Autopsy: Postmortem With Dr. Michael Baden – DVD Review

autopsy
Available at Amazon.com

Dr. Michael Baden has performed thousands of autopsies and this DVD showcases some of the most famous cases he has worked on. He has had a running series on HBO that shows various cases and odd situations in which he has been called in to determine the cause of death and quite possibly help solve the mysteries behind it. Being in the medical profession since receiving his degree in 1959, Dr. Baden can very easily be called an expert and someone whose opinion could mean the most when it comes down to slight variances either way in a murder case.

Over the years, his show on HBO – called fittingly Autopsy – has shown some of the strangest cases I’ve ever seen. There was one in particular that I remember where a mummified body in an amusement park’s haunted house was actually a real cadaver. It had been hardened and had fake cobwebs thrown on it to make it seem “less authentic” I guess you might say, but sure enough, it was real. Dr. Baden is called in for cases such as this and helps the police in their investigations.

Autopsy: Postmortem With Dr. Michael Baden takes the series a step further and goes away from the strange and unusual by going into some of the most well-known mysteries in all of history. One of the first cases dissected is that of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Dr. Baden knows a lot of the facts that are not necessarily known to the public in this case, and shares a good bit of knowledge that many may not know unless they had studied President Kennedy’s assassination in depth. He says that the autopsy report was not accurate and there were many cover-ups which is why he testified in the trial about it in 1978. Dr. Baden was the Chief Medical Examiner for the City of New York at the time.

Dr. Baden also was involved in the O.J. Simpson murder case in 1994. In something I didn’t even realize, Dr. Baden was in the process of examining Simpson and the scientific evidence from the deaths of his wife and her friend when he disappeared. Some twenty minutes later as the police were chasing Simpson through the streets of Los Angeles, Baden called Larry King and talked to him live on the air to discuss what had happened earlier in the day. Quite an interesting take on the whole thing.

Other cases fill up the rest of the DVD including the Romanov Royal Family, Sid Vicious, Nancy Spungen, and the deaths of the first responders on 9/11. Baden has some of the most intriguing views on all of these controversial cases from the facts he knows and just other assumptions he has made. All of the details concerning celebrity or prominent deaths are not always released to the general public and it leaves many people wondering. Dr. Baden gives a few small looks into some of the cases that have left a puzzled look on the faces of numerous individuals over the years and allows for a little more clarity. Here’s hoping that we’ll get more specials like this so that Dr. Baden can fill us in on a lot more that tries to be covered up.

The film is shown in Full Screen format for the most part while the interview segments are in Widescreen and all looks great, but most of everything else is old news footage and doesn’t look the best. Not that anyone would expect it too, but all is fine.

The film is heard in Stereo Sound and it is more then adequate for a strictly dialogue driven documentary. Everything can be heard clearly and loudly including all the old news footage and trial tapes.

None.

Autopsy always was one of my favorite series on HBO even though there were never more then probably a dozen or so episodes filmed. It’s a shame that this special isn’t longer then the short hour given and that some form of special features aren’t included because it is awesome. The information is just amazing as to how much is given in such a little amount of time and told with such ease and understanding that Dr. Baden helps everyone just “get it.” At a nice price of just $14.99 at most retailers and Amazon.com, this DVD is one that those who love CSI, The First 48, and Law & Order should all pick up. For a little bit more too, grab a copy of the Baden’s other DVD entitled The Autopsy Files (1994). It probably can be found on the cheap and will give you some more info on not the celebrity cases, but some strange ones. They are just as interesting, trust me. Try a rental if you will, but it’s worth shelling out the cash for.

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HBO Home Video presents Autopsy: Postmortem With Dr. Michael Baden. Directed by: Arthur Ginsberg. Starring: Marlene Sanders, Michael Baden. Running time: 57 minutes. Rating: Not Rated. Released on DVD: March 18, 2008. Available at Amazon.com