By RodneyHatfieldJr for Movies

While auto-playing through Youtube, a video captured my attention. "Executions", documentary 1995. I had heard of this film years ago but never found a copy. It is advertised as a documentary along the lines of the classic shock(and fake) videos Faces Of Death. Naturally, I immediately clicked the picture and was surprised to find the whole documentary is free to watch. So  I watched it. First, let me say I’m a HUGE fan of documentaries. I watch them pretty regularly. I find them scarier than practically every horror film I have ever seen. I have learned that real life is lightyears scarier than what we can imagine and put on film. The evil of humans is the ultimate scary. After watching it twice and contemplated everything it had to offer. I think it is both macabre and fills that slot we watch serial killers documentaries, and for history, we all need to remember so hopefully these things never happen again. So if you are at all squeamish, then I do not recommend the video. There are some very disturbing scenes. After watching it, I am currently on a borderline panic attack, and that rarely happens. So be warned.

Executions is a documentary made in 1995 and provides us with an interesting history in modern execution methods. It describes (and shows) in brutal detail the histories of beheadings, stoning (generally reserved for women), the guillotine, firing squad, etc. We’re given a fascinating view of execution methods throughout history, some of which are quite nasty. The filmmakers here intend their film to be an indictment on the death penalty with horrible examples of Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany, the Middle Eastern countries like Yemen, Hussein-era Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Africa.

Some interesting points they present are both informative and chilling. For example, the Nazis made killing more humane. I know it seems like an oxymoron. Instead of mercy, it made it more efficient and easier on the executioners. The killings were taking a toll on the people performing the killings, so they switched to less personal ways of killing, which in turn made more people die. Interesting point, sure, and not one I’ve seen brought up often except when reading the diaries of some of the highest Nazi party members. Who would have thought shooting thousands of men, women, and children would take a toll on soldiers. Apparently not the Nazis party.

Another method and interesting factoid was the guillotine. Naturally, we are talking about France. We all can agree it is a very disturbing way to kill someone. But we view it as a way of execution from olden times. Well, the last execution by guillotine was on September 10th, 1977. For those keeping score at home, that was 4 months after the original Star Wars came out. 

The film shows how many people died via execution methods all around the world, through various conflicts, genocides, purges, and other legal methods. This film is informative, well researched, and borderline unwatchable. It truly reinforces my belief in anti-capital punishment(and relief of not living in a communist/socialist/fascist/dictatorships). My opinion is not some higher sense of morality. My belief is that it is justified to sentence someone to life in prison than to give them relief of a quick death. Maybe they can be of some use to humanity like serial killer Edward Kemp and his narration of various books. Some want death after doing their crimes. So let them live their life lonely, behind bars, rejected by society so they can reflect on the evil they have done. Some say that is crueler than killing them, I say good. Let the ones suffer that caused suffering. My opinion is not popular, I say O’Well. Tell that to their victims. Anyway if you want to watch this dip into humanity's dark side, I have posted the video below.

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