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Cul de Sac: A Suburban War Story


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Product Details

  • Actors: n, a
  • Directors: Garrett Scott
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Icarus Films
  • Release Date: April 19 2011
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • ASIN: B004SKIPS2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #147,551 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

An allegory for a working class suburb in decline, this film investigates the story of Shawn Nelson, who stole a tank and went on a rampage through the residential streets of Clairemont, CA.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.1 out of 5 stars 13 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars City of Meth and Tanks Aug. 11 2012
By S. Smith-Peter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
This is a fascinating documentary about the world and San Diego, Calif. It takes the news story of a plumber who drove a tank on the highway and was shot by police and opens it up into a much larger exploration of post-industrial malaise in America.

The documentary shows how meth spread to San Diego via imperial wars such as Vietnam. There's also some interesting commentary by a cop there about how meth is a lower middle class drug because it appeals to the idea of self-reliance. Thus, meth emerges as a drug both imperial and Emersonian.

I found it especially interesting how we meet the tank driver, Shawn Nelson's, friends and neighbors and get to know them before we realize that they're meth users/ addicts. Especially poignant is the repeated testimony that there were lots of guys who wanted him to show them how to become plumbers too. There's a real sense of being stuck and locked in at the bottom here.

The essays are also excellent. They put the film into context. It would be a great film to use in a class discussing Mike Davis' City of Quartz or any of the books on the use of American urban space for control and surveillance.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars JUST A REGULAR GUY? Dec 25 2013
By guitar zero - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
That's what the neighbors say about this speed freak who stole a tank and went on an urban rampage in San Diego. And oh, he also was digging a gold mine in his suburban back yard, with a shaft 17 feet deep! But he was just a regular guy!
A fascinating glimpse of a lower middle class suburb in the 1990s, where everyone is descending into the gloomy depths of drugs and/or alcohol.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately, the director, Garrett Scott, died soon ... May 13 2016
By JERRY NEECE - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Unfortunately, the director, Garrett Scott, died soon after finishing this film. A freak "accident" or something more sinister. His research into the shady side of San Diego might have ruffled the wrong feathers. Read "Chameleo" to find out the rest of the story.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shawn Nelson's war with himself Jan. 24 2016
By George P. Radak - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Absolutely the worst documentary film I have ever watched. The gist of the story could have been told in ten minutes. Local meth head loses his family, his house and his mind then goes on a last ride in a sixty ton tank to prove.. you decide because the film makers never make that point clear. Instead they pad on thirty minutes or more film to suggest (stretching a point so thin that it breaks instantly) that Hitler, WWII, and the economic downturn of the eighties all conspired to ruin Shawn Nelson's life. To back up this theory they interview every meth head they can find ad nauseam. Save your money.
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent documentary on the San diego tank rampage. May 16 2015
By Timothy G. Hammers - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I witnessed the event on this DVD as it happened both on Tv and on my scanner radio. That was one hell of a scary thing to see. I remember how frantic the police were to get innocent bystanders out of the way and figure out how to stop him. No one can know for sure what was in the poor man's mind when he stole that tank but with this documentary you get a great deal of insight into his life and why he might have done it. An very well done video. It certainly was very lucky he had no ammo/shells for the big gun. If he had had some there's no telling what might have happened. As i watched this i remembered the famous "Killdozer" incident too.


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