20 Things to Watch After Binging 'Tiger King'

Martha Sorren | Apr 2, 2020 Movies
20 Things to Watch After Binging 'Tiger King'
Image: Netflix

Joe Exotic in Tiger King
Netflix

Google describes Netflix's new seven-episode true crime series, Tiger King, as "an exploration of big cat breeding and its bizarre underworld, populated by eccentric characters." But Tiger King is so much more than that. It's a story about a man, nicknamed Joe Exotic, who has a private zoo filled with tigers, lions, and hybrid species like ligers and tigons. Along the way, we meet animal rights activist Carole Baskin who has secrets of her own, and there's a cult plot line, country music videos, elaborate sparkly outfits, polygamy, and so many guns. 

It has it all ... and then some.

It's no wonder fans immediately fell in love with the series, but now that they're done watching, they need something new to dive into  -- and we have just the thing.

Whether fans loved Tiger King for the animals, the wild characters, the murder-for-hire, or all the twists and turns, there's something on this list that viewers are gonna love to watch now that they're done with the Netflix series. We rounded up insane true crime stories, important films about wild animals in captivity, documentaries so twisted they seem fake, and more.

There's already a podcast for fans to listen to (it's called Joe Exotic: Tiger King), and there's eventually going to be a scripted series based on Tiger King, with Kate McKinnon playing Carole Baskin. Plus, people are already dream-casting the eventual biopic (Dax Shepard has nominated himself for Joe Exotic). But until these projects come to fruition, fans need something else to binge. There's only so much re-watching of Tiger King that one can do before needing something new on TV.

Fortunately these 20 movies and shows are perfect to fill that gap.

  • 'America's Most Dangerous Pets'

    1

    Years before Tiger King, Joe Exotic was featured in the documentary America's Most Dangerous Pets back in 2011. The movie looked at the overall trend of exotic animal collectors in America, but Joe Exotic was one of the primary focuses of the documentary. It gives even more insight into who exactly this man is and how he operates.

  • 'The Life Exotic: Or the Incredible True Story of Joe Schreibvogel'

    2

    Joe Exotic was also the subject of the 2016 J.D. Thompson documentary The Life Exotic: Or the Incredible True Story of Joe Schreibvogel. The full thing is actually available to stream now on Thompson's YouTube page. The film came out a couple of years before Joe's eventual arrest and conviction, so it gives a peek into what his regular life was like before everything changed for him.

  • 'McMillions'

    3
    Doug Mathews in McMillions
    HBO

    Looking for another docuseries with as many twists, turns, and wild connections as Tiger King? That's McMillions. The six-part HBO series tells the story of a widespread scheme in the '90s to defraud the McDonald's Monopoly million-dollar prize games. The case ended up involving the mob, multiple years of theft, the 9/11 attacks, and more. 

  • 'Don't F--- With Cats'

    4

    This three-episode Netflix docuseries follows a group of internet vigilantes who helped track down a murderer after they were deeply upset by him posting a video of himself killing cats. This show is absolutely not for the cat lovers, as it's incredibly graphic and upsetting, but for those who can stomach it. 

    ... they may find the dark series fascinating.

  • 'TV Junkie'

    5

    In Tiger King, Rick Kirkham spends hours filming Joe Exotic for a potential TV show, but he tragically loses all his work in a fire. However, Rick has another project that actually made it to air: It's called TV Junkie, and it's a documentary of his own life as he battles a drug addiction. TV Junkie is available to rent on video services like Amazon and iTunes.

  • 'Grizzly Man'

    6

    Just as Joe Exotic is not afraid to interact with his tigers, Timothy Treadwell was not afraid to spend time in close proximity with wild bears in Alaska. Eventually, that led to his death, presumed to have been by bear attack. His remarkable story of advocacy for the animals that would eventually kill him is documented in this movie that uses Timothy's own video footage. 

  • 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective'

    7

    Ace Ventura is as quirky as Joe Exotic and with the same penchant for hanging out with wild animals. Doc Antle, the animal trainer featured in Tiger King, actually helped train the animals used in this Jim Carrey film. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective may be a fictional story rather than a documentary, but the movie is still a fascinating look at animal life and how people interact with it.

  • 'Blackfish'

    8

    The animal abuse in Tiger King is more of a backdrop to the human drama, but it's there and it deserves attention. Few movies show better how wild animals shouldn't be in cages than Blackfish. The documentary explores the captive killer whale aquarium industry and how it's not only dangerous for trainers working with these animals, but also for the whales.

