cared about Kai, he would've got him help, not connected him with other media resources.

What was never asked is how many other people did Kai kill before the media turned him into a celebrity?

This story makes me very sad because he could've gotten help. The mother was not convincing.
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An Interesting Story That Lacks Depth
MadValkyrie11 January 2023
Having never heard of Kai before this documentary, I was really interested in hearing his story. Through interviews with news reporters and television producers, we get a picture painted of a young homeless man with a hippie-esque mentality who became a hero through seemingly justified violence. But as Kai's story progresses, we come to see that he is a more unbalanced and unpredictable person than was originally thought. When police and family are interviewed, we truly begin to see behind the veil of Kai's homeless hippie hero persona.

While this documentary starts off well with lengthy, balanced coverage of Kai's rise to fame vis social media, it falls flat when addressing the crime he is currently imprisoned for. The murder of Joseph Galfy almost seems like an afterthought compared to the build up of Kai's meteoric rise through the majority of the film. Many documentaries covering crimes and convictions of this nature feature interviews with psychologists and legal specialists to better illustrate the antagonist's clinical mental state and history but little is done to showcase this, save for limited interviews with his mother and cousin.

While the story is interesting, this execution of this documentary fails to give a fully balanced look at the entirety of Kai's rise and fall, leaving you saying "Wait, that's the end?".
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The creators profited off someone's mental health issue...
madmaywebdesign13 January 2023
Warning: Spoilers
I give it 6 stars because it shares a story... a story the producers of this film created by making this film!! Sadly it ruined the kids life. As for the documentary, everyone is labeling him as a hero, which you can make up your own mind, he saved life at the end of the day. However as the documentary progresses there are many people interacting with him and clearly he has mental health issues. Not ONCE is there mention of this nor does anyone attempt to get him help. Instead they search for ways to profit off him. It is just a spiral of events that perpetuated his unhealthy behaviors. He was completely exploited and the media, and especially the producers of this documentary, are to blame for the following events. It is clear to viewers that he needed help from the first 5 mins of the documentary but they chose to exploit him vs help him. So for that reason I give 1 star for the documentary BUT I will give it a 6 so people will watch and be aware of the injustice. The creators of this documentary were careless with a human life and could have help prevent the outcome!!!! But I guess that wouldn't sell would it? I hope people rally behind him after watching this and get his sentence reduced and move him to a mental health facility. This kid does NOT belong in prison.
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Painful Watch
pkchuwithaprtyhat14 January 2023
Warning: Spoilers
This documentary did not achieve what it set out to do. Instead of making an interesting documentary about viral sensation turned murderer, it instead managed to give a window into the merciless media exploitation, woeful mental health awareness and support, and broken criminal justice system in the USA. Its becomes an unintentional meta-documentary about this exploitation, an exploitation it participates in.

The first third consists of people in news and TV, execs, Kardashian producers, Jimmy Kimmel, etc. Summarizing Kai's rise to fame. These people cannot fathom that someone wouldn't want to be rich and famous. Therefore they completely misunderstand Kai's clear anti-rich anti-hollywood messsage (p*ssing on the walk of fame) and instead characterize him as dangerous and unstable. They talk about how hes clearly alcoholic and uses a lot of weed; the way the entice him to sign a contract is by promising a truck of weed to him. Despite Kai clearly needing some mental support and care they just see dollar signs.

The person who first interviews Kai (and his cameraman) are then revealed to have heard him sit on the curb and talk about his mental health, troubled upbringing, history of abuse. They exclaim their disbelief and talk about how they chose to ignore it, excluding it from the coverage. Everything these people say drips with their own monetary and career interest and no concern for Kai or his wellbeing.

Kai's childhood is explored briefly, but his claims of neglect and abuse are not ultimately proven or disproven. His mom, who is his alleged abuser, gets the last word for some reason as we move on without stopping to see if Kai maybe could have had a better chance at life, and how his foster care and ultimate homelessness (or home-freeness) came about. Next a man who met him at a bar says he overheard Kai saying that he spiked the weed in the car which caused the accident that launched him to fame - but the toxicology report completely refutes that... So what is the point?

