Review: Tiger King

During this difficult time, Netflix has found a way for everyone to come together via their video streaming service. The story of Joe Exotic and his wild life Big Cat Zoo has taken the world by storm. After more than 280 minutes of Murder, Mayhem and Madness it seems everyone can’t help but sit back and think. “What the H*ll did I just watch?”

What’s all the Hoopla About?

Whether it is Joe’s story of multiple husbands. Two of which weren’t gay. His odd Presidential turned Gubernatorial run. Or his obsession with Carole F*@king Baskin. The Tiger King’s story has all the intrigue and mayhem any good documentary should have. So what is all the hoopla about you ask?

Without giving everything away. Joe Exotic was the owner of Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park  in Oklahoma. During his time running the Zoo he faced many animal rights activists but none as interesting as Carole Baskin.

Carole Baskin runs a rescue shelter, Big Cat Rescue, in Florida. Her and her cohorts for many years made a point to disrupt Joe Exotic’s livelihood by interrupting his touring by calling out how wrong it is to keep these animals in cages.

*Side note* Carole’s shelter also has cages, many of which are smaller than what Joe’s Zoo uses, to house her “rescued” big cats.

Looking at the story from the outside it appears to be nothing but a couple of over eccentric people trying to push their notoriety higher and higher at the other’s expense. That is until you realize this was just the beginning.

Murder….maybe

As Joe Exoctic began digging up dirt on Mrs. Baskin it was discovered by him that her life could be a lie. In the late 90’s Carole’s millionaire husband, Don Lewis, disappeared without a trace. It was discovered during the police investigation that Don had planned on leaving Carole and was figuring out how to keep her from taking any of the money he had amassed. Many from his family believed that Carole was a bit….unhinged. Could she had murdered him and fed him to her Tigers?

Joe finding this all out started on his own vendetta using this as the catalyst to get Carole all riled up. Using his internet show he continued to accuse and make threats towards Baskin. All of which would lead to legal action and bankrupting Joe.

Mayhem

Losing not only all his but also his parents money. Joe began finding partners with a couple untrustworthy people. Mainly Jeff Lowe from Nevada. A very odd conman who exploited Joe for his own gain. With the Zoo now signed over to Jeff Joe would eventually be pushed out. Not before he makes a Presidential and Gubernatorial bid. Embezzling money from the park for his campaign Joe continued to dig himself a hole he would never be able to escape.

Tragedy then struck when one of his Husbands accidentally killed himself and the other knocked up one of the employees of the park. Joe’s life was spiraling more and more out of control.

Madness

With all the illegal acts that Joe had already done. Such as illegally selling exotic animals, euthanizing animals, destroying potential evidence, embezzling money. A case was being built against the one time Tiger King. But what really got the ball moving was the possibility that Joe had considered and possibly paid for Carole Baskin to be assassinated.

Through all of this Joe believed had it not been for Carol F*@king Baskin that his life would not have gotten out of hand. However, there was no proof that he had ever moved forward with the attempt. Jeff Lowe was brought in on this by the feds and along with an accomplice of his, Allen Glover, told the investigators that Joe sold some of his cats and paid $3,000 to Glover to kill Baskin.

This led to the arrest of Joe and while because the case against him for attempted murder was thin. nearly 20 more charges were created in regards to his time while running the Zoo.

That’s What all the Hoopla is About!

I covered but only a small amount of what the show is about. Keep in mind there are 7 episodes at 40+ minutes each. What I explained there coves maybe about 30-40 minutes of the entire story. No lie.

While I do have some questions on, how so much footage from years ago is available despite a fire destroying all film that was shot. This whole story is just bat shit crazy. It is definitely something you will be talking about when you watch it.

Give it a shot. I can’t imagine you would be disappointed.

Author: Robert Slavinsky

Robert Hosts Shootin' The Sith a Star Wars podcast and is a passionate fan of comics books and movies.

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