The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker is an interesting true crime documentary.
Netflix takes us back to 2013 for their latest documentary, The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker, from director Collete Camden.
Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, aka Kai, was the subject of a viral video filmed by KMPH Channel 26 in 2013 that quickly became a viral sensation. Somewhere along the lines, while hitchhiking, Kai was picked up by Jett Simmons McBride, a somewhat obese man. Throughout their conversation, Jett informed Kai that he was Jesus Christ and had once raped a 14-year-old girl in the Virgin Islands.
Moments later, the duo hit a Fresno pedestrian with their car, and for reasons GOD only knows, Jett got out of the vehicle to attack a passing benevolent Samaritan. Kai pulls out a hatchet from his backpack and strikes Mr. McBride, shouting the short-lived buzzphrase "Smash, Smash, Suh-Mash!".
Naturally, Kai quickly becomes a media darling earning sponsorships, nightclub performances, and even a guest spot on Jimmy Kimmel. However, as the saying goes, everything that glitters isn't gold, and Kai is currently serving a 57-year prison sentence for murder.
I don't particularly remember Kai's story going viral, so I decided to give the documentary a view solely off the title. Since Kai is currently in the pokey, the filmmakers primarily interview those who played a part in Kai's rise and fall. Throughout the documentary, it's clear why Kai went viral, as all the quarks and qualms come across in his interviews.
One of the things I commend about the documentary is showcasing that just because someone says something humorous doesn't mean they are fit for show business. There's a great moment when Kai is on Jimmy Kimmel's show participating in a skit. Kai is unfocused or doesn't even care. Luckily Kimmel can reel the skit back in. I won't tell the story behind why Kai went to jail. However, after viewing some of his antics, it's not surprising.
The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker rubs a quick ninety minutes and is worth a one-time watch. The documentary should be a cautionary tale about the dangers of turning ordinary folks into overnight celebrities.
Final Grade: B
The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker is available to stream now on Netflix