We move into the murder case and despite Kai's claim of being r*ped, we only hear the investigators discuss the wounds and evidence of the murder itself. His story is given no credence, no word if Kai's claims are true or not. Why would this old lawyer have a 20 year old in his house in the first place? Its fishy and the only people to speak on the old mans character are his neighbours - dodgy.

The documentary ends on the depressing note that Kai is in a maximum security prison for 57 years. The documentary leaves no room for us to question this - though the man he fought off in the car accident gets 9 years in a mental health institution - something i guess was out of the question for Kai.

Coming out of a troubled home and childhood, out onto the streets living life his own way, Kai was thrust into this media frenzy of exploitation and chose to walk away from it while also literally p*ssing on the industry. He is one of many people to fall outside of the cruel system in the USA - no one caring for him, not getting proper support for his mental health and wellbeing, no one believing him, and the justice system doing what it does best - protecting wealthy white men. The documentary just capitalizes on this exploitation by handing money to everyone involved and not giving Kai's story a fair run on the screen.
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Watchable cautionary tale
sophiamarinova12 January 2023
I'm not sure I knew about Kai before watching this. It's a watchable documentary but the participants in it make all sorts of irritating biased claims that suit their angle. To begin with I personally did not think of Kai's behavior as heroic even for a split second. He seemed chaotic in his speaking, was showing how he hammered the other person with way too much enthusiasm and just showed signs immediately that he's someone to beware of. The fact that so many wanted to see him as a hero (and are still speaking as though he had that great charisma factor) and how the media sensationalized him should be a deeply disturbing commentary on the state of what society values at any time and how media plays a role. Since the story is real and interviews are somewhat interesting it was watchable. But unlike many other documentaries, I don't see much of a lesson learned or any critical discussion to stimulate ideas that are useful. The underexplored murder also cast a shadow on the elderly victim, and I felt that the victim may be victimized again. I don't know what happened but we're only hearing the side of the murderer. Not the best doc. And certainly a real story that none should be proud of particularly the media. Face up to the consequences of your decisions.
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Sad end to an amazing story
debbieannwalker-4028712 January 2023
Warning: Spoilers
I hate the way journos and filmmakers and reality TV producers climb out of their deep dark coffins and pretty much ruin someone's life. Yes Kai has his demons but I can't stop thinking that if that 'sports' journalist (notice how much better he looks now than in 2013 I call that cashing in) had let Kai go on his way that day and live his life then what played out over the 3 months just would not have happened. And once a kardashian producer gets involved I say start running and quick. Not one of them tried to get him help and then go even further to say his abuse story was over the top like WTF are these people on about how do they know did they live his childhood life? I am appalled about the treatment of him and I think his case needs looking into he needs psychiatric help. Its a shame, I wish I'd not watched it.
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No nose for news
jgreco711 January 2023
From the very beginning, almost from its inception, some sixty years ago, television has been denounced and derided, called everything from the idiot box to "a vast wasteland" (said Newton Minnow in 1961), and to--what some might say conclusively--"the nothing too much." Forging ahead into the 21st century, television--and now the internet--endures, much like Minnow's proclamation. Despite whatever good it has to offer, social media, as evidenced by Netflix's luridly titled documentary "The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker," amounts to the "nothing not enough."

It tells the unfortunate tale of fittingly self-named Kai, a mop-headed vagrant and titular "hero"--but really more like a budding Jeff Spicoli, backpacker, and merry wanderer, who has apparently rescued a woman by "smashing" (his word) her attacker on the head with a hatchet. The act in itself ought to be shocking to anyone with an ounce of common sense. However, to a local Fresno reporter dispatched to the scene, Kai is a far-out, cool dude--a bit wacky perhaps, but possibly the next internet sensation. Wow, this could be his ticket to fame and riches, another Paris Hilton or Kardashian, as if the world needs another of either of them.

