Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness

Featured above are the stars of the documentary Tiger King: Murder Mayhem and Madness. From left to right there is Carole Baskin, Joe Exotic and Bhagavad Antle.

Audrey Simon

Featured above are the stars of the documentary Tiger King: Murder Mayhem and Madness. From left to right there is Carole Baskin, Joe Exotic and Bhagavad Antle.

Audrey Simon, Staff Writer

Release Date: March 20, 2020

Cast: Carole Baskin, Joe Exotic and Bhagavan Antle

Our Grade: A-

With everybody now in self-quarantine, people are finding themselves running out of things to do. Luckily, Netflix has the perfect documentary to keep people entertained, titled “Tiger King: Murder Mayhem and Madness”. Be warned- after starting, there is no hope in stopping until you get to the last episode.

At first, it is assumed that the documentary, Tiger King, is supposedly about tigers being held in cages at private zoos and homes. Specifically, the zoos of Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin and Bhagavan Antle. However, at one point they stop focusing on the tigers and focus more on the surprising amount of drama that goes on between these private zoo owners.

“I clicked on the first episode and then it was five hours later and I was just in shock, I could not believe what I had just watched truly happened,” said freshman Katherine,” freshman Katherine Arencibia said.

One of the most unforgettable things about the documentary is Joe Exotic and his famous bleached mullet. Joe’s story is unbelievable; he is a gay gun-toting cowboy with a mullet and tigers all in the great state of Oklahoma. He will do anything to get attention, like run for president and believe that he actually had a shot at winning. Although this already seems crazy, that is not even the maddest thing that happens in this documentary.

The documentary then takes a turn and puts a light on Carole Baskin and her zoo called Big Cat Rescue. Her zoo is meant to be a non-profit animal sanctuary in Tampa, Florida, which Joe Exotic cannot stand. This then sparks a feud between the two since Joe cannot stand how she is praised and his zoo is not even though their zoos do the same exact thing. This feud is the main conflict of the documentary, and you will not believe some of the things Joe says and does to Carole. Not even the most horrible thing is when he reads her diary to the whole world, so just imagine how much worse it gets from there.

Pullquote Photo

My family and I wanted a break from continuous coronavirus coverage and so we decided to watch the most watched show on Netflix. We hit play and binged for hours,”

— Alumni Emily Simon

After all the Joe and Carole drama, they then shine a light on the zoo of Bahagavn Antle, better known as Doc Antle. His zoo is the Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species, a 50-acre wildlife preserve in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The documentary dives deeper into what really happens there on the zoo, and what is shown has almost nothing to do with the tigers.

Although the show is jam-packed with exciting twists and turns, it does have some downsides. It leaves viewers with many unanswered questions, and lots of times they go off-topic. The documentary will focus on certain people, like Carole Baskin, and go heavily into detail on an intriguing problem said person has. After giving all the facts and interviews, they simply just end the research there, and never really answer how said problem is fixed. Then they move on to the next and repeat this cycle, like with Miami private zoo owner Mario Tabraue.

Also, since it is a documentary, the production does not always offer the highest quality. To get all the information, they sometimes have to use secret cameras which are known to have poor quality. The footage can be pixelated and the audio unclear during these scenes. Other than those specific scenes, the production is quite adequate. It may not be Oscar-worthy, but it gets the job done. This documentary focuses more on the beyond belief story rather than the praise of its cinematography.

This show is definitely worth watching, especially during these quarantined filled days. One cannot believe how entertaining the tales of these three private zoo owners are, and will certainly not believe that this actually happened here in the United States.