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Terrifying documentary: Paradise Lost

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Robert Burkes, Aug 7, 2003.

  1. Robert Burkes

    Robert Burkes Well-Known Member

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    Have any of you seen Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills? I was recently introduced to it by a friend and watched it for the first time last night. At the end of the tape, I was so angry and frightened that I didn't sleep when I turned out the lights and closed my eyes. This is a documentary on a murder case in West Memphis, AR. Here is a summary copied from a post on imdb.com:

     
  2. Dick

    Dick Well-Known Member

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    This is powerful stuff, but unfortunately NOT available yet on DVD. The follow-up, PARADISE LOST 2, is available, however. While it would be helpful to see the original first, the "sequel" can be appreciated in its own right.
     
  3. Kenneth English

    Kenneth English Well-Known Member

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    If the first one pissed you off (how could it not?), the second one is going to send you into orbit.

    It's like a Franz Kafka nightmare. The truth is right in front of everyone's face and no one with any power or authority is the least bit interested in seeing it. The authorities simply don't care that they've railroaded three innocent kids and that the man nearly everyone agrees is the real perp -- and who all but confesses on camera -- is dancing around in front of them.

    One of the most hopeless and depressing documentaries I have ever seen. Truly chilling. [​IMG]
     
  4. Keith M.

    Keith M. Well-Known Member

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    and it has Metallica music as the soundtrack...[​IMG]
     
  5. Russell G

    Russell G Fake Shemp
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    I never caught the sequel but loved the 1st one.

    Maybe with the directors success with Blair Witch : Book of shadows well see a deluxe 2-pack of these documentaries![​IMG]
     
  6. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Well-Known Member

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    Henry Rollins and other artists have been very active in working to free the west memphis three:

    Check out http://www.wm3.org/ for details on the West Memphis Three and current updates.

    There is a full and updated history on the situation and knowledge on how to donate money to pay for DNA testing.
     
  7. Robert Burkes

    Robert Burkes Well-Known Member

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    I live approximately 60 miles from West Memphis, and I can sadly say that both films accurately portray the general population's attitude toward differences in individuals: deviations from the norm are evil or strange and must be squashed. It's shocking that these prejudices have seeped so deeply into the legal system, but the ideas are nothing new to me. I've seen this attitude so much in my life, and I'm only 20. While watching these documentaries, I was awestruck. I was Damien Echols in high school. That could be me on that video. It's absolutely terrifying to me. I really don't know where I'm going with this post. I'm just writing now, having finished the second documentary a little later than anticipated. I fully intend on giving my support to this cause. Anyone who feels that he/she could be tried for not fitting in the homogeneous crowd should, in my opinion, at least fully consider this case.

    OK...I tried to follow Mark Byers' story throughout the second documentary. I felt as though I needed to be drawing a diagram, so I could keep up with how often it changed. He says his wife died of a broken heart, then that he doesn't know how she died, then he slips up and says she was murdered. How's that?! His teeth were knocked out in a fight, then they rotted out due to medicine he was taking, then he had them surgically removed. Eh!? Fairly convenient that his teeth are gone just when bite-marks come into play in the investigation. I loved what Damien said in reference to Byers: He's the fakest creature to walk on two legs. Very fitting. I got the distinct impression that everything he did on camera was scripted prior to the push of the record button. I don't even know where to direct my frustrations over this whole case. I'd be here all night producing a post so long, none of you would read it. All I can say is that all of you should try to locate a copy of the original VHS and a copy of the sequel on DVD or VHS.

    So, now you all have my frustrated, incoherent, mentally constipated, delirious, 3:00 A.M. ramblings on something about which I feel strongly. I'll probably wake up in the morning and re-read this to much embarrassment, but oh well... WATCH THESE VIDEOS, AND JUDGE FOR YOURSELF!!!
     
  8. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Well-Known Member

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    A movie version has apparently been green-lit:
    http://us.imdb.com/Title?0362306

    I have never seen either documentary. I would imagine that when the film is released, the original documentary will be released on DVD, presumably with new interviews, commentaries, etc.

    It's a helluva case. One of the worst in recent history. Everyday there is injustice in the world, and this case is one of great beacons of injustice in the modern Western World. 'Kafka-esque' indeed.


    Gordy
     
  9. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Well-Known Member

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    I remmeber seeing this documentary on HBO about 5 years ago and at one point taped it, but I seriously doubt I still have the tape. I would like to get my hands on a copy of this to check it out again now that I am a little older.

    As Robert Burkes said, in high school, I was the kid wearing the Metallica t-shirts and the black pants and black shoes and the long hair. I didn't get in trouble at school and pretty much kept to myself, but, I can certainly understand how some of these kids get ostrasized because they don't fit the norm...

    Like when the kids from Columbine went shooting, all these people on TV were oblivious and were crying why would someone do something like that. Well, I'm not saying its right, but I can see how some of these kids get picked on and discarded as outcasts, and sometimes they lose their sense of what is right or wrong.

    Point being, I enjoyed the first Paradise Lost, and am ashamed at the injustice and prejudices that are still prevalent in our court system today.

    I really hope that the doc comes to home video soon. It will be interesting to see a big screen adaptation of the story, but one last comment is....Ricki Lake is gonna be in it?! [​IMG]
     
  10. Max Leung

    Max Leung Well-Known Member

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    I saw this documentary on HBO as well, many years ago (1996?). Chilling. One of the best I had seen. I can't believe it is still unresolved after all these years. It makes me want to puke. [​IMG]
     
  11. JonZ

    JonZ Well-Known Member

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    HBO replayed them both about a year ago.

    PL even made Siskels top 10 for the year it was released.

    Im also pretty sure there are 2 versions of Paradise Lost - one being quite a bit longer than the other.
     
  12. Robert Burkes

    Robert Burkes Well-Known Member

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    Mike,

    The documentaries are on home video. The versions I watched were distributed by Artisan Home Video. I purchased a copy through eBay, but it also appears that Amazon has the first one in stock. I'd heard it was out of print and hard to find, but here's a link to it:

    Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills

    The second one is on DVD and doesn't appear to be difficult to find. Just thought I'd let you know.

    I'm glad people seem to be so interested in this post and its subject. Thanks.

    Rob
     
  13. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Well-Known Member

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  14. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Well-Known Member

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    Hmmmmm.....other retailers don't seem to have this one up for pre-order, and I also couldn't find it on Artisan's website. [​IMG]

    I've heard so much about this documentary, and I really want to see it (can't play NTSC VHS tapes though). Can anyone confirm the 11/18 release? [​IMG]
     
  15. Shawn_Sek

    Shawn_Sek Well-Known Member

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    both are brilliant documentaries and i sure hope they raise the money for the DNA testing, i am extremely anxious to hear the results and have donated to help pay for the costs, i think anyone who sees the documentary should, it certainly moved me enough to help.

    i heard that Winona Ryder was going to do some fund raiser thing to help pay for the DNA test as well, and of course the Henry Rollins CD, which one artist (i forget who) dropped off the CD because after seeing the documentary he thought the kids were guilty.

    powerful scenes and imagery, the stepfather and the mother who is excited about being on TV (despite the fact that its because her son was mutilated) are especially chilling and shocking.
     

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