But the real shocker here is what this reporter has failed to see--which his video clearly reveals--that before him is an extremely troubled, young man, maybe psychotic or schizophrenic--or at the very least, disturbed (the truth is far worse). Later on camera, but not televised, the young man talks about child abuse, torture, and rape. While the reporter thinks this might be true, he dismisses it (apparently he hasn't a nose for news). Lo and behold, Kai strums a guitar, sings a little, and is just off-key enough to go viral. And so he does (no surprise): before you can click or swipe, he's in Stephen Colbert's monologue and a guest on Jimmy Kimmel. Is there a duet with Justin Bieber in the offing?

Then the story takes a hard left sideways and the inevitable, awful truth is revealed. What unfolds is yet another typical America's most wanted unsolved murder, but with an unsettling twist. It's not that the hero is the villain, or the cause, celebre. It's not that it's either profound or revelatory, or even newsworthy. In the end, the hatchet wielding hitchhiker is nobody, not even a lingering thought. Because it's not about him. It's about the commodification of the abhorrent, the handiwork of media's staggering disingenuousness. So, the happy-go-lucky free spirit has had his fifteen minutes of infamy, but what does that say about those who aided and abetted him?
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What a mess
suego-4929319 January 2023
This documentary was a disaster from the outset. It was blatantly obvious to anyone with even the most rudimentary of intelligence that this kid was troubled and headed down a very bad road. I mean he bludgeons a man with an axe, three times in the head, and then is making jokes and being light-hearted just minutes later in an on-street interview. No mentally healthy person would act this way after a brutal act, no matter how justified it was. That was a huge first clue, with many more to come, that something was off with this young man.

So, why did that not stop the people around him from exploiting him and idolizing him? Because they were only looking out for their own selfish gain. They ignored every warning sign (and there were plenty!) because it didn't suit their own greedy agenda.

This whole show is a disgusting example of how our young generation will gloam into anyone, falsely idolize them and support them while those a bit older chose instead to try and capitalize on him. Not one of them actually tried to help him. Not one (even though a few tried to convince us that was their goal but it is painfully obvious it was not, it was for their own gain).

He is a mentally troubled young man and shame on those who saw this and still turned a blind eye. This includes celebrities, journalists, the public and even those in his own family among others. I honestly wish I had never watched this whole mess of a show. It is sad and disgusting all at once.
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An Interesting Look at the Complexity of Us
tkdlifemagazine13 January 2023
A decent and engaging documentary about a truly bizarre story. This one ties in viral videos and media sensationalism as Kai, the axe wielding hitchhiker turns from hero and media sweetheart to something very, very different. It is a real reminder to us that what we see on social media and instagram is a polaroid photo of someone's lie, not their life. Kai became a sensation for using his axe to save a victim of road rage and talking to the news in his candid self. As exposure to him increases there is more revealed about his nature-perhaps the nature that lead to him being homeless in the first place as a musically talented, funny hero. When someone talks in streams of consciousness are they brilliant or insane? I often complain that Netflix takes a good documentary story and drags it into 2 or 3 parts unnecessarily, but this one is tightly contained to 1 episode and that is a plus.
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Exploitation in a meta way (eye-roll)
donnanz-3767312 January 2023
A guy with mental health issues acts on impulse.

Media folk recognise the opportunity to exploit his seeming 'quirkiness', and line their own pockets.

The vacuous and self-serving people around him exploit him to make a quick buck, and as soon as his ACTUAL psych issues show, they back off and instead offer commentary on how they never really believed his schtick.

Caleb was a guy who was living his life in his 'own reality', who was then thrust into the cult of celebrity. This doc is a sad indictment of the mental health system in the States, along with exposing the repulsive heart of media exploitation. Especially that initial reporter who is still trading on the suffering of others.

