Netflix Users "Enraged" by "F—ing Crazy" New True Crime Doc

Yesterday saw Netflix release the first of what is probably several true crime documentaries that they'll premiere this year, The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker. The new film documents the quick viral rise of the mysterious figure "Kai" whose wild presence on a local news channel spread like wildfire online and made him an overnight celebrity after he saved a woman. As one might expect, the film digs deep into the circumstances of people who pushed for Kai to make further appearances on television but also his tragic past, unstable condition, and eventual legal troubles that came about later. Netflix subscribers have been quick to watch the movie, it's #2 on the Daily Top 10, but not everyone likes what they see.

"I am ENRAGED," one user wrote in a tweet about the film, adding that the movie was "brutally exploitative" of its subject. "It's a tragic story of a failed society," another added. "Sickening way the media & entertainment biz tried to exploit and profit from someone who really needed help with their mental issues." Some other choices reactions to the film though are calling it: "A mess;" "a wild ride;" "INCREDIBLE;" and "F---ing Crazy;" with one writing that Netflix needed to "Try again and be more objective next time." One user added "I feel so old" about the viral video now spawning a true crime documentary.

There are only four reviews for the movie on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing, not enough to earn it a score just yet, but all of them are positive, though some mixed. In a 4 out of 5 review, The Times (UK) writes that "The slight irony with the fable of Kai the hitchhiker is that, while the film seems to be making a valid point about how the reality media is all too vulturine in its race to exploit individuals, here is Kai, still part of the pop-cultural cycle."  For those curious about the film's content we'll elaborate below, but anyone that wants to see it for themselves we'll issue a spoiler warning.

After going viral in February 2013 for saving a woman's life with a hatchet, Kai made television appearances and enjoyed the life of a minor celebrity thanks to his viral status. The documentary reveals the many people who tried to cash in on the viral sensation, only to be dumbfounded that he had no interest in perusing monetary ventures. Many users have taken umbrage with how the people interviewed in the first half of the movie seem to have little self-reflection about how they tried to exploit the man, whose troubling past is also explored and mental instability displayed throughout. The ending of the movie is quick to paint almost all the people from the start of the film in a new light however.

Just three months after the viral video made "The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker" a household name however, Kai was arrested in connection with the death of New Jersey attorney Joseph Galfy. While Kai argued that Galfy's death was self-defense in an attempt to stop a sexual assault, which was disputed at the trial by the local medical examiner. The judge in the matter called Galfy's injuries "far more than than just an effort to thwart a sexual advance," with Kai being found guilty of first-degree murder and given a 57 year prison sentence. 

In the end the documentary has left many feeling hollow, as one user puts it: "Watched that hatchet wielding hitchhiker, left me with more questions than answers. I hate that kind of result from a programme." You can watch The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker now on Netflix.