Tubi Deep Dive: 5 Documentaries For The Conspiracy Lover In Your Family

Post by: Rick Ellis

One thing I've learned from being on the Internet since the Stone Ages is that the world is filled with conspiracies. Actually, it's filled with crazy conspiracy theories. The Moon Landing was a fake, the world is really flat or Stevie Wonder is just pretending to be blind because it's good for his career (yes, that is really a thing some people apparently believe).

But even your offbeat conspiracy-loving Uncle or sister deserves something on point to stream while they're sitting on the couch.

Like most ad-supported streamers, Tubi has a number of documentaries that have - to be kind - a dubious grasp on reality. But even if you don't believe the heads of every world government are really lizard people in disguise, here are seven conspiracy-centric documentaries that you won't soon forget.

Although you may try.

Darwin's Dilemma (2009)

Logline: A philosopher and scientists offer one explanation of a paradox, posed by the Cambrian fossil record, which challenges Darwin's theory of evolution.
Stars: Doug Axe, Stephen C. Meyer, Simon Conway Morris and Paul Nelson.
My take: You can't talk about conspiracies without including some evolution deniers. Although to be fair, this documentary targets one aspect of Darwin's evolution theory that still is considered to be unsolved. The Cambrian explosion refers to a 25 million year period about 530 million years ago when practically all major animal phyla started appearing in the fossil record. Some critics point to this period as proof that Darwin's theory is seriously flawed, particularly when he claims that all life essentially evolved from a single type of organism.

This Cambrian period provides fossil evidence for all sorts of animals that seem to have sprung up fully formed out of nowhere and then just as suddenly disappeared. Which would make Darwin's claim problematic. The topic is too complex to dive into here, but despite what the documentary implies, there are some scientific theories that might explain the situation. Although any theory is difficult to prove, in large part because it all happened more than 500 million years ago.

Chariots Of The Gods (50th Anniversary Edition) (2021)
Logline: Fifty years after its initial release, this groundbreaking documentary about aliens visiting Earth gets a 2X makeover and a new forward and afterward.
Stars: Erich von Daniken, Bruce Johansen, Thor Heyerdahk, Jean Fontaine.
My take: While he's just a footnote in modern conspiracy theory fandom, Erich von Daniken and his book "Chariot of the Gods" were a massive pop culture sensation in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He argued that the technologies and religions of many ancient civilizations were given to them by ancient astronauts who were welcomed as gods. He claimed that a number of ancient monuments - ranging from the Pyramids to Stonehenge - would not have been possible without the direct intervention of aliens and their technology.

Chariots Of The Gods and its follow-up books ended up selling more than 70 million copies worldwide. In 1970, it was adapted into a German documentary, which was translated into English and also released in the United States. The film grossed nearly $26 million and it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1971.

Looking at the film now, it looks as if it was made in 1970. The pacing and editing is very old school and there are long patches of the documentary during which not much happens. Still, it's a fascinating relic and a reminder that in the early 1970s, viewers were really willing to believe just about anything.

Destiny Of America (2022)
Logline: God established America with a purpose in mind - to have the prophetic scenario of God's will come to fulfillment. But the United States is not mentioned in the Bible prophecy, so what will happen to it before the second coming?
Stars: Jimmy DeYoung, Ken Timmerman, Bob Maginnis, Shahram Hadian.
My take: I could be snarky and note the documentary is written and directed by Jimmy DeYoung, a theologian best known for arguing COVID was a conspiracy created by the media and was a myth up until the moment in 2022 in which he died from COVID. But that would distract from the grab bag of religiously-oriented conspiracies that are laid out in the documentary. According to DeYoung, America was created by God to lead a Christian reawakening of the world. But since the USA isn't mentioned in Revelations, something much happen to the county before the second coming of Christ. Much of the documentary lays out possible explanations, which manage to touch all the predictable cultural touchstones of conservative Christianity. Antifa, Communism, lying Muslims, Marxists, etc. But after spending much of the documentary scaring viewers with a rogue's gallery of dangers, the film inexplicably decides America isn't mentioned in the Book of Revelations because the majority of its citizens are taken in a rapture seven years before the second coming. I'm no theologian, but this seems.....not Biblically accurate?

Forbidden Knowledge: Legends Of Atlantis (2022)
Logline: The search for Atlantis is gaining momentum. With new evidence for a lost city, some researchers they know where the lost city once was.
Stars: Syeve Mera, Charles Thompson
My take: Was Atlantis real? Where was it located? You won't learn either of those answers watching this documentary, but you will get a pretty nice runthrough all of the current speculation and scientific theories. Including Joe Rogan's favorite theory, that the pre-Ice age world was filled with advanced ancient civilizations (such as Atlantis) that modern-day archaeology refuses to believe exist.

Occult Secrets Of The Illuminati (2018)
Logline: Powerful secret societies are in full operation around the world. Men and women conspire against each other at every level from religion to politics. But, there is an all-encompassing and ancient secret brotherhood at the heart of it all.
Starring: Phillip Gardiner, George Knap
My take: Reality Films-Entertainment is Ed Wood of conspiracy film producers. They've produced documentaries ranging from Aliens At Loch Ness to Shadow People: Out Of The Darkness. I have no idea if any of the vague speculation in the film may or may not be true. But I'm not sure that you could make a full-length documentary and spend less money than producers did on this film. The documentary is comprised of 90 percent stock footage and videos of old texts and drawings and ten percent footage of someone (producer Phillip Gardiner?) mysteriously driving around small towns and walking around old churches and other spooky-looking buildings. And all the while a narrator provides a voiceover with all of the excitement of the world's most bored corporate accountant. And let's not forget the cheesy computer graphics that look as if they were created in 1994 and editing that looks as if was done by a drunken money wearing winter gloves. The biggest mystery of this documentary might be whether anyone other than myself has watched this entire mopey mess from start to finish.

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Last modified on Monday, 23 January 2023 15:03