What The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker is all about without spoiling the show
The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker is to true crime documentaries what Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town is to the Pearl Jam catalog. It’s a mouthful yet beautifully titled piece of true crime documentary.
This story begins with how Kai, a hitchhiker, has saved two or three people from an alleged maniac who is racist and trying to kill people with his car. By using his hatchet, to smash-smash-smash the man in the head, Kai becomes a hero and soon after an internet sensation.
It’s clear to those who have latched onto Kai that his endearing personality might be a little too much trouble. He is a free spirit and maybe not the safest person to try to make a reality television show about.
The story of the Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker was brand new to me despite it being one from 2013. I must not have been paying much attention to the news, social media, or television back then. This one skated right under my nose. I’m glad they decided to make a documentary about it.
What was good about The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker
It would be hard to mess up this story. Follow the guide for any good true crime documentary and the story of Kai and his hatchet will do well.
I absolutely loved the way they told this story. We get an unexpected hero in the beginning who takes down a racist psychopath. Kai is so different from any other hero. To paraphrase his own words, he’s not like Batman, a rich asshole who has had everything handed to him. He is a real life superhero.
Kai is fun and funny but not in an intentional way. Any film about him would be entertaining. Unfortunately, it ends up as a true crime one because of what he does later on after the fame begins to fizzle.
Kai is a mystery until near the end of this documentary. Where did he come from? What are his intentions?
The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker is a tale of caution. People tried to exploit him. Despite some early warning signs, like his preference to just smoke a lot of weed and surfboard rather than make some good money, they proceed to get him on the Jimmy Kimmel Show where disaster is narrowly avoided.
What could have made The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker better
The only suggestion I can possibly have is to make this a three-part series and provide more content. We could have maybe gotten a little more about his background to extend this from a single film to a mini-series. But because Kai is a mystery despite getting in contact with his mother, how much of what he says could really be believed?
There are a lot of ways this documentary could have organized itself. We could have started with the crime Kai commits and what led there. Instead, the timeline is more of a chronicle in the way it all happened. This made me want to know what’s next. Sometimes with true crime documentaries, you want to know the why. This one works best with a what.
Is The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker worth watching?
Definitely! This is one of the better new true crime documentaries I have seen. It’s funny at times, it’s extremely entertaining, and we hardly even focus on the crime itself. The buildup was done perfectly. Kai is a fallen hero who probably never should have been put on a pedestal in the first place. The man pees on anything he can find.
Overall Score: 10 out of 10
If you’re in for a fun true crime documentary with a few uncomfortable moments along the way, The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker is one you should enjoy, too.