Wisconsin Death Trip

Wisconsin Death Trip is a piece of twisted Americana that stays eerily in your mind. […] it’s not exactly a documentary—and not quite a period horror movie either. But it has elements of both. At its best, it’s hypnotic and provocative.”—Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
Wisconsin Death Trip, detail of a photograph by Charles Van Schaick

Wisconsin Death Trip is a 1999 American black-and-white and color docudrama film written and directed by James Marsh, based on the 1973 book of the same name by Michael Lesy. Original music for the film was composed by DJ Shadow, with original piano music for the closing credits by John Cale. The film dramatizes the photographs by Charles Van Schaick found by in the early 1970s by Lesy, connected to a series of macabre incidents that took place in Black River Falls, Wisconsin in the late 19th century, and, in part, the film was shot on location there. Marsh makes use of silent black-and-white recreations with voice-over narration by Ian Holm contrasted with contemporary color footage of the area.