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1000 Ways To Die: Season 1 (2008)

DVD Cover (Australia)
Genres / Traits:
Black Comedy, Prime-Time Drama, Shockumentary, TV Comedy, TV Horror, Bears, Insects

6.9 / 10 - Overall Rating

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1,000 Ways to Die, an anthology television series, which aired on Spike/Spike TV from May 14, 2008 to July 15, 2012 showcased shocking reenactments of deaths of individuals who often met the grim reaper in very unorthodox or outlandish ways. Often recreated in a fast-paced, very tongue-in-cheek manner, the stories were based on actual events, but dramatic license was liberally used. Voice-over-narration provided background information on each death. The deaths were recreated in a variety of ways including witness testimonials, historical tidbits, scientific expert analysis, graphic computer-generated imagery animation, interviews, live-action recreation, and even actual footage, when available. Each death ended with a title which was a pun, often based on some popular word or phrase. --IMDb
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Review by Chad
Added: May 24, 2011
God, I love Netflix. I was sitting in my chair the other day, browsing the new releases on there, when I stumbled across a television series called 1000 Ways to Die. Now, I haven't had cable television in years, so this title was new to me - maybe you've heard of it, maybe you haven't. It sounded interesting, so I looked at their description and decided to give it a shot. I watched one episode, found myself hooked, and before you know it, I had sat through the entire first season. The show is just that damned good.

On a technical note, IMDb and numerous other online databases consider what I watched to be season one and two. Here's the deal: Spike played the two pilot episodes of the show as a special, and when they saw how popular it was, they ordered ten more episodes. In my humble opinion, those twelve episodes all belong to the first season, but some people would disagree and say that the two pilot episodes are season one, while the latter ten are season two. To that, I say "hogwash", and I'm betting that the eventual DVD release will agree with me.

Anyway, the premise for the show is basically Darwinism in action. Each episode shows a handful of deaths that are (sometimes very loosely) based on real things that happened to real people. I'm being lazy today, so I'm going to copy a few descriptions from Wikipedia for your viewing pleasure:

A nymphomaniac shoves a carrot up her vagina to use it as a dildo. A rough edge of the improperly peeled carrot tears a small section of her vaginal wall, and the motion of masturbation forces air into the laceration, causing an air embolism in her bloodstream to rush to her heart where it becomes lodged, blocking blood flow and killing her.

A man under the influence of magic mushrooms comes across a group of furries in animal costumes engaged in sexual encounters around a campfire in the desert and attempts to join in, but is rebuffed. He mistakes a nearby mother brown bear for one of the participants and is mauled to death.

A group of revelers celebrate New Year's Eve by shooting a stray bullet into the air. Unfortunately, the bullet comes back down and hits a man in the shoulder several miles away. The bullet goes through his shoulder and pierces his heart, killing him.

Two teenagers obsessed with rock legend Ozzy Osbourne snort fire ants in celebration of Ozzfest, believing an urban legend that Osbourne had supposedly done the same with fellow rocker Nikki Sixx. The ants immediately latch onto their nasal passages and trachea and proceed to bite and sting them repeatedly, causing swelling and eventual suffocation.

A college student jumps from a cliff into a lake and hits the water at an angle and speed that causes water to rush into his rectum, rupturing his large intestine. He passes out from massive internal bleeding and pain and drowns.

A mentally unstable man attaches jumper cables to a cow heart he bought from a slaughterhouse and tries to use it as a sex toy. At first, he attached the cow heart to a car battery, but when it didn't work for him, he tried hooking it up to a 110-volt wall socket, and he gets electrocuted.

These are some of my personal favorites, but there are six or seven such events found in each episode, so you may find a few favorites of your own as there are plenty to choose from. Also, each episode is capped off with one event in which the person should have died, but managed to escape death through sheer luck. These include snake handlers getting bit by their animals, people who survived plane crashes, people who screwed up during skydives, things of that nature. These clips show actual footage of the event and interviews with the people who survived, while the deaths are shown via recreations with actors and CGI animations. Oh, and did I mention that it's hosted by Ron freaking Perlman who cracks jokes about the deaths?

Call me morbid, but I loved the hell out of this show. I felt bad for some of the people who died due to other people's stupidity, but that problem is "solved" later in the season as it seems that the producers started to change some of the events around: instead of this poor guy being in the wrong place at the wrong time, a criminal will be running from the law and catch an unnatural death. These are artistic liberties taken with the deaths, and I didn't really mind it; after all, I know that they can't use the real names and such, so that works for me even if it does move away from reality a bit.

Some of these deaths are backed up by facts online, so if you don't believe that a man "drank" a bottle of sherry through an enema and died from alcohol poisoning as a result, well... Google is your friend and you can look for yourself. Others are a little more mysterious and may have been exaggerated or even fabricated for the show (who am I to judge?), but even if every last one of them was entirely fake, I'd still enjoy the show. Yes, that may take away a little of the fun, but watching this was sort of like watching a slasher flick: you watch those movies for the inventive and creative deaths, and this show was a little like that... only, without something as silly as a "plot" to get in the way.

Overall, the first season of 1000 Ways to Die gets a huge thumbs up from me. I don't know if the series has went downhill from here, but I do know that I will be getting started on season two very soon. 9/10, and minus one point only because I got absolutely sick of the guy with the silly hair and the funny accent popping up three times per episode and screaming "SOCIAL DARWINISM! SEE, IT'S SOCIAL DARWINISM!" You could make a drinking game out of it, but that doesn't make it entertaining.
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Crispy #1: Crispy - added 05/24/2011, 01:44 PM
Eh, I always found it entertaining enough to watch an episode or two when it was on, but I don't think I could ever sit down and watch it by the season. Spike was usaly good for playing like 5 episodes in a row, and I always got bored before their little mini-marathon would run out.
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