The whole thing is simply gross.
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Shallow and morally reprehensible.
tupkczavvn27 January 2023
Everyone who came into contact with this vulnerable, profoundly unwell man should be ashamed of themselves. How did any of these blood-suckers think participating in this documentary was a good idea? If I participated in the exploitation of this young man, you better bet I would hide that fact from the world until the day I died. The unbridled glee that all these media figures have when recalling their time with Kai is disgusting. There is no self-reflection. No sense of responsibility. No question of what kind of role they played in Kai's downward spiral. NOTHING. They just cared about how they can monetize his existence and enable his dysfunctional behavior. If all of that doesn't sound stomach-turning enough, there is also an overwhelming amount of stigma and disdain for unhoused people. Half of this documentary is remarkably tone-deaf exploitation and the other half is your standard, unreliable Copaganda garbage. I almost turned it off as soon as the East Cost cops show up. Everyone was so quick to embrace Kai as a Meme Hero and then immediately wash their hands of him. Shame on you, random Fresno Nobody Sports Reporter for riding a mentally ill man's coattails to a career you don't deserve.
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This IS a tough watch...
GeorgeTinNYC17 January 2023
I'm only 40 minutes in and I'm HORRIFIED, at these producers, and publicists... who have NEVER, shockingly, dealt with mental health or social disorders. This man is CLEARLY manic, I'm not a doctor so I cannot diagnose him. However, his erratic behavior, his highs and lows, compulsive drinking are signs that he NEEDS help. However these people make his behavior seem like an issue ONLY as it concerns their means to an end. How are we going to make a show about him? How can we manage him?.... NOT one person is asking the right question of how can we HELP him? I DO NOT want to finish it because we know where this story leads. Instead of an intervention that could've saved the life of not ONLY future victims BUT of Kai will lead to these publicists and producers abandoning him as unmanageable. Leading to a murder. It really shows and doesn't truly dive to deep into this superficial culture that pushed them to seek him out and then turn their backs when he does not fit into the mold of a manageable talent. It is dark side that we often ignore in a society of, how can we exploit him and ignore all that we are seeing to achieve our goals in viewership and production instead of HELPING HIM.
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Murky story of media p*mps
mls418214 January 2023
When I first started watching this, I thought it might be a Mockumentary. It was all over the place and I found it obnoxious. As it progressed, it got better.

This story has few conclusions and leaves you with a lot of questions. I'm wondering if this guy got by being a hustler then snapped at one of his johns.

It is sad to see all the people who had no interest in him except when they thought they could make money off of him. I don't think any of them wanted to improve his lot in life or to get him psychological help. Granted, he did come across as a free spirit who could take care of himself, but when disturbing behavior came out, they all fled.

You want to feel sorry for him, but once a person hurts another in such a vicious way, I lose all empathy.
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The quick rise and fall of an internet sensation
paul-allaer12 January 2023
As "The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker" (2023 release; 85 min) opens, it is "February 1, 2013" and there is a bizarre scene in Fresno when a deranged/racist driver goes after a black woman. The driver's passenger, a young man named Kai, intervenes and saves the woman from a very dangerous situation, while along the way wielding a hatchet against the driver. A subsequent interview with a local TV reporter causes an immediate internet sensation and puts into motion a series of unexpected developments for Kai... At this point we are 10 minutes into the documentary.

Couple of comments: this is the latest documentary from director Colette Camden ("The Rise of the Anti-Vaxx Movement"). Here Camden looks back as the meteoric rise and subsequent equally fast fall of the internet sensation that was Kai Lawrence, a seemingly happy-go-lucky 'cool dude', oozing with charm. Then it turns out that there is much more to this guy... Let me state upfront that I had never heard of this guy before. But as the documentary makes clear, for a while after the infamous TV interview, he was hotter than hot, and pursued by many different people, all eager to cash in on this new internet sensation. All claim to be simply "rooting for this young man" but in reality all have other motives as well. This is not to excuse Kai's behavior of course. It absolutely blows the mind that the events relayed in the documentary played out over a period of not even 4 months. In the end, this human interest story makes for okay viewing but really nothing more than that.

"The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker" premiered on Netflix earlier this week, and Netflix recommended it to me based on my viewing habits. I just saw it last night and this makes for quick viewing. If you are interested in a human interest story involving the quick rose and even faster fall of an internet sensation, I'd readily suggest you check this out and draw your own conclusion.
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Another biased Netflix doc, providing little point of view
phoebesimmons-1539814 January 2023
Warning: Spoilers
For once this is a true crime Netflix documentary that only tells a small portion of story in 90ish minutes. Opposed to a lot of their true crime documentaries being 3+ hours long in episodes.

