Here are the top five documentaries--both horror-related and otherwise--that are currently available on Netflix Instant Watch and tracking on my radar. They are all Jonny tested, Jonny approved. Enjoy, hipsters!
Conan O'Brien - Can't Stop: Following his unplanned and highly publicized departure from NBC, exiled talk show host Conan O'Brien decides to take his show on the road. This documentary captures that uproarious tour as well as O'Brien's dramatic break with his ex-employers.
Cropsey: Directors Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio explore an urban legend that always disturbed them while growing up in Staten Island, N.Y. -- a rash of child abductions that struck the area in the 1970s and 80s -- in their gripping documentary. The legend became real when a handyman and drifter named Andre Rand abducted numerous young kids, setting off myriad motive theories, frightening residents in the community and tripping up the legal system.
Zombie Girl: Youth and inexperience were no deterrents to 12-year-old Emily Hagins when she set out to make her first full-length feature, the zombie flick Pathogen. This 2008 documentary chronicles her two-year endeavor from start to finish. With cameras focused on Emily and Mom -- who acts as agent, crew, producer and No. 1 fan -- the film illuminates indie moviemaking challenges and the wonder of being a plucky adolescent to whom anything seems possible.
Comic Book Confidential: Ron Mann's documentary explores how comic books were elevated to pop art and bore witness to cultural phenomena with the help of legendary creators such as Robert Crumb, Will Eisner, William Gaines, Bill Griffith and Stan Lee. The film traces the medium from its ultrapatriotic beginnings -- with pages filled with superheroes fighting for truth, justice and the American way -- and shows how it evolved into sophisticated, complicated, readable art.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre - A Family Portrait: In 1974, Tobe Hooper unleashed his notorious study of psychological terror. Since then, Hooper's gruesome masterpiece has become a cult phenomenon. This fascinating documentary offers a rare glimpse into the making of the landmark film.