Monday, August 16, 2010

Quiet Rage - The Stanford Prison Experiment (1992)

Have you ever wondered what it is that drives authoritative figures to degrade and torture innocent people? Why is it that seemingly normal people who live normal lives are transformed into monsters when put in situations where they can do whatever they want, without fear of consequences? You tell yourself that "I would never act like that" and shake your head in lack of understanding.

This cult documentary explains why you are no better than a nazi guard at a WWII concentration camp.

People who go amok with power don't have a history of violence or sadistic behavior. They are simply plummeted back to a childlike mindset, where everything is allowed, until pointed out to be else wise.

What makes all the more interesting, is that the professor with the real sci-fi name: Dr. Zimbardo, who is conducting the Stanford Prison Experiment, is no better himself. He too is lost in his own research and completely loses sight of everything but his test results.

That Quiet Rage is a university production from the early 90s is all too evident in the overall production value. But this does not necessarily lessen the viewing experience. The morbid monologues, amateurish editing, and synthesized background tunes accompanied by the neon-colored clothing, makes it into a bizarre journey into a human psychology we do not want to acknowledge exists.

The experiment have inspired German schlock-feature Das Experiment, a British redo of the whole experiment and an American feature also in the works, which will probably be just as silly. But this is not a feature film. This is a document of reality.

So watch the film, and see if you still insist you would have acted different, if employed as a guard in a correctional facility.

All you cult film treasure hunters out there will be thrilled to know that this film is rather rare.



  1. Thanks, found my way to your site from an IMDB comment.

  2. Holy shit!. I came here because i was looking for the Stanford Experiment. Downloaded it. Then started looking for Milgram's and ended up here again. (Yeah, i wasn't paying much attention)

    Thank you so much! This is a fascinating topic.

  3. You're welcome Rafael. Hope you enjoy it.