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638 Ways to Kill Castro

3.1 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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(May 08, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

On the trail of Castro's would-be killers the filmmakers meet a series of extraordinary characters - 2 are also men accused of being terrorists still living free in America. Orlando Bosch accused by many of being the greatest terrorist in the hemisphere is found living peacefully in his Miami home surrounded by an adoring family. They also catch up with Antonio Veciana the Cuban American who got closest to killing Castro on 3 occasions who now runs a marine store in Miami. These men and others the film reveals were supported and funded by the United States. At one point staggeringly the CIA even sought the help of the Mafia in the hope that they would succeed.System Requirements:Running Time: 90 minsFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DOCUMENTARIES/MISC. UPC: 787364778492

Made for Britain's Channel 4, Dollan Cannell's dynamic documentary may be non-fiction, but it often plays like pitch-black comedy. While screen history has produced King Kong, Godzilla, and other seemingly indestructible creatures, Fidel Castro's close calls and near misses put most such fictional characters to shame. As Cannell claims, "More people have tried to murder the world's most famous Socialist than any man alive." The director examines the reasons opponents have been gunning for Cuba's president for over four decades. Diplomats, activists, secret agents, and would-be assassins provide potential answers. The consensus is that Castro turned out to be more of an oppressor than the liberator he promised to become. Cannell then looks at some of the bizarre methods employed, from poison milkshakes to exploding cigars. Stylistically, he alternates between archival footage (including clips from crime films and television shows) and contemporary interviews. He further jazzes up the proceedings with a retro thriller soundtrack. This keeps things moving along, although more concrete information, like specific dates, would've been nice. That said, Fabian Escalante's companion book, Executive Action: 634 Ways To Kill Fidel Castro, helps to fill in some of those gaps. In the end, Cannell isn't making fun of Castro--or his country--but riffing on the parallels between the leader's real-life misadventures and the cinematic kind. The phrase "stranger than fiction" predates El Presidente, but when it comes to the Beard, all bets are off. Extras include interviews with Cannell and former President Jimmy Carter. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

  • Interview with director Dollan Cannell
  • Ex-President Jimmy Carter interview
  • Interviews with many more

Product Details

  • Actors: Wayne Smith, Enrique Encinosa, Enrique Ovares, Fabian Escalante, Antonio Veciana
  • Directors: Dollan Cannell
  • Producers: Kari Lia, Peter Moore
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Bci / Eclipse
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2007
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NDI3PI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,077 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "638 Ways to Kill Castro" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
`638 Ways to Kill Castro' is a documentary looking at the various ways people and governments have tried to assassinate Fidel Castro over the years.

This film has a series of interviews with government officials and would-be assassins as they explain the reasoning and methods behind their actions. Some of the attempts were truly ludicrous and make for humorous viewing and yet others were so chilling it makes you wonder what would have happened if they had succeeded.

The documentary itself is a little dry in places, but is interesting enough to keep your attention until the end. There also some extras which include interviews with the director and Jimmy Carter and more besides, which add another fascinating insight to the film and history of Cuba and Castro.

If you are interested in Cuban history or Castro then this is well worth checking out, but if you only have a passing interest I would suggest you give this a miss and try `Comandante' by Oliver Stone instead, which is a more up-to-date interview with Castro himself and touches upon some of the themes discussed here.

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This DVD despite being made recently feels a little dated because most of the attempted assassins are now elderly. Since many of the attempts on Castro date to the 1960s and 1970s, the people involved are now aging. I'd like to know more about recent attempts as well.

It does provide a fascinating glimpse into the presidents of the US. In a short segment it breaks down the plans or assassination by president. It's kind of a shorthand for the politicians attitudes towards Cuba.

Unfortunately the one thing this movie really lacks is running time. For a movie that about 638 ways to kill Castro it barely covers a dozen.
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a different perspective on fidel castro, it doesnt really cover this many ways to kill him but the video was really good, would definitely recommend
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Format: DVD
Conspiracy-a-go-go enthusiasts will definitely want a peek at British director Dollan Cannell's documentary, "638 Ways to Kill Castro".

Mixing archival footage with some knowledgeable talking heads (including a surprising number of would-be assassins-it's hard to believe this many lived to tell their tale!), Cannell traces the evolution of Cuban politics via a recap of literally hundreds of attempts by the U.S. government to knock off Fidel over the years.

The number in the title (638) is derived from a list compiled by a couple of former members of Castro's security team (they are among the interviewees). They even go so far as to crunch the numbers by U.S. presidential administration (thier resulting breakdown may surprise you.)

The film begins its timeline in 1959, the year that the CIA received the first official go-ahead to take Castro out. The initial schemes sound like they were hatched by Wile E. Coyote and his Acme Intelligence Agency. The plans ranged from relatively benign subversion (making his beard fall out, spraying a TV station with LSD while Castro was on air,a contingency to accuse Cuba of zapping John Glenn's space capsule with "magnetic rays," had Glenn not made it back to Earth) to more ominous (a poisoned diving suit, booby trapping shellfish in Castro's favorite scuba diving spot with dynamite, and most famously, planting poisoned and/or exploding cigars into his humidor).

Although Cannell initially appears to be playing for yucks (especially with the exploding cigar type shtick) the underlying theme of the documentary soon becomes much more sobering. The most chilling revelation arises from an examination of the possible machinations behind the downing of a commercial Cuban airliner off of Barbados in 1976.
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Format: DVD
I got this first from the Library and checked it out saw the whole thing and the Special Features(Alarcon one of Castro's Stoolies and One-Term Carter.).This documentary is Biased because in the special features the Creator insists they were looking to not do and tote the usual CastroMachine Line However,Once you see the documentary from start to finish you Cannot help but wonder what the creator had in mind.The only PLUS side from a Cuban's Standpoint(by Cuban I mean not THE REGIME.)Is the Interview with Bosch and Posada who by the way were NEVER FOUND guilty of the Barbados Incident.The Deleted scene of a so-called Detective who said that Ricardo(they called him MonkeyMorales)Morales said Posada did it can be taken with a Grain of Salt.Because Monkey Morales now Long deceased has been suspected of(the detective admits Monkey said he was involved but not completely.)Being the one Behind the Incident Working for Castro.Monkey was a DOUBLE AGENT(read the Book TheCocaineWars.)For Castro Intelligence as well as ours. Monkey therefore is was not/is not credible.He was a common Criminal and a Drugdealer(and Informant).So whatever anybody and ANYONE knew about the 76' Incident went With Monkey to his grave when he Mysteriously Died(Killed.)Bosch and Posada are Freedom Fighters,If Dorhn and Bill Ayers Who mind you are AntiAmerican and UNREPENTANT TrueTerrorists can walk free in Chicago thanks to their Connections along with Many Former SDS Radicals then where do people think they getoff in Getting an Innocent Freedom Fighter such as Dr.Bosch(RIP) and Posada? The Veciana Interviews are interesting(However Maritza Lorenz is NOT CREDIBLE.)Author Encinosa,And Otto Reich along With Ileana Ros but The rest as Cubans say "Limprete con la Noticias.Read more ›
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