  • 'Making a Murderer'

    9

    Even for those who have already seen this two-season docuseries on Netflix, it's worth a re-watch. The show follows the murder convictions of Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey who both claim they were framed for the crime in question. Like Tiger King, it's filled with twists at every turn. It also motivated viewers to call for the release of the incarcerated men -- like how many Tiger King fans want Joe Exotic released from prison.

  • 'Roar' (1981)

    10

    According to The Hollywood Reporter, Roar is known as the most dangerous movie ever made, because the real tigers, lions, leopards, and jaguars were out for blood throughout filming. Some 70 members of the cast and crew were injured on set bringing this story to life. The movie follows a family who goes to Africa to meet a scientist and comes face to face with his many wild animals. Amazon also has the documentary about the making of this film available. 

    It's called Roar: The Most Dangerous Movie Ever Made.


  • 'Wild Wild Country'

    11

    Among everything else it contains, Tiger King also has a cult story line. If that fascinated viewers, they should check out Netflix's Wild Wild Country. It tells the story of a cult leader who takes over an Oregon town with his enamored band of followers. There are tons of twists and shocking moments in this cult docuseries just like there are in Tiger King.

  • 'Fyre'

    12

    This Netflix documentary chronicles the absolutely wild attempt to organize a music festival on a private island -- and how it went totally south when people started showing up, temporarily stranding dozens of ticket-buyers in unimaginable conditions. Two of Tiger King's producers, Cassie Sagness and Chris Smith, also produced Fyre. They have a knack for hopping onto projects that are totally bonkers.

  • 'Abducted in Plain Sight'

    13

    In 1974, a 12-year-old girl was abducted by a close family friend -- and no one ever saw it coming. Like Tiger King, this 2017 documentary has wild twists all over the place. It's really a case of the truth being stranger than fiction. Viewers can stream the film on Netflix, and it's one of the site's own recommendations for users interested in more projects like Tiger King.

  • 'An Apology to Elephants'

    14

    This is another film about the horrors that go on behind the scenes of operations that cage wild animals for human enjoyment. An Apology to Elephants focuses on elephants in zoos and circuses, and it's definitely hard to watch. But it's important that the tigers don't get lost in all the memes and jokes about Joe Exotic. The animals are the true victims of the series.

  • 'Three Identical Strangers'

    15

    Few documentaries have as many unbelievable twists as this one. What starts off as a heartwarming story about twins separated at birth finding each other years later soon morphs into a tale about an unethical study dedicated to separating twins and triplets at birth to see whether nature or nurture has more of an impact on a child's life. This totally wild ride is available to watch on Hulu.

  • 'Evil Genius'

    16

    The subtitle of this four-episode docuseries is The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist. This is another one of those stories that seems too crazy to be real, but it is. It follows an attempted bank robbery gone wrong -- really wrong. And just like Carole Baskin's husband in Tiger King disappeared under suspicious circumstances, so did many of the boyfriends involved in Evil Genius.

  • 'Tigerland' (2019)

    17

    The conservationists in this documentary are basically doing the exact opposite of what Joe Exotic is doing. They want to save tigers and prevent them from going extinct in Russia and India, but they're up against so much on this journey. Carole Baskin would probably be a big fan of these guys' efforts to save tigers. It's available to watch on Hulu or Philo.

  • 'Icarus'

    18

    What starts out as one man's journey to understand the role of doping in cycling quickly turns into a terrifying geopolitical thriller. By chance, the filmmaker ended up interviewing a scientist in Russia who turned out to have vital information about the country's widespread Olympic doping scheme. The story expands far beyond what any viewer would expect, just like Tiger King does.

  • 'Mommy Dead and Dearest'

    19
    Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blanchard
    HBO

    For those who haven't yet seen this HBO documentary, it's a bit hard to watch -- but also fascinating. It follows a mom with a severe case of Munchausen by proxy. The mother convinced her daughter, Gypsy, for years that she was terminally ill in order to get attention and gifts from well-wishers. When Gypsy learned the truth, she and her secret online boyfriend decided to kill her mom to get free.

  • 'Crazy Love'

    20

    Tiger King producer Fisher Stevens also produced Crazy Love. It tells the true and completely messed up love story of Burt Pugach and Linda Riss. Burt hired someone to injure Linda when she got engaged to someone else, and he served 14 years in prison after Linda was blinded in the attack. But once he got out, Linda married him -- even after all he'd put her through. There's no making up a story this wild.

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