4 Stars
Year Released: 2003
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 69 minutes
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When many of you die, you’ll have family and friends to help clean up the mess you’ve made – close your bank accounts, make sure the cat gets a decent home, call your work and tell them that you’re not coming in, and sell off that comic book collection of yours to help pay to put your rotting ass in the ground. But what happens if you have no family or friends? What happens to all your shit and the life you’ve left behind? “A Certain Kind of Death” gives you the low-down in full gruesome detail.
This documentary focuses on the Los Angeles Coroner’s Office and the great lengths they have to go through to make sure a John or Jane Doe receives their proper place of rest. Starting off with the discovery of two John Does, we’re shown how these people are identified and then it’s time to try and piece their lives together, making an attempt to find out who they are, if they have any friends or family, if they had a will, if they had a plot of land reserved with their name on it. Then, if there are no family and friends to contact, a crew goes in to box up all their belongings to be sold at a public auction. After awhile, if no one steps up to claim the body, it’s cremated, mixed with the ashes of other unclaimed bodies and dropped into a hole in the ground, marked only by a year. We’re treated to an unblinking look at this entire process.
It’s not the most uplifting film of the year, especially when you’re seeing dead bodies being dragged about their apartments and ultimately tossed into an incinerator, but it does offer an excellent look into this subject matter for those with a morbid curiosity. Mmmm…now it’s time for some good Texas BBQ…

Posted on March 19, 2003 in Reviews by

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