The film provides multiple point of views from people that were only involved in the story because of their want to exploit Kai or people who have questionable involvement. Including family members to corroborate his abuse stories and others to justify it. There are no accounts from the documentary that are compelling.

Half way through the documentary it has only been told by people who exploited his fame and sought to make money off of him. You are given almost no information about who Kai is or what his life story is until a small portion towards the end of the film (told by other people).

The documentary features his trial and goes into no information about the evidence of the crime or the trial itself. Within the first few minutes of the documentary it is teased that Kai is calling an interviewee from prison, only for this call to never be shown.

Many of the Hollywood producers who had sought to exploit Kai bring up the fact that there is a possible 'good' story to tell with him, in that he could provide a point of view many don't see into homeless life. All the while making fun of him and saying he is crazy because he doesn't favour fame and fortune.

Unfortunately the documentary only leaves a sour taste in the mouth. It only exploits Kai and his story further, makes almost none of the people in the documentary seem like 'good' people. The lack of self awareness and clear victim-blaming/doubt portrayed in the documentary is frankly sickening.

Overall a sad terrible story, and researching the story yourself provides an undeniable evidence that Kai isn't the person the documentary makes him out to be.
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Pnkprinses30915 January 2023
Warning: Spoilers
1. Kai was clearly unstable. He was homeless (most people who are homeless are unstable). He urinated everywhere and said questionable things. It was also clear when his instinct was to attack someone with a hatchet.

2. Kai was clearly seriously abused from his mother. That C shouldn't have been in this.

3. Kai was clearly raped before. This 70 yr old probably tried to rape him or he was on edge and he snapped. Why does an old man take a young man to his home? That's so creepy. I can't imagine this not being sexual. Imagine it being a young woman. Would it end the same?

4. I feel sick about all these slimy Hollywood people who literally don't care about what they did to this mentally unwell kid.

This kid needed help. This felt a bit exploitative. Much like when he became famous.
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When Mental Illness is Ignored
atleverton5 February 2023
Warning: Spoilers
This is the story of a man with deep-seated psychological problems who became a meme and ultimately a convicted murderer. So the story of this man is not hidden from the audience as they view this documentary. He was a hitch-hiker, and he was being driven by someone who then had an accident and in what appeared to be a fit of murderous racist rage decided to kill the other participant in the accident. Caleb, the protagonist of the story, then decided to hop out of the truck and rescue the victim of this attack by attacking the man with an axe. He then gave an interview with a local news station which then went viral. Then he got a lot of offers to become rich and famous including having his own reality TV show. But ultimately he was unwell, and this was apparent to anyone who spent any time with him. I think the documentary wants us to ask ourselves what happens if you make a person a meme. However, the brutal murder that Caleb was convicted of was not caused by him being a meme, nor was it caused by him being a quasi celebrity. It was caused because Caleb suffered abuse when he was younger, and he had severe psychological issues. And perhaps the story that Caleb told as his defence was actually true, that he was sexually assaulted and then snapped. I think that, unfortunately, the authorities are too quick to dismiss claims of sexual assault on men. I think the most bizarre aspect of this documentary was when they interviewed Caleb's mother, and she did not deny locking her son in a room when he was younger, but she confirmed it. It seems to me that if you are being accused of being an abuser, you would deny all aspects of the abuse story. But I think if she confirms that, then the implication must be that that part of Caleb's story is actually true. While this documentary is certainly not a must see by any stretch of the imagination, caleb's story is certainly an interesting and sad one.
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Documentary without a story or a point of view
MovieShrink713 January 2023
Warning: Spoilers
I had never heard of this guy prior to watching this doc. Although his story seemed intriguing on its face, unfortunately this documentary is just not well done. It doesn't dig deep enough on Kai or his background. It only scratches the surface. I think the biggest let down is the lack of interviews with people who actually knew him. Most of the interviews are with people who met him while he was going viral which gives us a tragically incomplete picture. There's also precious little about the victim. It's just an interview with the guy's neighbors. It offers literally no insight into whether there is any credibility to Kai's story about the sexual assault. There's a story to tell here but it wasn't done by this documentary. It was also somehow too long and too short. It felt like it was leading up to a climax that never came.
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