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The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker Review – Homeless Hero to Stone Killer

January 11, 2023

The post The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker Review – Homeless Hero to Stone Cold Killer appeared first on Ready Steady Cut.

We review the Netflix True Crime documentary film The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker, which was released on January 10, 2023.

netflix is back with its infamous documentaries, helping to present and tell stories that audiences around the world might never have known, and this one is a weird, wild, and weird treat for viewers.

The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker Review and Plot Summary

If you’re too young to remember, have forgotten, or have no idea (like me), Kai aka Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, was the subject of a viral video shot in 2013 by KMPH Channel 26 which received national coverage. Basically, Kai went viral very quickly before he went viral, so he had no competition for attention, and everyone loved him and what he did. This documentary tells his crazy story, his rise from hero status to being prosecuted for murder. That’s a lot, so I tried to condense as much as possible:

Kai was picked up hitchhiking by a rather tall man (Jett Simmons McBride, 300 pounds) who claimed to be Jesus Christ, then they hit a pedestrian with their car (possibly racist attack). McBride also told Kai that he once raped a 14-year-old girl in the Virgin Islands, then got out of the car to attack a woman who was trying to help in the car accident, and that’s when Kai got a hatchet from his backpack and attacked McBride, shouting “Smash, Smash, Suh-Mash!”. Kai hit him three times, twice with the blunt side and one with the slashing side, before trying to casually walk away, continuing his life as a hitchhiker.

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The camera caught up with him and told his story to the world, trying to make him famous. Then, later on during his nomadic travels, Kai was framed for the murder of a 70-year-old man who let him stay overnight, so it all got serious real quick. In three months, Kai went from hero-superstar to wanted killer. Sounds crazy, right? Something you would have to see to believe. Even though there’s a lot going on, the documentary explains and details it well, so you don’t feel lost or confused as a viewer, just bewildered.

We have first-class interviews with reporters (one in particular Kai was close with), Kai’s mother, his cousin, and numerous police officers who dealt with him. The disappointing thing is that we don’t hear from Kai himself. We’re teased as the foreground shows the reporter getting a call from Kai from jail, but that’s all we hear from him.

What makes this documentary interesting isn’t just the insane content, but how the media played such a role in its rise to fame and then its demise. Kai himself comes across as a clueless nomad with no real social understanding and who has never had to take responsibility or accountability in his life.

So hunted by the media for entertainment, it seems he almost had a god complex. The media clearly thought they had found a maverick hero defending the average person when in reality they had shone the spotlight on a cold-blooded killer.

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Journalists say he had charisma and a certain soft charm, but to others and myself, that freedom and lack of social awareness made him unpredictable and scary. Kai’s actions of pissing on everything from the Hollywood Walk of Fame to the Jimmy Kimmel sign outside his show screamed at me that he was not a carefree guy but a juvenile hoodlum with no respect for his surroundings. Not to mention he carries a hatchet and beats someone with it. It might have been because he was helping someone, but it was still a violent act he was comfortably capable of.

Kai was sentenced to 57 years in a maximum security prison in New Jersey. I wanted to see a part of Kai in this documentary, and even though it says he won’t let his mother go see him, there’s a part of me that thinks he’d like to show up a bit and preach in front of of a camera. Then again, he’s so fickle, so who knows? It is a unique story that is definitely worth watching.

Is The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker On Netflix Any Good?

Yes – as true crime documentaries do, this one is packed with craziness and information and really makes you question the media, the people and Kai’s personality. The last hour and twenty-seven minutes of this documentary flies by so quickly that you’re hooked on the screen, trying to untangle and make sense of this story and all that surrounds it.

What did you think of the Netflix True Crime documentary film The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhike? Comments below.

The post The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker Review – Homeless Hero to Stone Cold Killer appeared first on Ready Steady Cut.