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Real Crime - America's Deadliest Prison Gang (2 Aug 2007) [TVRip (DivX)]
All things considered, I'd rather not become a member of America's Deadliest Prison Gang.
While watching America's Deadliest Prison Gang (Channel 4), I decided I never want to go to jail in the US. And if I ever do have the misfortune to end up there, I'm going to do my level best to avoid joining the Aryan Brotherhood. It's not so much the total dedication to extreme violence I have a problem with - it's all the unsightly facial hair they go in for. And the tattoos. I wouldn't feel comfortable with spooky faces, symbols and the letters AB all over my body.
And actually it would be annoying to have to kill someone, which is what you have to do to get in. Imagine, it could easily be your cellmate or your chess buddy you were ordered to kill. Or "make a move on", as they say. That's the difference. Here, "make a move on" means to make an amorous advance, to attempt to kiss, to lunge. Over there, it means to stab repeatedly in the head.
You can't say no when the order comes, even if it's your own brother you're told to make a move on. And then, if you decide the Brotherhood isn't really for you, it's not simply a case of cancelling your subscription. If you leave, you die; it's as simple as that.
The lucky prisoners are the ones who get put in solitary. For years, they're treated like mushrooms: kept in the dark and, as one inmate says, fed shit, referring to the dreadful prison food that has generally been spat on. But at least there's no one around to make a move on them. And you're not even safe when you get out of jail. They've got people on the outside, too, who'll track you down and get you. And if they don't find you, they'll get your family. And stab them to death.
There's death all over the place, where the Brotherhood is concerned, usually by knifing in the prison yard. But it's better to reign in hell than serve in heaven, according to these guys. Several are interviewed for this shocking film, from gang leaders to former members, and they've all got a look: an intensity, and a deadness about their eyes. Hang on, how can they be former members? I thought once a member, always a member? Why haven't they been stabbed?
Curiously, these men may be racist thugs, but they're not stupid, or at least they're not illiterate - they read Plato, Nietzsche, oriental classics. And that makes them scarier still. There is something extra worrying about a combination of academic intelligence and a penchant for extreme violence, because you don't expect it.
Everything about this film is disturbing, but most horrific of all is the sheer volume of CCTV footage of prison-yard fights - sudden eruptions of violence, brutal kicking and beating, some of which result in death. Can those involved really be human beings? Anyway, that's enough. We don't need to see any more. Stop it. We get the message. This is a documentary, not a snuff movie.
Capped from NZ TV1 August 2009
Width: 704 pixels
Height: 448 pixels
Bit Rate: 128kbps
Audio format: MPEG Layer-3
Frame rate: 25 frames/second
Data rate: 138kbps
Video sample size: 12 bit
Video compression: DivX
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