Films

The documentary series “King of the Tigers” breaks records of views in quarantine: memes on the network and the reaction of the stars

Joe Exotic from the documentary series “The King of the Tigers: Murder, Chaos and Madness”

The Netflix documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is discussed online and is called the most popular TV show in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic: viewers in quarantine had enough time to understand the plot mess that directors Rebecca Chaiklin and Eric Goode made.

They spent five years studying the world of zoo owners and breeders of wild animals in America, where more large predators live in captivity than in the wild. Their search for non-fictional characters resulted in seven episodes about the owner of a zoo with wild cats in Oklahoma, Joseph Maldonado Passage, nicknamed Exotic. Animal rights activist Carol Baskin undertook to close his zoo, after which Joe tried to hire killers and deal with her (as a reward, he promised them several tigers). In 2019, he was sent to prison, where he is still being held for organizing a murder and cruelty to animals (Joseph was sentenced to 22 years in prison). Carol, however, has her skeletons in the closet.

Shot from the series "King of the Tigers: Murder, Chaos and Frenzy"
Shot from the series “The King of the Tigers: Murder, Chaos and Madness”

I originally wanted to shoot a project that was a combination of Best in Show, Grizzly Man and Blackfish. I wanted to talk about the suffering of animals, but how was I to attract a wide audience to the film? I began to understand the pathologies of the characters. In the end, Rebecca Chaiklin and I settled on Joe and Carol, their confrontation. It was easy for me to speak the same language with them. Joe is an open book: his narcissism and huge ego have done their job. However, other characters turned out to be difficult, – spoke about the work on the documentary series Eric Goode.

Shot from the series "King of the Tigers: Murder, Chaos and Frenzy"

The unthinkable life that he focused on turned out to be full of shocking details. The personal life of Joe, a fanatic drug addict, a candidate for governor of Oklahoma, a lover of outrageous antics and firearms, is also shown in the frame, because it characterizes him. The Exotic calls himself “an armed gay cowboy with a mullet haircut.” He entered into marriages of varying degrees of legality with his partners four times, but with five different people (one of these unions Joe entered into with two men at once). Most of Joe’s personal stories have a tragic ending. Exotic’s first marriage ended with the death of partner Brian Rhine from HIV-related complications. Exotic’s second partner JC Heartpen, as Joe said, once put a gun to his head, and after parting with him went to jail for murder …

The American viewer took the freak show with a bang. Hip-hop singer Cardi B tweeted that a campaign to free Joe from prison will begin soon. Jared Leto arranged a quarantine photo session in the image of Joe Exotic, and many other well-known and not so users of social networks disassembled the “King of the Tigers” into memes.

Jared Leto
Jared Leto

Jared Leto

Photo from Twitter
Photo from Twitter

Photo from Twitter Chrissy Teigen
Photo from Twitter Chrissy Teigen

John Legend
John Legend

Dax Shepard
Dax Shepard

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