The Killing of America

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The Killing of America
The Killing of America DVD Cover.jpg
Directed by Sheldon Renan
Leonard Schrader
Produced by Leonard Schrader
Mataichirô Yamamoto
Written by Chieko Schrader
Leonard Schrader
Narrated by Chuck Riley
Music by W. Michael Lewis
Mark Lindsay
Edited by Lee Percy
Filmlink International
Towa Productions
Release date
February 1982
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Killing of America is a 1982 American documentary film directed by Sheldon Renan and Leonard Schrader. The film was premiered in New York City in February 1982 and was shown at the 2013 Fantasia Festival.[1]


The Killing of America focuses on what the director feels is the decline of the United States. It features interviews from Ed Dorris, a retired sergeant of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, as well as Los Angeles County Coroner Thomas Noguchi. The documentary also shows several interviews with convicted killers such as Sirhan Sirhan as well as footage of murders and news broadcasts.


Release history[edit]

The Killing of America was initially shown in New York City in 1982 at The Public Theater,[2] but did not receive a commercial release in the United States, although it did receive a home video release in Britain.[3] The film received a wide release in Japan, where financial backers reportedly pressured Renan to add footage of peace vigils for John Lennon as a way to make the documentary less depressing.[3] Years later the documentary would receive a 2013 North American release at Fantasia Festival in Canada.[1]

The Killing of America was released on DVD in February 2002 and re-released in October 2016 on Blu-ray.[4]


Critical reception for The Killing of America has been mixed. Allmovie gave the film 2 1/2 stars out of 5, remarking that "Rather than an in-depth study of the reasons for and effects of the rising murder rate in the U.S., the director has chosen to emphasize the violence and the need for gun control to help lower the appalling amount of mayhem that distinguishes the U.S. from its European counterparts."[5] In contrast, in the book The Horror Film Mikita Brottman considered the film to be "one of the more thoughtful and fascinating examples of the mondo genre".[6]


  1. ^ a b "THE KILLING OF AMERICA". Fantasia Festival. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  2. ^ MASLIN, JANET (February 13, 1982). "SCREEN: AN ANTHOLOGY 'THE KILLING OF AMERICA'". NYT. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Niemi, Robert (2006). History in the Media: Film and Television. ABC-CLIO. p. 409. ISBN 157607952X. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Killing of America on AllMovie Killing of America (1982)". Allmovie. Retrieved 29 December 2013. 
  6. ^ Prince (editor), Stephen (2004). The Horror Film. Rutgers University Press. p. 170. ISBN 0813533635. 

External links[edit]