'The Legend of Cocaine Island' & More Freakier-Than-Fiction Docs on Netflix

Damian Holbrook
Preview NETFLIX

From Making a Murderer to Wild Wild Country, Netflix has become the destination for bonkers documentaries.

The party continues with The Legend of Cocaine Island, a 2018 Tribeca Film Festival hit that’s as odd as it is entertaining. “[I] came across articles about a Florida businessman who goes looking for $2 million worth of cocaine buried on a Caribbean Island,” director Theo Love says of subject Rodney Hyden. “The story had twists, turns, action, adventure and more quirk than a Coen Brothers film.”

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To nail the insanity of Hyden’s hunt, Love went big. “We shot with cinema cameras and lenses, [reenacted] action sequences with stunt drivers and even threw in a sex scene — of the turtle variety — to keep things interesting,” he notes. “But things really got weird when Hyden agreed to play himself in the re-created scenes.” (The image above features an actor portraying another player in the tale.)

“[This is] more than a true story,” continues Love. “It’s a legend.”

The Legend of Cocaine Island, Documentary Premiere, Friday, March 29, Netflix

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More Freakier-Than-Fiction Netflix Documentaries

Abducted in Plain Sight

(Top Knot Films)

We’re still not sure what’s more mind-blowing about this 90-minute film from 2017: the fact that an Idaho teen was kidnapped by her neighbor—twice!—during the 1970s or that both her mother and father wound up in sexual relationships with the girl’s abductor.

Evil Genius

(Netflix)

Subtitled “The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist,” the four-part true-crime report, released in 2018, recounts the 2003 case of a Pennsylvania man believed to have been forced by his accomplices, including Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong (above), to rob a bank while wearing a bomb. It is, uh, explosive.

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Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened

There is nothing funnier than the wide-scale display of hubris and idiocy on tap in this 2019 look at how the notorious music festival arranged by Ja Rule and a smarmy con man fell apart so spectacularly. Come for the millennial shaming, stay for the guy who was willing to, shall we say, barter with a Bahamian customs official for water.

Holy Hell

Filmmaker Will Allen pulls back the curtain on the sex-soaked California-based cult Buddhafield through footage he shot during his 22 years as a member and de facto videographer of the group’s enigmatic leader, known as Michel.